RESIDENTIAL AIR CONDITIONING INSTALLATION
What to look for in residential Heating and Air Equipment
Most brands of air conditioners share a core list of common parts.
Except for some Carrier and Trane / American Standard systems, they all use the same brands of compressors. Copeland, Tecumseh, Bristol, etc. They will “Multi-Source” a part they specify to multiple companies and buy from whoever has the best price this week.
For motors, they use about three or four brands as well. This trend continues for almost all parts with the exception of the sheet metal and the coils.
Almost all brands have a few years every decade where they have coils they produced that are leaking long before they should. It takes years to know who the unlucky company is, but it happens to almost all of them.
With a few exceptions, almost all brands are pretty good. Some exaggerate in their marketing a lot more than others. Some quietly go about building great solid equipment without bragging so much.
Some try to be “exclusive” by only allowing certain dealers to sell them. This is usually just a marketing ploy and they sell the same equipment with a few changes (for contractual reasons) through “distributors” that smaller companies with lower over head buy through. Quite often, a sticker and paint color are the only changes. The warranties, people building the equipment, most parts, etc are all the same.
What really matters in an HVAC installation?
With most of the equipment using the same parts, what makes the difference between a system lasting beyond the typical life or not?
20 years ago, the vast majority of equipment in homes used R-22 refrigerant. R-22 is an awesome refrigerant with properties perfect for “medium temp” cooling like that of a building people will be in. It was also very forgiving for the technicians of the day before wide spread training. It used “Mineral Oil” that did not have a super “Affinity” for the moisture in the air we breath.
Modern equipment uses “POE” or polyester oils, which suck as much moisture out of the air as it can. It is very UN-forgiving when it comes to the process of “evacuating” the system.
Most contractors big and small, use “Sub-Contractors” for their installations. There is nothing wrong with using a “Sub” as they are called, many companies don’t do enough install work to justify hiring full time installers. Great companies are run by people who have done each and every job in the industry. They know how to tell the great installers from the bad. They pay top dollar to keep the good ones. They know their work, and they are willing to stand behind what they do.
Sometimes, people will try to contract directly with them. The great subs rarely do side work for anyone but family or close friends. They have too much to lose if something goes wrong, and things go wrong. All. The. Time. You want to know that your contractor has “Something to lose” if they don’t make it right. Weldon Heating and Air does not compromise when it comes to quality of materials or people. For over fifty years, we have built our reputation, knowing the entire time it can be destroyed in an instant.
What can go wrong in an HVAC installation?
Almost like clockwork, every summer we get a few dozen people call us here in Tucker with a horror story, asking for help.
The story is almost always the same, a friend of theirs “knew a guy” that could do it “cheap”. In a few cases, the system does not run properly but has not been damaged and we can get them going with some effort. In other cases, their brand new systems are completely destroyed by a shoddy installation. In the worst cases, the customer and their families are in grave danger.
An HVAC system works with highly combustible gasses and very high voltages that are close to water. All of these can spell disaster if not done properly. Most of the time, they have put a pretty large deposit down or paid for the whole thing. Then mysteriously, they installer never shows up or calls them back. Most of the time, they wind up paying more than a proper install to begin with. Sometimes, they have to pay for an entire new install.
Don’t risk your families safety and comfort and hard earned cash, hire a professional for this part.