Installing a new central cooling system is not for the faint of heart and, as I quickly discovered, the process goes well beyond the scope of your basic DIY task. It became abundantly clear early in my online research that I would have to hire professionals for the job. After researching individual HVAC contractors and electricians Irving TX where I live, I decided the best solution would be to go with one contractor that could handle the complete job rather than seek out individual contractors for each step of the process.
My wife and I had been cooling our home with an in-window unit in the bedroom and a stand-alone portable unit that we would shuffle from room to room as needed. We had intended to install a centralized solution soon after buying our home two years ago, but sometimes life has other priorities. Also, we had a sort of “band-aid” solution that was making extreme outdoor heat tolerable, so we kept kicking the central cooling can down the road.
My first step was to research doing the project myself. As I mentioned, this job soon proved to be beyond my skillset. The scope of my experience with electrical work to this point had been: changing a faulty outlet in my kitchen and the elephant lamp I made in shop class when I was in high school. As it turns out, the job description for the required qualifications is much more complex than the scant few I had amassed thus far in my life.
Usually I am a big fan of learning via YouTube and then just trying stuff. However, after about ten minutes in Google and realizing I would get way in over my head if I attempted this job myself, I started looking into hiring contractors to do the work. The best guide I found was on the ftc website where I learned some things I hadn’t considered. Most often in a situation like this we put the most thought and effort into determining cost. That is understandable to some degree, but with a complex project involving HVAC and electrical work we should also consider other aspects of the process.
For example, what are the relevant questions we should ask? The answers to these questions will help you assess things such as a contractor’s experience, work ethic, relevant insurance, licensing, and bonds, among other things. Another thing we should consider when hiring a contractor is payment options. Number one is never pay cash for any job, large or small. Perhaps for a larger contract such as central cooling this would not be a factor, but it does start us thinking about the core principals of how and when to pay. The important thing is to create a record of each expectation, step, and resolution as this makes everything clear and protects all parties involved.
In conclusion, installing central cooling in your own home is a complex project best left to professionals. Doing your homework is essential to not just getting the best price, but also to ensure you get a job done right, on time, and by qualified professionals.