When my husband and I decided it was time to replace our HVAC unit, we quickly realized we had a lot to learn. We hired an HVAC contractor to sort out all the information and help us make a good decision and save some money, if possible. The contractor really took his time looking over our home, figuring square footage and then presenting us with several options. He also explained that SEER ratings on HVAC components will tell a consumer how efficient each component is. Of course, the higher the rating, usually the higher the cost. However, high ratings tend to save a great deal of money over the long run. We decided to go with a heat pump system since our weather tends to be fairly even throughout the year. We don’t usually use either the heat or the air conditioning over long periods of time, as some people who live in extreme climates would. It turned out to be a great decision for us. The new system worked just perfect for our needs, and we started saving money right away. Over the first year, an HVAC tech provided tune ups and service for free since we signed a contract with them. The next year, we bumped it up to include after hours service too since we were saving so much money and wanted to take full advantage of the offer. When we had a few minor issues with the heat pump some months later, the warranty was still in effect, and since we had regular service, all the replacements were free. Though we had to spend a good amount of money up front for all the work, it definitely paid for itself very quickly.