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Equipment vs. System

As the “manufacturer” of the indoor comfort system in your home, and as the professional you entrust with advising you on the purchase of the equipment component of that system, we’d like to share a few things with you:

  1. There are a number of key components that make up your home’s heating and cooling system. They are:
    1. The equipment. This includes your furnace or air handler and your air conditioner. Your air conditioner consists of two components: the outdoor part (condenser) and the indoor part (evaporator).
    2. The distribution system. This is the ductwork that exists in your home. It allows air to move throughout your home and with it the heated, cooled and treated air that should make a comfortable indoor environment.
    3. Indoor Air Quality accessories. These include humidification, dehumidification, fresh air, filtration, and air purification to name a few.
  2. A new furnace and/or air conditioner may not (in fact probably will not) correct problems you are having in specific areas of your home. For example, if your second floor does not cool well now, without delivery system corrections it probably won’t cool well after the installation of new equipment. Be certain to discuss any issues like this with your comfort adviser before making a final decision, because
  3. As a performance-based contractor, we want to be certain that what we are delivering to you is a “system” that provides you with the most comfort and highest efficiency within the budget that is right for you.
  4. Equipment manufacturers (our vendors) design, test and build their equipment based on laboratory studies and sophisticated computer models. The efficiency and performance data are based on a model that rarely exists in our real-world homes. We can test the delivery portion of your system (the ductwork, etc.) to “guesstimate” how well it may interface with the equipment you select. If there are obvious and identifiable problems, we’ll bring them to your attention and discuss them with you. Be sure to discuss this with your Comfort Advisor.
  5. The equipment manufacturing industry and the overwhelming majority of installing contractors talk about SEER ratings (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and AFUE ratings (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) of their equipment. If the equipment stayed in the lab, that would be fine. What we are more concerned with is the Measured Performance of the system within your home. Measured performance is what you end up living with in terms of comfort and efficiency long after the equipment installation is completed and paid for. As a performance-based contractor, we are committed to bringing you the best performing system in terms of comfort and efficiency that your budget will allow. Through our exclusive ComfortMaxx® certification program, we can document to you and a third party certifier the measured performance of your new system. This is the real world, real-time information that lets you know how your system is performing.
  6. So, what happens when we install this wonderful equipment onto your distribution system (your ductwork)? Sometimes, challenges to peak performance of your new system are easily identified by the simple tests your Comfort Advisor performs. If you have comfort issues now, or your Comfort Advisor uncovers things that are beyond his technical expertise, he may request more thorough testing of your existing system by an appropriate specialist within our company.
  7. What happens when we install your new equipment and it does not test out well? And, more importantly, it does not perform to your expectations? Again, it is our goal and our commitment to you as a Performance-Based Contractor to identify issues like this ahead of time. Sometimes, challenges to comfort and performance do not appear until after the equipment is replaced. Unless specifically addressed otherwise, our agreement with you is to replace the equipment component(s) of your system. Sometimes isolated comfort issues arise afterward that are a result of deficiencies in your duct system and not a result of equipment performance. Should this occur, we will discuss with you the problems, document our findings with proper testing, and propose a solution. The potential solution is not part of our original job pricing and will be charged additionally. We will discuss any charges with you before any work is performed. Our commitment is to your satisfaction. This is a collaborative effort that requires full and fair disclosure by each of us.
  8. All comfort issues can be dealt with. You hold the final decision on what we do base on your comfort level and budget considerations. Your Comfort Advisor will discuss this with you.