Should I take advantage of special pricing on a replacement being offered if I agree to the installation while the HVAC specialist is there?
Be cautious - there is an increasing number of reports from all over coming in about consumers being "pressured" into making a decision by repair and installation people. If you are not being given the option to at least get a second opinion and estimate we would shy away from doing business with that individual. A professional will be confident in his assessment and not be concerned about you getting another estimate.
I had an HVAC person over to look at my furnace that desperately needs to be replaced. The fellow was courteous, had a reasonable sounding price and was able to schedule us soon. Do I really need to get a second estimate if I'm happy with this person?
You don't have to do anything, it's your home and your money. However, we feel it is never a good idea to get expensive repair, replacement, or installation work done without getting at least two and preferably three opinions. Unless you have a pre-existing relationship with the individual company you should get more information.
We run our heating system infrequently even during the traditional winter months because we live in a very mild area. When we first turn the heater on it smells badly. Is this a cause for concern?
If you don't use the furnace often it is likely you are simply having dust settle on the heat exchanger and then burnt off as the system heats up. If you use the system even once a week and you are having this happen you might want to consider checking why your heat exchanger is getting dust built up so quickly. Perhaps a filter needs to be replaced or there is an opening in your system that needs to be taken care of.
We had recently moved to this area and didn't have the ‘built in network’ of friends and family to suggest a good contractor. Knowing you pre-screen the contractors you work with took a lot of pressure off the entire hiring process.