When you are faced with a malfunctioning HVAC system you have several choices in front of you. You can choose to try and tackle the situation yourself. Or you can look into a professional heating and air repair service to handle the problem.

If you opt for a professional contractor, you are then faced with selecting from seemingly endless choices – here in north Georgia there are literally dozens of qualified companies all vying for your business.

But, first things first. Before you go calling around for quotes or service contracts, take a look at your HVAC system and ask yourself a handful of questions:

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What is the exact problem I’m facing?

Is your system working somewhat but not heating or cooling to the proper temperature? Are you dealing with hot or cold spots in your house? Are you paying what you suspect too much on the power bill for the work your system is performing? Is your system just busted and not working at all? Knowing the answer to these questions will be a big help, not only to the contractor, but help them – and you – to better understand all your options when it comes to repair.

How old is my HVAC unit(s)?

Modern heating and air conditioning technology is cutting edge and truly impressive, however, it is still not to the point where brand new furnaces and/or air conditioning units can go on heating and cooling indefinitely. Eventually, no matter how nice the unit, it will wear out. On average, brand new furnaces and heat pumps can perform at peak level – assuming they are properly maintained and cared for – for 15 years, while air conditioning units last 12 to 15 years. So, if your unit is nearing that timeline, it might be worth it to you to consider more than heating and air repair. In fact, it may be time for replacement. With recent advances in HVAC technology and efficiency, a new unit may actually end up costing you less in the long haul than repairing a unit that is certain to break down again in the near future.

How old is my ductwork?

It’s not just the furnace or condensing unit responsible for delivering comfort through your home. And if your ductwork is old, it too may be responsible for poor circulation. Advising any HVAC contractor of your ductwork will only help them diagnose the problem quicker and see the whole picture. Advances in HVAC have not just taken place in the way we create heat and air but also in delivery methods and replacing worn out ductwork could be just as important as repairing your furnace or air conditioner.

How much insulation does my house have?

If your house has multiple gaps in between windows and doors, your HVAC system may not be able to keep up with the demands you put on it – no matter how hard it runs. Fixing leaky doors and windows will not only save your HVAC system from having to work as hard, it will also save you money in the long run, as your home retains the warm or cold air your HVAC is producing.

Answer these questions before you even begin searching for or choosing a heating and air repair service and you’ll not only have a great idea of what kind of services you require but also what the prices may be.