When you’re investing a large chunk of money into something new, it’s a good idea to understand what’s going on. We won’t go into the nitty gritty of exactly what the install team does, but we will go over the required applications, permits and tests. The first thing that needs to be done is meet with an HVAC contractor that can go over your needs with you. If your contractor is sizing your unit strictly on the square footage of your home, then you need a new contractor. It’s extremely important to consider the insulation in the home, the window locations, the types of doors, so on and so forth. Those factors can fluctuate the heating and cooling in your home. The contractor you choose should go over all those factors so that your unit is properly sized. Incorrectly sized units can cause strain; whether it’s too big or too small, that strain ends up costing you money.
Okay, so now you’ve designed your home comfort system and you’re so excited to get it installed. But wait, first you have to get an installation permit. The permit type will vary depending on whether it’s a new install or just a change out. The application process also varies by city. The HVAC company should take care of this process for you. Once the permit is pulled, it has to be posted at the job site. Now the installation can begin.
Installations can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of weeks or even months. It truly depends on what you are having done. A simple change out should take no longer than a day but if you’re getting all new ductwork or installing a ductless system, you should allow 1 day for each refrigerant line being laid. And more complex systems take even longer. Anyway, that part varies drastically per job, but the next part doesn’t.
In the state of California, there is a test required that proves that the new equipment installed is in compliance with the governed energy standards. This is a test that is conducted by the city. It cannot be scheduled until after the install is completed. California also has a law that requires working CO detectors, so many times, this will be checked during the test as well. Once this is done, then you should receive a copy of your certificates which are required to pass the final permit inspection.
The last inspection is to ensure that the install is up to standards. This will be scheduled with the help of the HVAC company. The inspection is similar to the Title 24 in that it makes sure everything is in compliance with the installation procedures. Sometimes, the equipment doesn’t pass and then the HVAC company will receive a list of “corrections.” They need to come back, fix the corrections and the inspection needs to happen again. Once it’s passed then your installation process is officially completed!
Post install is when you need to consider how to care for your equipment. Read our previous blog to learn about the benefits of annual maintenance and stay tuned for our upcoming blog on the difference between the manufacturer’s warranty and extended warranty options.