Homeowners often put more emphasis on which manufacturer they believe makes the best air conditioning unit, generator or hot water heater, instead of focusing on which company they hire to install and warranty the unit.
“Manufacturers essentially use the same components, which are put together on the same assembly lines,” explains Dana Spears, president and owner of Cornerstone Pros in Land O’ Lakes. “And, because there has been a lot of consolidation among manufacturers, many products are virtually identical, and differ only in the name they market under.”
Since there is little differentiation among brands, and because all manufacturers must meet the same industry standards and energy efficiency requirements, the most important factor for a homeowner to consider is what company they hire to specify and install their new home mechanical system.
“The technician’s knowledge and expertise, the service warranty provided, and the longevity and reputation of the installing company are critical to a unit’s success after it is installed in the home,” said Spears.
While an A/C unit, water heater and generator are technically home appliances, it’s important for people to understand that replacing these systems is not like replacing a refrigerator.
“With a refrigerator, all you need to do is plug the new one into the wall outlet. But, an A/C system, for example, must be ordered with specifications particular to your home, and then properly integrated into your home’s mechanical systems by certified technicians who know what they are doing.
“A homeowner can buy the most expensive product available, but it will not operate properly without the correct installation, or operate effectively for the number of years that it should,” said Spears.
Spears recommends choosing an established A/C, electrical and plumbing company that is locally owned, and has a reputation for great customer service and standing behind its work.
“You want to be sure the installing company will be in business to help you with service and warranty issues for years to come,” said Spears.
Transfer Switches and Generators
It is always best to be prepared by planning ahead before an emergency strikes. Spears explains there are two solutions to making sure your home has power in case of a storm or hurricane – a whole-home generator or a transfer switch to a portable generator.
“Built-in generators are the best way to maintain power to your entire home. However, because of the cost and the delay in permitting, many families are having us install transfer switches to power the refrigerator, lighting in key rooms and even a small bedroom A/C unit, which is often needed by someone with medical conditions,” said Spears.
A transfer switch eliminates extension cords winding through a house, and can be installed very quickly. With the exception of Pasco County, most areas of Tampa Bay are seeing delays of two to three months in securing permits for installing whole-house generators.
There is also a significant difference in cost. At Cornerstone Pros, a transfer switch typically costs between $1,200 and $2,500, while a whole-house generator begins at $9,000 (pricing depends on a home’s square footage).
For families wanting whole-home generators, Cornerstone installs Generac generators, the country’s largest manufacturer of backup generators that automatically activate when there is a power outage.
“Choosing the right size generator for your home is just as important as the quality of the generator and the installation. Our technicians do a full load calculation on every home we quote, and specify a generator that best meets a family’s needs and budget,” said Spears.
Cornerstone Pros offers low-interest financing available to make monthly payments affordable for generators, A/C systems and trutankless hot water heaters.
“We want to encourage everyone who wants to protect their family’s health, comfort and safety to plan ahead and to give us call to help identify what they can do to make the home safe and comfortable,” said Spears. “We do everything possible to make a home’s mechanical systems meet their budget with our payment plans.”
Cornerstone Pros answers its phones 24/7, and technicians are available weekends and holidays. Call (813) 990-0561 anytime, day or night. For more information, visit the website at CornerstonePros.com.
Published August 26, 2020