You may ask, “what is the best heating and air system?” The options are many, and each contractor will steer you towards the products that they have relationships with. So how do you know what really is the right equipment for you? Know what questions to ask and how to navigate the many opinions of quality.
The fact is, if you are in the position of needing a new HVAC system, you want to get the best value for your money. Having a product that costs less but quickly breaks down due to poor installation and cut corners, is not a benefit. Installing off of the most expensive estimate may also not provide you with the best option. Navigating the various types of equipment and options, as well as asking the appropriate questions will provide you the best heating and air system for your home and family.
Below you’ll find the best way to choose what option is best for you AND you’ll get the real ranking of equipment based on credible sources.
What Questions Should I Ask?
Make sure to ask the right questions when you have a consultant in your home. Being prepared for your visit and taking the time WITH the consultant is important to understand how the installation process will occur. Relationships matte. If you are looking for the best heating and air system, the style and level of care from the consultant will be telling.
- Why does your company choose to sell the products you offer?
- What is the recall and warranty rate of this equipment?
- If a part is needed under warranty, what is the lead time for parts? Where do they come from?
- Where is this equipment manufactured?
- What sets your company apart from the rest?
- What if I have a need, how quickly does your company respond to warranty work. Am I a priority?
- What is included in your estimate?
- How does your company set your pricing?
- Does your estimate include preventative maintenance and how long?
- What are the equipment and labor warranties?
- Are there any requirements needed to keep my labor warranty?
- Is this a leased system or will I own it?
- What are your financing options?
- Are there any rebates?
- Are there any tax credits?
- Tell me about your installation process.
- How long will installation take?
- When is your first availability?
- Are there any equipment shortages?
- Explain the differences in options to me.
- What parts of your estimate are a necessity and what parts are options?
Asking the right questions will allow you to gauge the responsiveness of the company and also understand the knowledge behind the team estimating your new work. Getting the best heating and air system is not just a box for box swap. It also includes an expert team that will respond to any needs quickly and professionally.
Now that you have your questions answered, you are reviewing multiple estimates. Who stays and who goes?
How to Eliminate Proposals like an Expert!
You now have met the various applicants for your work. Where do you start?
- Price– Do not buy on price and price alone. You can absolutely expect a process that will not be seamless.
- The cheapest options 8/10 times will provide you with the cheapest response to your needs. What if something goes wrong? Do you expect the company that was thousands cheaper to prioritize you? Some of the increased costs DO buy you professionalism, response times, warranty responsibility, and proper installation techniques. It’s a fact.
- The most expensive options may not also buy you a superior experience. Why would a company be priced at a premium for mid grade equipment? Overhead. The company has so many expenses that they must charge more to be profitable. Who owns the company? Is the company owned by a third party or investment firm? You can be certain that profitability trumps customer care when leadership isn’t personally invested. Make sure to do your research!
- Middle of the road options– This is always your best bet. Assure you have a team of experts that are invested in their customer. Local and family owned companies care about the work that is performed, referrals, and their reputation. These companies may also have a little more flexibility in their pricing. Each customer matters and the experience is crucial to the survival of their company. Do your research!
- Negotiation- There must be a little give and take from both parties in order to get the best equipment. Is the company willing to EARN your business? Deep discounts by thousands and thousands can be insulting and leave you questioning; “why didn’t they lead with a more reasonable price?” Are the companies you are interviewing willing to take a look at the job costs, review their profit margins and earn your business? The answer may be “this is my best price.” However, the way the consultant approaches the situation will allow you to see how flexible and caring the company is. Toss a company aside if they are not willing to entertain conversations regarding options and charges. Most importantly, as a consumer you have a right to ask for the best deal!
- Gut Feeling- You have had it before. That “off “feeling that sits low in your belly. You can’t quite put your finger on it but something just didn’t feel right about a conversation or person. In order to get the best heating and air system for your home, having a good relationship with the system designer is important. Do they listen to your needs? Do they address your concerns? Are the options provided encompassing your needs and thorough? Do they rush you and give you salesman tactics? “Sign right now or this price leaves with me.” Wow! That type of statement surely doesn’t leave you feeling as if you had much choice in the matter. Know your gut. If you feel like the consultant is being shady, he probably is. If you feel he is not consistent in answers, question it. 9/10 times your gut instincts are correct. Does this mean your consultant must have an answer for everything? The heating and air field has many complexities. A willingness to find the right answer is much more important than having an answer for everything!
What is the Best Heating and Air System?
Companies generally choose to offer a primary and secondary line of equipment. There are different levels of equipment quality. First, the installation process is the most important part of your equipment’s life. However, there are also different levels of equipment quality that can cause variables in pricing. It is always important to compare apples to apples when reviewing various estimates.
The internet is filled with many articles regarding equipment quality. So what IS the best heating and air system? Most importantly, make sure to trust your source before assuming the various articles on the internet are factual. Well known third party sources are best. Beware of sources such as company websites, non-expert opinions, and lead generation companies such as Angi’s list, Trust Dale etc..
Forbes, Consumer Reports, and other third party sources are impartial and perform their own testing. See that rankings from Forbes here:
At Guardian, we choose to offer the highest quality equipment at affordable pricing. What factors are important to us? Warranty, product longevity, equipment production location, customer service and overall quality are most important to us when choosing the brands we offer.
American Standard Heating and Air equipment was the highest rated equipment in 2022! That means out of all the various brands, they were voted #1 in all categories. As a leading company, American Standard has consistently outranked other brands.
Rheem heating and air equipment was voted the best in 2021, outranking various other brands. Guardian has partnered with both American Standard and Rheem for years, believing in the products and the companies that stand behind the products.
Since we do have relationships with both companies, we are able to assure perfect installations in all applications and affordable prices.
Beware of companies that offer many brands of equipment. This generally means that they have not had the specific training in all brands brands AND do not have relationships with vendors. These relationships are crucial to better pricing, warranty claims, and product availability!
How Do You Make Your Final Decision?
What is the best heating and air system for you? Finally, you are ready to make your final decision if you factored in company reputation, comfort with the consultant, product quality, price, customer service, and flexibility of company into your decision making process. Remember, gone are the days of $5000 complete systems. A new heating and air system is a BIG investment. It is the most expensive mechanical equipment in your home. If you feel good about your decision after your due diligence, then that IS the right system and company for you!
Contact Guardian today to interview us for your new heating and air system installation. We always offer free in home estimates and offer a meat or beat price match guarantee to earn your business. If a like sized company bests our price in an apples to apples comparison, we will match it!