Questions to Ask HVAC Technician When Installing New System

Did you know that more than half of all new HVAC system in the United States do not live up to their efficiency ratings? This is due to improper installations by HVAC contractors. In fact, a faulty installation can reduce performance by up to 30%!

These frequent installation mishaps not only raise your utility bills unnecessarily, but they also contribute to discomfort and a variety of indoor air problems, such as insufficient dehumidification, dust from leaking ductwork, and ventilation problems.

This is all to say that you should be very careful when shopping around for HVAC contractors. It may cost more upfront to have the installation done properly, but it is well worth it. A high-efficiency HVAC system means little if it is not installed according to ENERGY STAR Quality Installation Guidelines:

Questions to Ask HVAC Technician Before Installing New System


  • Do you offer ENERGY STAR qualified equipment?
  • Will you measure my home and calculate the correct size for my equipment using Manual J?¹
  • Will you install a properly matched indoor coil and outdoor unit?² (AC & heat pump only)
  • Will you test to determine the maximum system size that can be installed with my existing ductwork?
  • Will you install new refrigerant lines rather than reusing existing lines?
  • Will you install and help me to set up a programmable thermostat (if not already in use)?
  • Will you consider if zoning, with separate temperature controls for different areas, would be appropriate for my home?
  • Will you provide me with information on any local rebate programs for which I might be eligible?


  • Will you check for damage to existing ductwork and duct insulation, and make repairs if necessary?
  • If insulating ducts, will you seal all duct seams first?
  • Will you test to confirm that duct leakage does not exceed recommended levels?³


  • Will you show me how to replace the air filter(s) in my new system?
  • After installation, will you leave all manuals with me and provide documentation of installation procedures, including Manual J calculations, AHRI certificate, and records of any measurements or testing?
  • Do you offer third-party verification that my system was properly installed and set up?
  • Will you confirm proper levels of refrigerant and airflow across the coil? (AC & heat pump only)

1. Proper equipment size is vital for maximizing efficiency and comfort. To size your new system, the contractor should calculate your home’s heating and cooling loads using the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual J or equivalent.

2. Your contractor should provide an Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) certificate to document that your system was properly matched.

3. Duct sealing is essential to the operation of your heating and cooling system. In most cases, it is recommended that total duct leakage be no more than 20%.

Replacing your HVAC system is not as simple as swapping out your old equipment for a new one. Any HVAC contractor that gives you a quote before conducting a thorough inspection of your existing system, ductwork, insulation and ventilation, simply is not doing it right.

For more tip tips and tricks for saving money and energy, read our other blog posts:

Call Larry & Sons for professional HVAC replacements done according to ENERGY STAR’s Quality Installation Guidelines.

Whether you need a home zoning solution, are interested in sustainable energy solutions like geothermal, or are simply looking for a new high-efficiency air conditioner, look no further.

We’re happy to answer all of your questions! Just give us a call today at (301) 733-5428.

We stand behind our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee  and are committed to providing top quality HVAC installation services in Hagerstown, Frederick MD, and the surrounding areas.

We service Hagerstown, Frederick, and the surrounding Maryland areas. We also service parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

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Is It Time for an Air Conditioning Replacement?

You rely on your air conditioner to take care of you and your loved ones when the temperatures are just too much to bear by providing you with cool air when you need it most. Summers are especially toasty, and it’s important that you keep cool and comfortable all the time.

But after many years of working tirelessly to help you maintain a comfortable temperature, your air conditioner is exhausted. It’s possible that it may just need some serious TLC, but there’s also a good chance that you’re in need of an air conditioning replacement.

Air Conditioning Replacement

3 Signs and Symptoms That You Need an Air Conditioning Replacement

1. Age of Your Air Conditioner

Nothing lasts forever, not even an plumbing or air conditioning. If you’re lucky, though, you’ll only have to replace your air conditioner a few times in your life. If your air conditioner or heat pump is older than 10 years, put some serious consideration into having it replaced. Call Larry & Sons today for the most energy-efficient air conditioning replacement options available to you.

It’s been a good run so far, but using an old air conditioner could be costing you more than you think. Replace your old, inefficient air conditioner with a new, energy efficient unit and save up to 20 percent on your cooling costs! Replacing your air conditioner might seem like a daunting and expensive venture, but you’ll notice a decrease in costs and an increase in how comfortable you are.

2. Frequent A/C Repairs

If you’re having to call a technician out frequently for air conditioner repair in Frederick MD, you’ll want to look at the benefits of having it replaced. Don’t take this the wrong way, we love repeat customers, but we care more about saving you money and helping you maintain a comfortable home – in the most efficient way possible.

We hate to see customers constantly drop their hard earned dollars on air conditioning repairs. You’ll find that replacing your current air conditioner with a new Energy Star model will diminish repairs and lower your utility costs!

While an air conditioning replacement will more money upfront, you’ll soon discover that the money you save on frequent repairs and utility costs will actually cover the cost of that installation!

3. Uneven Temperatures

It’s all about a healthy, balanced flow. If one room in your home is consistently hotter or colder than other rooms, have a professional come out and inspect the situation. In some cases, a replacement won’t be required, however, it’s important to address the issue promptly to diagnose the underlying cause.

Uneven heating or cooling is usually due to improper equipment operation, duct problems, or poor insulation. Have a professional inspect the situation to determine what steps you should take in moving forward.

Another thing you can do is use EnergyStar’s HOME ENERGY YARDSTICK tool. If your score is below 5, that means that your home is not very energy efficient and you could probably benefit from an air conditioning replacement and/or other home upgrades.

If you have answered YES to any of the above 3 signs and symptoms, now is the best time for Maryland homeowners to replace their HVAC system.

We are currently offering a HUGE Air Conditioning Replacement Promotion:

air conditioning replacement promotion

At Larry & Sons, we’re equipped to handle all your HVAC problems, no matter how simple or complicated. When you need an air conditioning expert, give us a call.

You can reach us online or at 301-733-5428.

You can also keep in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Hagerstown HVAC Tip: Different Types of Refrigerants

We have all heard the phrases like “save the planet” or “save the ozone layer.” Up until the 1960s there wasn’t a lot of attention paid to the disintegrating protective ozone layer around the Earth’s surface. Since then, ozone-depleting CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) have been seen as the ozone-depleting culprit and new laws regulating the use of CFCs have had a direct impact on heating and cooling (HVAC) systems.

The “lifeblood” of any air conditioning and heat pump system is its refrigerants – a chemical used in the refrigeration cycle. For several decades, the “refrigerant of choice” in HVAC systems has beenHCFC-22, also known as R-22. The problem is, HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) are harmful to the ozone layer because they contain ozone-destroying chlorine.

Because of this, the use of R-22 is being slowly phased out from usage in HVAC systems. The Clean Air Act of 1970 has provisions in it to phase out HCFC refrigerants. As a result, chemical manufacturers will no longer be able to produce, and companies will no longer be able to import, R-22 for use in new air conditioning equipment (effective this year),  but they can continue production and import of R-22 until 2020 for use in servicing existing equipment. So, R-22 should continue to be available for all systems that require R-22 for servicing for many years to come.

But the “new kid on the block” replacing R-22 has been getting up a head of steam for several years now. Among the new alternative refrigerants recommended by the U.S. EPA is R-410A, a blend of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that does not contribute to depletion of the ozone layer, but, like R-22, contributes to global warming. R-410A is manufactured and sold under various trade names, including GENETRON AZ-20®,SUVA410A®, Forane® 410A, and Puron®.

There are several other substitute refrigerants going by the names of R-407C, HFC-134A, and R-422C. A complete list can be found at

According to the U.S. EPA, homeowners with existing units using R-22 can continue to use R-22 since there is “no requirement to change or convert R-22 units for use with a non-ozone-depleting substitute refrigerant.” And it is important to note that R-407C is allowed for retrofits but R-410A is not, due to its higher working pressures. Substitute refrigerants would not work well with existing components unless a retrofit was made or in the case of using R-410A, a complete system changeout.

One of the leading causes for air conditioner and heat pump failure are lower levels of refrigerant. If you are working on your own equipment, it is important to note that replacing refrigerants like R-22 and R-410A should only be done by certified HVAC professionals. You must show EPA certification to purchase these refrigerants.

If you are interested in “saving the planet” you might do well to give the boot to your HCFC-consuming appliance. To find out what type of refrigerant your Hagerstown AC uses or to schedule a replacement, give Larry & Sons Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning a call today!