OPEN EVERY DAY: 8:30am - 6pm(240) 298-6521
OPEN EVERY DAY: 8:30am - 6pm(240) 298-6521
Locally Owned & Operated
Annapolis, MD
Trusted HVAC Contractor
Since 2007
Licensed & Insured
MD HVAC License #3370
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5 Reasons to Avoid Buying Your HVAC System at a Home Improvement or Big Box Store

Big box, home improvement and retail stores are well known. We all have a local Lowe’s, Home Depot, Sears, or even Walmart where we can run and buy supplies for almost any home improvement project. These businesses are great for many jobs, but when it comes to HVAC services, they aren’t so ideal.

Buying a new heating and air conditioning system is a considerable undertaking! Not only is it a big expense, but HVAC installations are complex, which means you’ll need a professional with proven expertise. Though you might be tempted to buy an HVAC system at the nearest home improvement or big box store to save some money, you might actually be spending way more than if you worked with a local, reputable HVAC company.

Here are 5 reasons why buying a furnace or air conditioning system from a home improvement or big box store is a bad idea:

1. Their Employees are NOT HVAC Experts

The truth is that home improvement and big box stores are focused on sales. While the employees might have some knowledge of HVAC systems, they’ll mostly give you information on different brands and prices. People who work at these stores are trained to sell, not to answer all of your questions. The bottom line is that they aren’t experts in HVAC and you might end up with the wrong equipment for your home, or worse — their installation might damage your brand new, expensive HVAC system.

RELATED: Professional HVAC Services in the Annapolis Area

2.  They Subcontract the HVAC Installation

When you decide to purchase an air conditioner or furnace from one of these stores, they aren’t actually the ones installing your new system—they’re subcontracting it to another company. These stores typically partner with outside companies (subcontract) to perform the installation so they can make additional profits. If you have a problem or question, who will you go back to: the store or the contractor?

You may find that the big box retailers and subcontractor will each blame the other for any issues you may have. Neither will have the answers you really need to ensure your home comfort and long-term product value. Frankly, they have little “skin in the game” and no incentive to care whether you get the product and service you deserve.

When you purchase heating and cooling equipment, you’re buying more than just equipment—you’re buying the service AND installation. Screening your HVAC contractor is so important! Since you don’t get that option when purchasing from one of these stores, how can you ensure you’re getting a professional, quality installation from a licensed and insured company? Poor installation is one of the biggest causes of HVAC system failure we see. A perfectly high-quality furnace or AC may fail because it wasn’t installed correctly by a subcontractor. HVAC systems are increasingly high-tech, and a proper installation requires extensive knowledge and training. 

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3. They Mark Up the Price

Furnaces and air conditioners are one of the most expensive systems in your home, so getting multiple quotes for your installation from different HVAC companies is a MUST. People assume that home improvement or big box stores always have the best prices, but that isn’t always true. If you choose to buy a furnace or AC from one of these locations, you’re automatically paying a higher price because they’re subcontracting the installation and most likely, the person you’re talking to inside the store gets a commission off every sale they make.  

4. The System Could Be the WRONG SIZE for Your Home

The staff in home improvement and big box stores are trained to sell, and will likely assume that you already know what size system you need. HVAC replacement involves more than just taking out an old unit and replacing it with a similar model. Your new heating or air conditioning system needs to be properly sized for your unique home. No two homes are built the same way. Differences in square footage, insulation usage, window types, and ventilation requirements can have a sizable impact on your heating and cooling needs. Additions, renovations, and even old age can change many of these characteristics, making an accurate assessment essential for installing the right HVAC system.

The correct way to size a furnace or air conditioning system for your home is to perform a Manual J Load Calculation of your home—which they are most likely not doing before quoting you a price. If the system is undersized or oversized for the task at hand, it results in poor comfort, wasted energy, premature breakdowns and a shorter lifespan for the  system.

RELATED: What is a Manual J Load Calculation?

5. After-Sales Support is Difficult

Regular maintenance is key to keeping your HVAC system functioning properly. No matter where you purchased your HVAC system, you will need it serviced by a certified HVAC technician. Home improvement and big box stores do not have in-house technicians, which means you have to hire one after the fact or wait for the manufacturer to recommend one. If your system breaks down in the dead of Winter or on the hottest day of the Summer, you want a technician to come out fast and get it fixed. If you purchased from one of these retailers, who do you call when that happens? The store will most likely transfer you to a call center and you’ll be waiting again. 

A local HVAC contractor, on the other hand, covers everything from sales to installation and after-sales support. If your system does break down on one of those hot or cold days, you’ll always speak with an actual human at Pro-Tech HVAC Home. Even if we didn’t install your system, we’re here to help! We keep a tightly-focused service area so we can help as many homeowners as possible. 

Trust Qualified Professionals for HVAC Selection and Installation

HVAC selection alone is complex. Selection involves multiple decisions, so having a true expert advise you will help you make the right investment — after all, you only want to do this once, then enjoy it for the next couple of decades. When you deal with an experienced HVAC company, you’ll be dealing with someone who is deeply familiar with the best products out there. Someone familiar with all the features, energy-efficiency levels, and pros and cons of each model. 

Equally important is HVAC capacity or sizing, to ensure you have enough power to heat/cool your home efficiently and comfortably without going overboard. Only trust an expert who understands how to perform a proper Manual J Load calculation specific to your unique home and family needs.

For a Professional HVAC Installation, Call Pro-Tech HVAC Home!

Honestly, once you have your owner’s manual in your hand, “big boxers” consider their work to be done and have little time or desire to provide real assistance. In contrast, home comfort is simple when you deal with trusted HVAC professionals. We’ll be here to support you for the long haul — because it’s your satisfaction and comfort that fuels our business.

Pro-Tech HVAC Home will be with you through the whole project and beyond. When we install your furnace or air conditioner, we’ll be there for preventative HVAC maintenance, any adjustments, questions about functionality and future repairs if they’re needed. There is no question who to call when something goes wrong! Our good name is on the line, after all. 

Our mission is to save you money so you can live better. By taking care of you, being fair and up-front with our pricing, offering proper design and installation services, and having integrity in everything we do, we will create the best experience for you. We are here for YOU.

We offer new installation, replacement, repairs and maintenance of heating and air conditioning systems in the Annapolis area. Our customers rely on us for honest and reliable service for air conditioners, heat pumps, gas furnaces, Mitsubishi systems, and more. 

Pro-Tech HVAC Home is Your Top Rated Local HVAC Company!

As Annapolis’ Top Rated Local HVAC contractor, that’s what you get with HVAC installation services from Pro-Tech HVAC Home. Our customers rely on us for fast, friendly service at a fair price. Our #1 priority is keeping our Annapolis neighbors comfortable all year long!


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Whatever type of heating or cooling system you have, it’s a complex system. If it has broken down, CONTACT US today for a repair!

Request an Estimate

Whether you’re replacing an old heating or cooling system or installing a new one, we’re here to help. We provide free estimates to Annapolis residents.

Pro-Tech HVAC Home offers new installation, replacement, repairs and maintenance of heating and air conditioning systems in the Annapolis area. Our customers rely on us for honest and reliable service for air conditioners, heat pumps, gas furnaces, Mitsubishi systems, and more. We’re happy to answer questions, troubleshoot, and help you choose the best HVAC system for you and your family. We’re always happy to help answer your questions, so please give us a call or send us an email.

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About Us

We offer new installation, replacement, repairs and maintenance of heating and air conditioning systems in the Annapolis area. Our customers rely on us for honest and reliable service for air conditioners, heat pumps, gas furnaces, Mitsubishi systems, and more. We’re happy to answer questions, troubleshoot, and help you choose the best HVAC system for your home!

Location & Hours

326 First Street | Suite 103
Annapolis, MD 21403

OPEN EVERY DAY: 8:30am-6pm

(240) 298-6521 (Call OR Text)