There’s more to choosing a heat pump for your home than just the most efficient model or best price. However, with the popularity of these machines, price and efficiency have become the two primary features that homeowners consider.
Today we want to look beyond price and features to discuss the quality of the install as well as the after sales support that can be provided by your local contractor.
Here’s how we’ve seen many homeowners make their purchase decision.
- Spend several hours researching the different makes, models and their efficiency ratings online (we have a ton of great info for this in our quick start guide).
- Call around for estimates on the make and model they determine to be the “best”
- Purchase from the contractor providing the lowest price
We get this mentality, we really do. After all, it’s how most commodities are shopped for these days. You’re not thinking about the after sales support Wal-Mart, Loblaws or Sobey’s can offer when shopping for everyday household items, right?
Of course not. There just isn’t anything that can go wrong after your purchase.
Here are the issues that could occur after choosing a contractor to install your heat pump, no matter what make and model you choose.
- Poor installation can result in improper operation and warranty voidance
- Lack of experience dealing with warranty claims can mean slow processing of repairs under warranty
- Companies using sub-contractors can have difficulty providing timely support and diagnosis should any problems arise after install.
Let’s take a little closer look at each of these.
The quality of the installation is half the job. The other half, of course, is the quality of the machine you purchase. Skimp on either of these and you’re likely going to end up unhappy with your purchase sooner than later.
A low-quality machine, installed by the best installer, is still going to underperform in the thick of winter. A high-quality machine installed poorly can result in the exact same outcome.
When shopping and receiving quotes ask
- For references
- How long their techs have been installing residentially and if they work for the company or are sub-contractors
- How long they’ve been in business
- Who handles service and warranty issues after the sale
All major brands have a clause in their warranty documents that states their warranty does not cover issues derived from being due to installation.
Here at Sunshine, we offer a 12-month workmanship warranty. In this time if any issue arises, and it would during the first heating and cooling season, we promptly take care of it free of charge to you. This eliminates the chance of a warranty issue being blamed on poor install.
Lack of experience dealing with Service and Warranty
There have been numerous companies open up shop here in Nova Scotia the past few years to cash in on the heat pump gold rush. Most of these companies are thinking only about the profits that are made on the sale of a new unit. They have no contingency plan for how to handle service and warranty issues that may occur in one or more years down the road.
If a contractor has a dedicated service and warranty manager you are more likely to receive satisfactory service and in a timely manner than if something was to go wrong.
While most heat pumps have some sort of warranty, knowing who to talk to, how to get parts and how to process claims isn’t a straightforward process. If a contractor has someone on staff to specifically handle that you’re likely in good hands.
Subcontractors OR Employees
I want to preface this by saying there is nothing wrong with using sub-contractors as a practice. Here at Sunshine Renewable Energy we work with a local trade partner who aids us in our Ducted Central system installations and it helps us meet
The danger of subcontractors is when a small company only has salespeople on staff and then finds someone to install the machines they sell. The danger here is once that subcontractor receives payment for their job they are more often than not done with the project.
When a company has their own tradespeople on staff there is more dependability they’re able to send someone out to diagnose any issues.