A heat pump is an, add-on unit for your existing heating system to make it work more efficiently. It is usually installed in addition to a new furnace, and should only be added to an older one in certain conditions. These include:
- The older furnace is less than ten years old.
- It is in excellent condition
- Has had no major mechanical or other failures.
- Has run reliably since installation
- Has consistently been well maintained.
Making the decision to add on rather than replace should be taken very seriously. Even though you may have a specific brand you mind, ask your certified contractor about top HVAC brands such as Carrier, Bryant, Goodman, Amana, and Trane. Listen to the advice of the heat pump contractor, but consider some of his motivations as well. If the contractor is a licensed furnace dealer as well, he would have vested interest in selling you a new furnace. On the other hand, if he does not have such affiliations, it is in your best interest to heed the warnings.
Hiring the best heat pump contractor in the area is a matter of comparing the services and rates of the best there is. To gather your list of heat pump contractors in and around the 94104, California area:
- Ask for professional referrals from general contractors
- Verify referrals from home improvement, hardware and building supply stores
- Check for referrals from authorized heat pump and furnace dealers
- Finally, ask for referrals from neighbors who have recently had one installed
Other sources for heating experts:
- Advertisements in local media outlets
- Yellow Pages
- Internet searches, online yellow pages
After finding several, ask for free estimates for the work you would like done. Eliminate any of the companies that do not provide free estimates from your list. Of those who remain, ask the following questions:
- Are you a licensed professional?
- Do you have the proper paperwork to contract in 94104, California?
- Are you bonded and insured?
- Is your work guaranteed?
- Do you belong to a union or other professional organization?
- Have you been recognized by the Better Business Bureau?
- Do you have a well trained crew?
After the installation is complete and the unit has been checked and tested several times, ask for tips for maintenance and care of the heat pump. This could include such things as having the duct work cleaned and the system checked every year.