If your home’s heating and cooling system seems like it’s at the end of its life, you should start thinking about how you can save money when buying a new HVAC system.
Replacing your home’s HVAC system can be one of the biggest expenses of homeownership. Add to that the fact that high utility bills from running old, outdated equipment can also stress your wallet. Before you commit to a final decision on getting a new system installed, real our “how to” guide.
Actually, Spring and Fall are two of the best times to purchase a new HVAC system for your home. Since the temperatures are cooler, you don’t really need the air conditioning for the rest of the year; and even though Ohio temperatures are hovering in the 30’s and 40’s this time of year, running the furnace is not yet a necessity. Better to make a logical, well-thought out decision to purchase NOW rather than under the pressure of freezing temperatures.
Expect an In-Home Visit
Some companies provide price estimates based solely on square footage and matching your current equipment, usually by phone or email. Even in these strange times with COVID-19, you should insist on an in-home visit. Our estimator will examine your existing equipment and capture important details like manufacturer, model number and serial number, take necessary measurements, inspect your ductwork and thermostat. This level of detail allows us to provide you with the most accurate estimate, and eliminates any surprises.
Insist on a Written Estimate
You should assume that any heating contractor that will not provide a printed quote probably doesn’t stand behind their work. Although it’s a rare case in today’s market, it does still happen. For convenience (and to save paper), we provide an emailed estimate.
Some companies provide price estimates based on photos or video that you provide. Keep in mind that this may be an accurate final price, but there may not be enough detail in the photos you provide. Expect the HVAC contractor to make adjustments once they are on-site.
Tax Credits and Utility Rebates
From time to time, Congress creates tax incentives to purchase higher-efficiency, new equipment certified through the Energy Star system. There are also rebates given by local energy companies, rewarding homeowners for investing in more efficient technology.
While the initial estimate of a new, higher-efficiency unit will be higher, tax incentives and utility rebates will ultimately save you money. In addition, you will save green on lower utility bills from a more efficient, newer HVAC system. Ask our HVAC estimator for available tax credits and utility rebates to factor in the total price of your system.
How to Gauge Manufacturer Rebates
Many manufacturers offer rebates on certain makes and models of their HVAC systems. Most entry level, or lower-efficiency heating and cooling systems, will often not include much in the way of rebates or discounts. Higher-priced, high-efficiency furnaces tend to get higher, better rebates. Some offer instant rebates as a discount, some offer cash back, others may offer financing incentives or lower interest rates when you purchase higher efficiency HVAC equipment.
Can You Save Money or Your New HVAC Equipment by Paying Cash? Of Course! (within limits)
Beware of HVAC contractors that drop the price substantially if you pay cash. Does that mean the pricing is padded to make up for a lower interest rate? Possibly.
Did you know that businesses pay a merchant account fee up to three percent or more when you pay with a credit card? Some contractors will charge a premium to pay with a credit card. Others will offer that 3% discount when you pay cash.
Often, the best way to go with a large investment like a home heating and cooling system is a home equity loan. Many HVAC companies offer some sort of financing for their customers, often at a lower interest rate than when paying with a credit card. Be sure to compare all the options – cash, credit card, and financing – before making a decision.
Should I Buy My Own Equipment to Save Money?
Did you know that you can buy a heating and cooling system on Amazon and other major sellers online? While this may seem like a good idea, consider that you will have to pay someone to install it. We definitely don’t recommend this as a do-it-yourself project! While you may be able to make the mechanical, electrical and plumbing connections, how do you know what size system you should get? How to tune the system for proper airflow and efficiency? Even hiring a handyman or “side gig” kind of contractor off a site like Craigslist can get you in trouble. You wouldn’t ask your family doctor to do your taxes, or your dentist to repair your car… it just makes sense to hire a professional to complete the job from top to bottom, including specifying proper equipment custom sized for your home.
What About a Warranty?
Another factor to consider when purchasing equipment is the warranty. Most HVAC manufacturing companies warranty the equipment, but not labor. So you’ll still have to pay someone to install a part when it breaks.
Just as a reminder, most manufacturers require annual maintenance on the HVAC systems to keep the warranty in effect. You should factor in the cost of annual maintenance in the total price of ownership of the new HVAC system.
Replace BOTH Heating and Air Conditioning at the Same Time to Save
At the time of this writing, it’s the middle of the fall season. Ohio winters and the frigid temperatures are still a month or more away, so heating equipment is on everyone’s mind. Most HVAC contractors are buy performing a fall furnace tune-up and safety check. Most homeowners thinking about replacing equipment are focusing on a single unit – the furnace.
Keep in mind the absolute BEST time to replace an air conditioner is when you’re having a furnace installed, and vice-versa.
- Both systems can be installed in a single day with a two-man crew.
- The complete HVAC system will be spec’d correctly for your home
- You’ll save on the extra labor required if we return in six months to replace an air conditioner
- Finance companies and manufacturers often have pricing specials when you buy a complete system during the industry’s “slow” period.
When is the Best Time to Buy HVAC Equipment
When the temperatures in the middle of winter are below freezing – and your furnace decides to die – you are out of options at that point. You HAVE to replace your furnace (or freeze). Same scenario in the middle of summer, although air conditioning isn’t quite as important. But with many adults working at home, and kids being schooled remotely during the Coronavirus, you can’t afford to have an HVAC event disrupt your daily routine in the most extreme weather of the year.
Depending on normal weather patterns, the best time to buy an air conditioner is in the Spring (March and April) and the best time to install a new furnace is in the fall (September and October).
Look at the Big Picture When Selecting an HVAC Contractor
While it might be tempting to go with the lowest price on the installation of a new HVAC system for your home, instead think of this transaction as the beginning of a long relationship. Warranty service on the heating and cooling system will most likely be performed by the same company, so why not form that relationship with a company you can trust?
Dor-Mar has been in business since 1962, serving hundreds of thousands of customers during that time. Our overall rating online is best summed up by our Google reviews average of 4.7 stars. We have hundreds of testimonials from satisfied customers over the past 58 years. You simply cannot stay in business for that long without making a LOT of people happy.
Heating and Air Conditioning Combination Installation will Save the Most Money
Be sure to review any heating and cooling equipment estimates carefully. If you get multiple quotes, compare all the factors, not just the initial installation price. Think about
- Warranty Check the length of the manufacturer’s warranty, and whether labor is covered, and what type of routine maintenance is required
- Equipment Brand Be sure the contractor you choose only sells and maintains the highest-rated brands
- Maintenance Who will properly maintain the equipment for years to come
- Energy Efficiency The slightly higher investment in better energy efficiency. Spend a little extra at installation time and save on utility bills over the life of the equipment
Avoid Low-Low Priced “Deals” Advertised by Mail or Online
Have you ever heard of the “foot in the door” sales tactic? It comes from an old door-to-door tactic used by vacuum salesmen. If they could get the housewife to open the door to speak to them, the salesman would often jam his foot in the doorway to prevent the potential customer from closing the door.
The modern translation of this tactic is to advertise a super low price for HVAC equipment, then once the salesman sets foot in your home, you discover your home isn’t eligible or doesn’t qualify for the discounted equipment. READ THE FINE PRINT and closely examine the specifications of the equipment advertised. Chances are, it is smaller equipment or less efficient just to grab your attention and get their “foot in the door.”
Dor-Mar doesn’t advertise systems simply because we can’t accurately predict what your home needs! We insist on an in-person appointment to properly gauge your home for a new heating and cooling system. Anything else and you run the risk of getting the wrong size equipment installed in your home.
Call Today for Your Free In-Home HVAC Replacement Estimate
All of our estimates are prepared by Greg Brewer, grandson of our founder. Greg has been working in the industry for years, and quite literally has HVAC in his blood!
Contact Dor-Mar Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule a free in-home consultation. We take pride in creating long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with our customers.
Get a Free On-site Estimate for a Replacement Heating and Cooling System
If you live in our service area (from the west side of Columbus, all of metro Columbus, to east of Zanesville) we’ll be happy to provide an on-site estimate for a new furnace replacement. Use the convenient appointment request form or call our expert customer service team to arrange for a personalized price estimate.
Our estimator will measure your home and perform an assessment, then recommend the size and type of furnace you should install, and available furnace options for your home. He’ll also review any available rebates or special promotions to save you more.
Dor-Mar to the Rescue!
Schedule an appointment for HVAC system troubleshooting or maintenance with us today by using our online contact form, or call one of our seven neighborhood offices listed below. We pride ourselves on our customer-focused service, and our reviews show it.
Dor-Mar…Your Climate Hero!
*Please note: neither the Centers for Disease Control(CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), nor the manufacturer of our UV-C Devices have officially announced whether UV-C kills the current strain of Corona Virus (COVID-19). We urge you to err on the side of caution until we have a definitive answer, and take other measures to prevent the acquisition or spread of this virus.