How You Can Benefit From Multiple HVAC Quotes
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning can seem like a foreign language to those who don't work in the field, but getting multiple quotes can help.
HVAC work is a marvel of modern engineering. Technicians perform careful calculations to size heating and air conditioning units to the home. There are tons of components, valves, pumps, and compressors that keep systems running. New eco-friendly technology is coming out every day, as well. Realistically, the HVAC trade can be intimidating, even for folks who work in the trades, let alone homeowners.
But don't fret. There are ways that homeowners can manage HVAC projects in their homes, even if they don't fully understand how the systems work. But, it all starts with getting multiple HVAC quotes before the job starts.
The Benefits of Getting Multiple HVAC Quotes
Anytime you hire someone to perform a construction or renovation project, it's a good idea to get multiple quotes first. But beyond due diligence, there are specific benefits to getting multiple quotes that homeowners can leverage, and they're worth a little extra time spent during the planning phase.
1. A Basic Understanding of the Project
HVAC technicians spend a lot of time going to specialized schools and learning new technology, so it would make sense that a homeowner might feel comparatively lost. However, by getting multiple quotes, they'll be able to gain a baseline understanding of what their project might entail.
When a homeowner has several HVAC quotes in hand, they can compare the different line items and begin to connect the dots. They might be able to compare components, labor hours, and other items that explain how the project may unfold. For instance, the homeowner might not realize that their new heat pump needs to tie into a heat exchanger inside the ductwork. However, if they check the quotes, the line items may explain it.
It could seem that just one quote should explain it all, but that's definitely not the case with HVAC. There is almost always more than one way to do the job, and by comparing quotes, the homeowner may be able to choose an approach that works best for them.
2. Getting to Know the HVAC Contractors
HVAC projects run the gamut from being quick and simple to being long, involved, and technical. But, regardless of the length of time, the contractors spend on site, the homeowner will have to work closely with them to pick out fixtures, learn about how their new system works, and call them for any future service. Wouldn't it be nice to get to know the contractors before the job starts?
Homeowners can learn a lot about what working with a particular contractor might look like during the planning phase. HVAC contractors who take a minute to talk to their customers, understand their wishes and pain points, and offer multiple solutions will most likely be a joy to work with. Contractors who rush through the quoting process and push the customer toward a particular unit will only get worse when they secure the job.
3. Comparing Materials and Suppliers
Without a few years in the trade, it may be tough to understand all of the materials and components that an HVAC system requires. But, by getting multiple quotes, homeowners will at least be able to see which materials each of the contractors are suggesting for the job. This data can help the homeowner determine the quality of the products, and subsequently, the quote's value.
But also, understand that homeowners have the right to know where the contractor bought the materials for their project. Very few contractors will offer this information without being asked. Homeowners that do ask will have a better look at the contractor's supply chain, and they can even ask for quotes from other supply houses. Not only can this save a bit of money, but it can also help lessen the effect of supply chain shortages.
And, particularly with HVAC equipment, there may be times when the contractor has to remain fluid, choosing items that are readily available. When that's the case, the homeowner can request that the quote contain a contractor's allowance. This term refers to a line item with a value assigned but no specific details. This allows the project to move forward without having every single detail ironed out.
4. Comparing Finish Levels
Despite being mostly buried within walls or hidden in mechanical rooms, HVAC equipment does come in different finish levels or tiers. Items like water heaters, furnaces, heat pumps, condensers, and humidifiers are all available at different price points based on technology, capability, and long-term dependability.
Take a heat pump, for instance. While all heat pumps scavenge heat from their environment, there are several types. There are standard heat pumps that scavenge heat from the air outside and transfer that heat into the home via heated water. There are also geothermal heat pumps that require drilling holes deep into the ground to absorb the earth's heat. As one might imagine, the geothermal heat pump will cost considerably more than the standard heat pump, despite both serving the same purpose.
Also, homeowners should note that some brands produce different grades of equipment, as well. For example, brands like Ruud, Goodman, and Bryant might be considered entry-level products. Brand names like Trane and Heil might be mid-tier options. Ultimately, brands like Trane, Carrier, Amana, and Lennox might cost considerably more, depending on the equipment chosen.
5. Becoming an Educated Consumer
No one wants to be taken advantage of, and one of the best ways to prevent it from happening is to ask for multiple quotes from several contractors. By comparing these quotes, homeowners can get a look at which products and labor each contractor feels is necessary to complete the job.
Let's say that an HVAC contractor sends a quote over for an air conditioning unit. Upon comparing it to two or three other quotes, maybe the homeowner realizes that this air conditioning unit is much larger than the ones listed by everyone else. Is this because the contractor is trying to push some left-over inventory? Or is it that the contractor knows something that everyone else has yet to learn?
The only way to notice these discrepancies is to have other quotes to compare them to. If the homeowner accepts the first quote they see, they'll have no idea if they're being upcharged or if something is being overlooked.
6. Saving Money
On to everyone's favorite benefit: saving money.
Understand that contractors mark up their materials. Most do it by a set percentage, and it's to improve their profit margin a bit but also to give themselves some room for negotiation. And, homeowners need to prepare themselves for this stage of the game.
When it comes to saving money, having multiple quotes is all about leverage. By being able to compare quotes, homeowners may be able to pinpoint bloated materials costs, labor rates, or even too-good-to-be-true timelines. They can then use these pumped-up fees and prices to knock the cost down a bit, and maybe even get that contractor they want to work with into their price range. And, it's all because they took a couple of extra steps to collect multiple HVAC quotes.
Ready to Receive Quotes and Achieve Your Dreams?
If you're ready to receive quotes for your HVAC renovation project, let us help. We can connect you with up to four qualified contractors in your area, and they'll supply you with the quotes and information necessary to achieve your goals. Let ContractorClicks.com help you on the way to achieving the HVAC system of your dreams.