4 Things a Quality Contractor Would Not Say

1.  If you sign today, I will take $X thousand off!
  This is a sales tactic often taken by a used car salesman.  A Quality HVAC Contractor will price their installation with confidence, after finding a solution to fit the needs of the customer, and correctly sizing such equipment.  I have no problem with "ballpark" numbers over the phone, as this can help sift through customers that are not interested in quality, so contractors do not waste time on what tends to be free sales calls.  Do not let a salesman pressure you into signing a document before he leaves, unless you need to replace a system that is no longer operable.  Otherwise, this should raise some suspicion as to the urgency.

2.  How many square feet is your house?
  This is only one factor when sizing a heating or cooling system.  If this question is not preceded or followed up with questions like: How is the insulation?  What type of windows are installed?  As well as a quick survey of the home to gather the remainder of the details, then the system could not possibly be sized right.  "I've been installing these systems for 20 years, and never had a call-back!" is not a suitable replacement for the International Residential Code and State building code requirements of using ACCA Manual J, version 8.  In order to complete this calculation, software is required.  Although, most heat loss calculations could still be completed long hand.  Any sort of short forms or calculations not having the ACCA Manual J Approved logo are not complete and do not meet the minimum required by law.

3.  The payment is only $X a month!
  This is another sales tactic that can often be used to mask the total cost of the job.  Don't get me wrong, being able to offer financing is important for a Quality HVAC Contractor as they tend to install and quote higher efficient equipment.  This equipment undoubtedly costs more compared to their less efficient alternatives.  A homeowner should be concerned with the total cost of the job, as well as the monthly payment.  This is how cell phone companies hook customers into long term contracts, by offering low cost or free phones at the highest possible monthly payment.  This can be hard not to see past as a homeowner since the energy savings of the new system, combined with the monthly payment, will most likely be lower than the current monthly utility bill.   Remember, a lower total cost will equate to a lower monthly payment.  Get more than a single quote, particularly if you do not have an established relationship with the Contractor.  Also, remember that the lowest price is not always the best price!

4.  I will beat the lowest price!
  A Quality Contractor will be less concerned with the prices you have or will receive from other companies, since they know what it takes to stay in business.  This means a fair price for the high quality of work and equipment, combined with a satisfied customer.  If a company always "beats the lowest price", I doubt they can employ the best installers and technicians, and I would worry if they will still be in business when you need them.  Even the latest and greatest system breaks down now and then, requires service, or even needs to be replaced in the next 10 to 15 years.
  On the other extreme, a high price can be perceived as high quality.   This could be true, if the Contractor can prove to you the reason for such a cost.  Otherwise, it could be price gouging.  Unless you have something to compare, how could one ever know?


  1. Nice blog. We always perform a heat load calculation whenever we are giving a proposal to a customer. Also, when replacing an existing system, we never assume the existing system is the correct size, it could have been wrongly sized by a lazy contractor.

  2. For businesses, cost efficiency means everything. So when it comes to the heating and cooling of your business, even a well-maintained older system could be costing you unnecessary amounts of money.

    Heating & Cooling Toronto