Below are questions that any reputable installation company should be able to answer, if they can’t answer any of these, think about whether or not you want to give them your business.
A refrigerant handling licence is required by anyone installing or servicing a refrigerated air conditioner. This ensures that they are qualified to handle refrigerants. Ask to see this licence or you can check if a business is authorised with licensed technicians at lookforthetick.com.au.
Be wary of operators with less than a few years of operation. If they have less than this, ask how long the owner of the business has been in the air conditioning business.
If not, do not use them, if they do, visit.
A good company with a strong track record will want to tell you about their happy customers.
A company that uses direct employees, under their own supervision is the best option. If the company uses subcontractors, ask how they know they are qualified to do the job, how the work is supervised and who takes responsibility for the job and installation warranty.
It is best to choose an installer that also provides a comprehensive maintenance service. This may make it easier if you have any warranty issues in the future. They will have easily accessible technicians familiar with your air conditioning system and are likely to have readily available spare parts.
Every home is different, and with air conditioning, one size does not fill all. Your system designer/installer should visit your premises to do a comprehensive assessment to calculate what you need. This “heat load assessment” takes into account the characteristics of your home, including the size of your rooms, building materials, insulation, ceiling height, and position and size of windows. An assessment based on floor space only will be inaccurate.
Prior to the installation you should receive a comprehensive quote and contract. After the installation you should be given manufacturer and installation warranty information (if you haven’t already), compliance certificates and a maintenance schedule.
You want assurance that if they start your job, they will finish it. You do not want to be squeezed into a busy schedule.
If you understand exactly what you are being quoted for, you can more easily compare your three quotes. Ask if there are any other costs that have not been included or might arise due to unforeseen problems.
Ducts should be sealed to prevent air leaks and dampers installed to ensure balanced air flow.
If not, what changes and costs are involved? Are these included in the quote?
You will probably be asked to pay a deposit but do not pay the full fee until the installation is complete.
A good company will make recommendations based on your preferences (such as noise level, visual impact and cost) and a heat load assessment. Ask them to explain their recommendation – why is it the best option for you? They may also present you with options in efficiency, refrigerant type, filtration and controls. You should have time to make an informed and unpressured decision.
Is the manufacturer established and able to provide technical advice and spare-parts when required? Check the reputation of this company by checking online product reviews.
Ask about both the manufacturer’s warranty and the installation warranty. They should be able to tell you who will cover the cost of shipping (if any parts need to be sent back to the manufacturer) and fitting replacement parts.