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Working with Your Customer

A quality installation is an investment that can enhance your customer's comfort while saving them money over the life of their system. Help ensure the ongoing benefits of your customer's initial investment.

Be the Contractor of Choice:

Provide a Quality Installation

Show your customers that you are licensed, insured, and code-compliant.

Provide proof of insurance (including copies of liability and workers compensation insurance), a copy of your state-issued license, as well as copies of appropriate building permits required to complete the project.

Do not quote over the phone.

Determine the size of equipment, type of equipment, and specifics of the installation during a home visit.

Offer quality service not the lowest price.

Properly installed, high-efficiency ENERGY STAR® labeled equipment will save your customer's money on their utility bills for many years to come if it is properly installed and maintained.

Offer calculations that determine the right size equipment for your customer's home.

Don't size units solely on the square footage of the house. If you are replacing a unit, don't assume that the new unit should be the same size as the existing unit — it may not have been sized properly in the first place.

Proper equipment sizing is based on the interior of homes losing heat during cold weather and gaining heat during warm weather. Consider several key pieces of information (such as the type of insulation and the total surface area of the windows or glass doors) into a heat loss/heat gain evaluation called a design load calculation.

The design load calculation involves taking measurements during the initial visit to your customer's home and asking questions. It can be done manually or by using software, but in either case it should be based on professional guidelines such as Manual J from the Exit ENERGY STARAir Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). After the load calculations are completed, ducts, supply registers, and return grilles can be sized and selected using professional guidelines in ACCA's Manual D or by a comparable industry-accepted method.

Oversized equipment can cause reduced comfort and excessive “air” noise as the oversized unit forces air through your duct system more quickly. Oversizing will also shorten the life of the equipment by causing it to cycle on and off more frequently than a properly-sized unit.

Undersized equipment with airflow that is too low can cause distribution efficiency drops and accelerated wear on system components, leading to earlier failure.

Install indoor units in conditioned space when possible.

If the unit must go in unconditioned space, ensure that the space is well insulated. Outdoor units should be placed out of the sun and kept free of debris. Also:

  • Make sure the unit is installed in an accessible area for easy maintenance.
  • Allow plenty of room for free airflow on all sides of the equipment.
  • Verify that equipment placement is in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions and local codes.

Properly size, seal and insulate ducts.

Your customer’s system efficiency can be increased by as much as 20% by properly sizing, sealing, and insulating ducts. This can also provide more uniform heating and cooling of all of the rooms in their home.

Test your customer's duct system to identify leaks and fix them with quality duct sealant. Ensure that the duct system is not only sealed, but within conditioned space. If the ducts must be in unconditioned space (basement, attic, crawlspace) they should also be insulated.

  • Duct sealing should be done by using mastic, metal-backed tape or aerosol-based sealing.
  • In some instances, you may find it necessary to replace or add ducts. If there are insufficient supply registers or return air grilles in your customer's home, it may be necessary to install additional ductwork to accommodate the need for registers or grilles. Sizing for the system will provide the guidelines necessary to determine if additional ductwork is required to supply optimal comfort and should be based on analysis using Manual D.

For information on duct installation, and determine whether your home is a good candidate for duct sealing.

Test and verify airflow.

The test consists of measuring the airflow at the indoor coil, a component that is installed in the ductwork at or near the furnace or air handler that heats or cools the room air. System testing and any necessary adjustments should be done after duct leakage repairs have been completed.

If airflow is too high, duct leakage increases and the temperature at the register is not sufficient for optimal home comfort. If airflow is too low, distribution efficiency drops ands accelerates the wear on system components leading to premature failure.

Verify that the cooling system has been properly charged with refrigerant in accordance with the equipment manufacturer's guidelines.

Recent field studies suggest that approximately 75% of installed cooling equipment may be improperly charged. Improper refrigerant charge can lower efficiency by 5 to 20% and can ultimately cause premature component failure, resulting in costly repairs that could have been prevented.

Verify that you have a certificate for refrigerant handling.

Since 1992, to protect the ozone layer all technicians who work with refrigerant in cooling equipment must be certified to handle refrigerant.

Place thermostats away from direct sunlight, drafts, doorways, skylights and windows.

Follow the manufacturer's installation instructions to prevent unnecessary furnace or air conditioner on/off cycling.

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