The Best Time to Buy a New HVAC Unit
A new HVAC unit is a major household investment. It’s not something you should take likely. But when to do it? How do you know if you should keep going with your current system or upgrade?
Timing is Everything
Roughly speaking, the ‘off-season’ for the HVAC industry runs from March to May and hits again from September to November. These two periods avoid extreme seasonal temperatures, so the average HVAC company is less busy.
This is a great time to get a great deal on a new HVAC unit. There are a lot of sales and rebates you can take advantage of. It’s also more convenient to buy when you won’t have to wait for weeks to have your new HVAC unit installed or delivered.
Before Your Current Unit Bites the Dust
Generally speaking, a new HVAC unit is designed to last for 15-20 years. Keeping an eye on the age of your system can help you determine an appropriate time to replace your existing unit before you have a crisis. For example, when your furnace goes out three days before Superbowl Sunday and it’s 20 degrees outside.
Another factor to keep in mind is your utility cost. If your unit is older, it’s probably not hitting the efficiency marks that it used to. That means you’re spending more on your utility bills, and that’s another sign that the end is near. Which means it is a good time to upgrade to a modern, more efficient new HVAC unit.
When the Repair Guy Knows You by Name
Frequent breakdown or inferior performance is a big sign that your unit is on its last legs. If it’s so bad that you and your HVAC guy see each other a couple times per year, it’s probably time to upgrade to a new HVAC unit. Repair bills add up quickly. At some point you’re paying more to keep the old unit going than you would if you just upgraded.
Purchasing or Building a New Home
Clearly, building a new home from scratch gives you the opportunity to select everything to your taste, including the new HVAC unit that will work best in your new space. But, most people don’t build. Most people buy.
Does the old house you bought need a new HVAC unit? Probably not. Many homeowners upgrade their home HVAC system before they put their home on the market. That’s something you might want to keep in mind whenever you’re ready to sell.
However, most does not mean all. Make sure the home inspector you use checks that the existing HVAC unit at any prospective property is sized correctly and functioning properly. Also have them take a look at other components that indirectly impacts the effectiveness of the heating and cooling systems such as insulation and ductwork.
Pro Tips for Buying a New HVAC Unit
When you are ready to buy a new HVAC unit, keep these tips in mind!
Rebates & Credits
Check for tax credits or manufacturer rebates when purchasing a new HVAC unit. HVAC products certified by Energy Star can help you qualify for lots of great incentives. Buy at the right time and with the right rebates or credits, and you can save hundreds or thousands.
Energy Star Again
Give energy efficient units a second look. Energy Star Certified units, up and coming geothermal heat pumps and modern technology like smart thermostats are all ultra eco-friendly and designed to reduce the carbon footprint of an new HVAC unit and save you money for years on utility bills. Zoned systems, especially effective in multi-level homes, are great for reducing energy waste in rooms that are not being used and provide greater comfort and consistency in rooms and levels that are.
Trust a Pro
Hire and use a reputable licensed contractor for installation and repairs. Resist the temptation to select the cheapest option or someone unlicensed and uninsured. It’s money well spent to ensure that you get the job done correctly with the right professional, as the most important day in the life of a new HVAC unit is the day of installation. Often, units can be purchased through specific contractors that specialize in a certain brand so they can offer warranties that can save you in the long run. Permits and build codes often need to be followed when installing a new unit. Look for positive reviews and who offers some kind of guarantee and assurances that they can manage your project quickly and effectively.
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Buy a new HVAC unit online for immediate savings. Online warehouses cut out the middleman and are a great way to save money right off the bat. Savings aren’t always guaranteed, so do your homework.
Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance
When you do purchase your new HVAC unit, simple maintenance will go a long way with keeping it running at it’s highest potential for eliminating unnecessary wear and tear. Remember to change the filters regularly, make sure the outside condenser unit is shaded from full sun and is free from debris which can clog the air intake. Also, checking the refrigerant levels in your AC unit helps keep things running as cool as possible!
Ready to Buy?
Take the time to weigh all your options and the correct timing, purchasing a new HVAC unit is a big investment. If it isn’t an urgent purchase, take the time to plan what system might work best for your budget and household needs. With the correct information and planning the perfect choice can be found for your home!