Michigan HVAC Repair and Installation

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HVAC Buying Guide for Michigan

There is much to consider when replacing existing or installing new HVAC systems in Michigan. This buying guide is designed to simplify the process by providing you with the tools and information you need to make an informed decision regarding your HVAC system.

HVAC Pricing Information in Michigan

HVAC pricing is based on many variables that require your contractor or sales representative to determine a system that is right for your home or business property. Multiple factors will enter into the final estimate including:

  • the seasonal climate where the property is located
  • the construction type — cinder block, brick, frame, etc — of the structure
  • its age and overall condition
  • the condition of existing ductwork or lack thereof
  • overall envelope of your home
  • state and local codes or regulations
  • available tax rebates
  • rebates and incentive programs

How Climate Can Affect Your HVAC Installation and Pricing

Climate plays a major role in determining the type and size of your HVAC system. For example, a 2,000 square foot home located in colder regions would require larger heating capabilities versus the same sized home located in the warmer, southern regions that would require more cooling capacity.

The state of Michigan would fall under the first scenario, requiring more heating capacity, since winter temperatures can average 14 degrees in mid January. Not to say you will not need adequate cooling as well since temperatures can average about 82 degrees in mid July. The amount of sunshine your area receives can also affect system type and costs. Michigan receives approximately 170 days of sunshine per year including 126 days with any measurable precipitation.

The direction your home faces and the amount of windows is another factor that plays a role in system sizing. Homes with many south or west facing walls and/or those with large windows facing the same direction may require more cooling capacity in the summer months versus those facing north or east.

How Home Construction Affects HVAC Pricing in Michigan

The type and quality of the construction used to build your home plays an important role in HVAC type, sizing, system performance, and efficiency. A well-built block or brick home often results in a tighter envelope and less heating and cooling capacity versus a leaky, poorly built, frame home. Many facets of home construction can affect the performance and efficiency of your HVAC system such as well-insulated windows, doors, walls, roofs, floors, attics basements, and crawl spaces. In addition, homes insulated with higher R-values and those with properly sealed exterior cracks, seams and thresholds/doorjambs typically require less HVAC heating and cooling capacities.

How Ductwork Can Affect HVAC Pricing in Michigan

Ductwork, duct systems, and duct circuitry are the air distribution systems of an HVAC system that direct and deliver conditioned air throughout your home. The duct system carries a significant impact on the performance and efficiency of your HVAC system. Duct systems should be designed to maximize comfort levels while minimizing energy use. Property owners with existing ductwork should consider a complete ductwork inspection before installing a new system. Any HVAC contractor worth their salt will insist on a ductwork inspection and make the necessary improvements before proceeding with installation. These could include installing/replacing ductwork sized in accordance with the new HVAC system as well as air registers and return vents designed to deliver the conditioned air quietly and evenly throughout the home or business.

As you can see from the above information, many facets can affect the cost of a new HVAC system. Replacing your HVAC system is a major home improvement project requiring important considerations. Before choosing a new HVAC system, look beyond the initial price of the system and take into account efficiency ratings and how they can affect future energy use and energy costs.

Your HVAC contractor will use many calculations including the information mentioned above along with your considerations and system requirements when sizing and pricing your new HVAC system.

Choosing an HVAC Contractor in Michigan

Regardless if you decide to go with a private HVAC contractor, a larger HVAC company or a large, big box retailer, you must do your due diligence to verify they have the qualifications and experience to install your system correctly and legally under the Michigan and/or city codes. Your contractor is responsible for determining the type of system best suited for your property as well as its capacity, performance, and energy efficiency. In addition, the contractor will control the quality of the HVAC installation. Your contractor will carry more weight regarding your overall satisfaction than the brand of equipment you choose.

Before committing to an HVAC contractor, verify that their license is current in Michigan by checking with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau about any disciplinary actions or complaints. Beware of any persons saying they can do the work but are unwilling to show you their credentials. It is always in your best interest to get the contractor’s license number and insurance certificates to validate them with as many city and/or state officials as possible to ensure they are legitimate and up-to-date and include the necessary coverage required by the state of Michigan.

Important Considerations for HVAC Installation or Replacement in Michigan

Installing or replacing an HVAC system is a major investment in your home or business. It is important to cover the areas of HVAC installation important to you and determine the best system for your environment.

  • Are you experiencing higher than normal heating and cooling bills?
  • During the summer, do you experience a problem with high humidity?
  • Does the drier air during the winter months present a problem?
  • Do you suffer from an allergy problem?
  • Do you own pets that live inside your residence?
  • Do you experience drafty conditions, uneven heating or cooling in your home?
  • Are your HVAC components, both indoor and outdoor too noisy?
  • How important is managing energy costs?
  • Do cooking and/or pet odors linger in your home?
  • Is your current outdoor unit unsightly and do you prefer an outdoor unit that is backyard safe? This could be an important factor in homes with small children at play.
  • Is your current system still under warranty?

By asking yourself these important questions, and conveying your answers to the HVAC contractor, you can help to ensure you get a system that is right for you and one that addresses your individual needs.

Prepare for your HVAC Installation in Michigan

If you are experiencing problems with your HVAC system and feel that total system failure is imminent, it is beneficial to start planning for its replacement ahead of time, rather than waiting for it to fail.

  • Ask friends and family for HVAC contractor referrals
  • Catch up on recent technological advances in the HVAC industry
  • Contact reputable Michigan HVAC contractors and obtain at least three written estimates
  • Plan for the costs associated with HVAC installation by preparing your budget and exploring financing options

By planning ahead, while your system is still working, you avoid the unfortunate circumstance of it failing during extreme weather conditions, which could put you and your family in peril.

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HVAC Features to Consider in Michigan

When replacing or purchasing a new HVAC system in your Michigan area home or business, consider the following system upgrades:

  • High Performance: Since Michigan experiences some severe and harsh winter conditions, consider purchasing an HVAC system with a 90 percent or more AFUE rating. While this system will carry a higher price tag, you will save money in the end on your energy bills. If you desire a higher cooling efficiency, ask for HVAC equipment with higher SEER “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating” ratings to reduce monthly utility bills. Higher SEER ratings indicate a more efficient system
  • Variable speed fans: These provide more system efficiency versus single speed systems resulting in better efficiency and lower energy costs
  • Equipment Warranties: Ask for and understand the warranties. How long is the warranty period and what is included? Is the cost of the warranty included in the installation price?
  • Extended Warranty: Consider purchasing an extended warranty and/or service contract from your HVAC contractor. Often, HVAC companies will offer you reduced costs on labor and parts when entering into a yearly service agreement

Reducing the Costs of HVAC Installation in Michigan

You may be able to obtain significant savings in the form of rebates and tax incentives for your new HVAC system. Depending on the type of HVAC equipment you install, government, state and manufacturer rebates may be available. Visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency “DSIRE” to view a comprehensive list of incentive and rebate programs broken down by state. Simply enter your area’s zip code to find these valuable programs.

In addition, visit Energy.gov to learn about valuable government rebates and tax credits. As a part of the recently passed American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012, the federal government modified and extended its energy efficiency tax credits for appliances, new homes and retrofits to existing homes, which includes the 25C heating and cooling equipment tax incentive for 2012 through 2016. As a direct result of this federal legislation retroactively extending previously available tax credits, homeowners may be eligible for a tax credit if they purchase or purchased certain types of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, water heating equipment, or make other energy-related improvements to their homes between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016. The new legislation extends the cumulative cap of a $500* maximum tax credit.

While many of these rebate and incentive programs can reduce the cost of your HVAC installation or replacement in Michigan, it is important to note that you must do your homework. Some of the programs available may require a home energy audit to qualify and/or be specific to high performance, high efficiency equipment.

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