HVAC Quotes: What to Expect

Installing or replacing your air conditioner or furnace can feel overwhelming. There are so many factors that go into the decision including efficiency, size and cost of the new equipment. Read on to discover what you can expect from the quote process and get some tips for choosing the best option for your home.

Why you should get multiple HVAC quotes

When shopping for a car, a house or any other big-ticket item, do you simply buy the first one you see? Most likely, the answer is no. While new HVAC units aren’t as expensive as a house or a car, they are big investments (some of the most expensive pieces of equipment in your home!) that drastically affect your comfort level on a daily basis. Not only does price vary between HVAC companies, other factors, such as brands offered, services, warranties and more, can differ. It’s best to obtain multiple quotes and carefully evaluate each to determine which is right for you, your family and your budget. Aim for 3-4 quotes. Any more will cloud the decision process.

Getting an HVAC quote

Most HVAC companies offer a free consultation during which they come to your home at an agreed upon time to discuss your needs and provide a detailed recommendation and cost estimate.

The comfort consultant will look at or ask about things like the ductwork, insulation, vents and size and age of your home. The whole process, done properly, can take between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours. The consultant is usually able to write up a proposal before leaving your home.

A thorough HVAC quote should detail:

  • Multiple options, clearly laid out, at different price points
  • Size and efficiency levels of the equipment recommended
  • Warranty information
  • Any available incentives, such as energy rebates
  • Timing specifics, such as when the install can be scheduled and how long it will take that day

Evaluating HVAC quotes

While cost is an important deciding factor, remember that you usually get what you pay for. Evaluate all of the quotes you receive, decide what you’re comfortable spending and look for the best deal in that price range. Also remember that the cost of a new unit isn’t just the initial investment; it’s also energy bills in the future. Paying a higher price for a more efficient unit may pay off over time through lower monthly bills. Other factors to consider include warranty and timing.

Lastly, make sure you are going with a company that you trust. Be aware of any red flags signaling a dishonest consultant and look out for them. Ask around or search for reviews from past customers online. Check out the company’s credentials and experience level. As one of the biggest investments you make in your home, you should feel 100% confident in the HVAC company you ultimately hire to complete your install.

If you’re looking for an HVAC quote in the Akron or Canton, Ohio area, be sure to give Crown Group Ohio a call. We have NATE certified technicians with decades of experience!

Humidity & Your Home: What You Need to Know

When you think about comfort in your home, your mind probably jumps right to air temperature. After all, your home is comfortable when the air temp is somewhere in that ideal 65-80 degree range, right?

Actually, air temperature is only part of the comfort equation. An equally important part for comfort and physical health is relative humidity. Here’s what you need to know about humidity in your home.

What happens when it’s too low

When the humidity in your home is consistently below a certain level, your hair, skin and mucus membranes (such as nasal tissue) can get dry, itchy and painful. This problem tends to occur mostly in the winter, since cold air holds less moisture than warm air and the combustion action of furnaces burns out much of the existing water vapor in the air. Humidity that is too low can cause certain germs and viruses to thrive and make you and your family physically more susceptible to colds and respiratory illnesses.

Your home also suffers: paint can chip, electronics may get damaged and wood floors and furnishings will become brittle and susceptible to cracking. Finally, when humidity is lower, you feel colder than you would with the air at the same temperature but with a higher humidity level, causing you to use more resources to heat your home.

What happens when it’s too high

In rainier, warmer months and climates, humidity levels in your house can actually rise too high. If your home can’t properly ventilate and dehumidify, excess water vapor can collect in walls and ceilings and cause issues like peeling paint, mold and rot. This is obviously not good for the structural integrity of your home, but it can also affect your family’s health: fungi and certain bacteria thrive in humid environments and can cause breathing and skin problems.

Additionally, higher humidity makes you feel warmer at a lower temperature. Just think how much more uncomfortable you are on humid 90 degree days!

How humid should you keep your home?

Within the range of 30-55% is typically acceptable, with the ideal range being 40-45%. However, it also depends on the season and the relative difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity levels.

How to check your home’s humidity

So how do you know if your home is too humid or too dry? Take a look at your windows, walls and ceilings. Is moisture accumulating? Do you smell mold or rot? These things indicate that the humidity level in your house is too high. On the other hand, if your skin feels parched, everything you touch gives you a static shock and the wood in your home is cracking, your home humidity is likely too low.

If you’d rather not guess and don’t have a humidistat, you can purchase a hygrometer to measure the levels with greater precision.

How to raise humidity levels

A humidifier is the easiest way to raise your home’s humidity levels. For starters, you can easily use a low-tech method, such as putting a bowl of water or a wet towel next to a blower vent or radiator. Want to go slightly higher-tech? Choose a portable cool-mist or warm-mist humidifier to disperse water vapor into the air. With either of these methods, keep in mind that you will need to refill the water frequently and will not have much control of the overall humidity level.

If you’re more of a “set it and forget it” person, you can have a whole house humidifier added to your furnace. With this kind of system, humidity levels are controlled with a humidistat and water vapor is distributed directly into the heated air right at the source—your furnace.

How to lower humidity levels

First, if you have a humidifier in your home, try turning it down or off altogether. In the warmer months, close the windows and run the air conditioning system to help remove excess moisture from the air. If the humidity is still too high, try using a dehumidifier in humid areas and taking humidity-reducing steps, such as using exhaust fans when bathing and putting lids on pots when cooking.

Do you have problems with humidity levels in your home? What steps have you taken to fix the issues? Let us know in the comments below!