Communication is key to a successful install or repair of your home’s HVAC equipment, especially when the project timeline is limited. If the expectations aren’t clear between the homeowner and the contractor, projects can go off-track and off-budget quickly.
There’s plenty of great advice about how you can choose a great contractor for your HVAC project. As you get started, you can expect that it’s the contractor’s responsibility to confirm their qualifications, to provide any references they may have, and to walk you through their general plans for completing the job.
Selecting a certified contractor for a home install or repair is a great way to move forward with confidence, as continued education in HVAC technology and regulation is typically required to maintain certification. It’s recommended to request proposals from at least three contractors before moving forward with an HVAC install. If you take multiple contractor proposals into consideration, confirming a time to complete should be an easier process. Proposals that lack details of timing and equipment should be a red flag.
Common Risks of An HVAC Program Running Over the Expected Project Timeline
- Additional Project Costs | You likely went to your contractor with a defined budget for the HVAC project. Delays or unforeseen timing issues can easily inflate your budget.
- Seasonal Heating or Cooling Issues | You don’t want to be stuck without a working HVAC system for any longer than necessary, especially in the heat of the summer or bone-chilling cold of winter.
- Conflicting Projects | Reputable contractors often have a “busy season,” where the majority of their installs and repairs take place. Letting the timeline slip may cause your contractor to have timing conflicts with other projects.
It’s important that a contractor gets a clear understanding of your needs before committing to a time to complete. This will likely include a home visit or inspection before the project can begin. Depending on the outcome of the inspection and the products recommended by your contractor, it may take over a week to begin the real work.
To set your initial expectations for the timeline of your project, here are some basic guidelines:
- A furnace install will take 4-10 hours
- An AC install will take 4-8 hours
- A complete furnace and AC install will take 8-14 hours
- Repairs to HVAC equipment are too variable to estimate
Projects not completed within the timeframe can inconvenience contractors, as well. When a project has to switch hands after it’s already begun, the job is less efficient for the homeowner and contractor alike. Once you agree to a time to complete, you have a responsibility to uphold your end of the bargain. Be sure that you understand what access the contractor will need to your home, and plan your family’s time accordingly.
As the homeowner, the more direct you can be with your requirements for the project, the better. One of the easiest details to communicate is the desired project timeline. Finding a good contractor can seem like a lot of upfront work! But, you’ll be thanking yourself when your install or repair is completed up to your standards, within your budget, and within your desired timeframe.