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Buyer’s Guide to the HVAC Universe
05 November 2019

Buyer’s Guide to the HVAC Universe

There are 2 big nagging questions that every consumer faces when they are in the market for something.

  • When is the right time to buy?
  • How can I budget/afford this?

When it comes to purchasing HVAC equipment, many are led to believe that the best time to get the best possible deal is during the “offseason” (we’ll get to that more in a minute, but there is no such thing in the HVAC industry). It is not illogical to think that in the Winter, you are not using the air conditioner, so it would be cheaper to buy one in the winter. Or that in the middle of Summer, you’re not using your furnace, therefore, you should be able to land a sweet deal on one. But, here is the reality.

There is no “offseason” in the heating and air business. HVAC systems are no respecter of time or persons. Things happen, often at the most inconvenient time when you’re least expecting it. Running service calls and making repairs is not a seasonal thing; it is year-round. The same applies to system replacements and changeouts. If you wait until a certain time of year, you are not necessarily doing yourself any favors.

The best time to purchase a new system is actually either in the Fall or in the Springtime. With the cooler weather in the Fall or the warmer, yet comfortable temps in the Spring, people use their air conditioners and heaters a lot less. Thus, it is a time in our industry where things naturally slow down a bit. This slow down is beneficial if you are in the market. Here is how.

It is a trickle-down effect. Manufacturers will reduce their prices for local suppliers to reduce inventory and move stock. In turn, those local supply houses can reduce their prices for local HVAC contractors to obtain equipment. Then, the contractor can make like Jay Gilstrap (you probably know him for his infamous car dealership ads on the radio and TV) and pass those savings along to you.

Contractors might also be willing to give better deals during the Fall and Spring, as that’s generally the slower time of year.

Another reason it is best to buy either in Fall or Spring is that you can often have your new system installed as soon as the next day. In the busy Summer and Winter seasons, contractors are often booked as far out as a week or more, which leaves you possibly waiting uncomfortably with no heat or air.

It is also a common belief that you can score big deals if you wait until the beginning of the year. Once again, that is a good line of thought, in theory. You may think manufacturers will be getting rid of older model systems to make room for the newer. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

The cost of HVAC equipment will usually go up in January. The coming of the new year also marks the beginning of a new fiscal year for manufacturers. During the first of the year, they will look at their costs to determine where they need to raise prices to start the year with a strong first quarter that will set them up for a profitable year.

So, the opposite of the trickle-down that lowers prices in the Fall/Spring happens. The manufacturers will raise prices, which causes the local HVAC suppliers to up the ante for the contractors to purchase equipment. Thus, you end up paying more because the contractor has to raise their price for the job to offset the higher cost of equipment.

There are other times where it is a no-brainer to go ahead and make the investment in getting a new HVAC system put in at your home.

It is the right time if: 

  • You are renovating or planning to sell your home. 
  • Your system is more than 10 years old. (Even the best manufacturers’ warranties are only for 10 years. So, if anything breaks, it could be a high cost out of your pocket to fix).
  • If your system runs on R-22 refrigerant.  (Effective January 1st, 2020, the production, sale, and distribution of R-22 refrigerant (or as many mistakenly call it by a brand name, Freon) will be illegal. Meaning if your system runs on it and you have a coil leak, repairing it will not be possible since R-22 compatible parts will be obsolete. NOW is the time to get any repairs involving R-22 done, but you honestly are better off going ahead and replacing your system. Chances are that once the law goes into effect, with the higher demand for new systems it will create, prices for replacement will be higher.)
  • Your system is showing signs of slowing down. (such as not keeping up, even with regular maintenance).
  • You are faced with frequent repairs or are pitted with a repair in which the cost is not worth it. (Sometimes, it is cheaper to just go ahead and replace rather than repair).
  • For more signs that it may be time to replace your system, check out this blog we did a while back! https://www.boilingspringshvac.com/blog/signs-it-may-be-time-to-replace-your-unit

If you are worried or know that you might not be able to afford a new system, don’t fret! Meeting your comfort needs doesn’t have to drain your bank account!

  • Many reputable contractors offer some sort of financing or a trade-in allowance for qualifying systems.  We do, and we would be more than happy to discuss those options with you! Just give us a call and one of our friendly Client Care Specialists would be more than happy to answer your questions!
  • Manufacturers and utility companies offer rebates and incentives for upgrading to newer and more energy-efficient systems. You can search for rebates in your area here: https://programs.dsireusa.org/system/program?fromSir=0&state=SC. Or you can search for rebates on each manufacturer’s website. They will often have them listed under “resources”.

If you are in the market for a new system, now is a PERFECT time! Give us a call TODAY at (864)-578-7575 or click “Get Started” to schedule a FREE estimate on a new system! You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to save on the comfort you deserve!

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