Okay, you’ve found the right air conditioner for your home. If you think that selecting a unit and figuring out the right size, capacity, brand, and all that stuff has not overwhelmed you enough, you’re in for a bigger surprise.
As it often turns out for many buyers, getting an air conditioner takes more than choosing from a catalogue or picking one out of shelves.
With money hard to come by nowadays, how you’re going to pay for the unit comes out as the biggest thing to think about. Money-wise, this boils down to one single question:
What are your best payment options for an HVAC system?
The truth is, it doesn’t matter if you have some budget to spare or not, the fact remains that an air conditioner is a major purchase. And so, whether you’re replacing your air conditioner or augmenting the existing one, you’ll find out that purchasing a new unit is financially daunting.
Think about it—a decent, highly efficient HVAC unit has a price tag that can go in the thousand bucks. Presently, the most expensive systems are pegged at amounts as high as $5,000. And don’t forget that the installation costs and need for a few accessories are parts of the whole equation as well.
Collectively, all of these might increase your expenses up to $10,000 or more. That’s why it’s not surprising that more and more people are looking for better ways to get a system without getting burdened by the high cost of purchase.
Remember that whatever type of payment you choose for an HVAC system, being smart goes a long way. To help you make the right decision based on your situation and budget, we narrowed down and examined the three most common HVAC payment options that you can choose from.
Cash is cool, alright, but only if you can afford.
Okay, let’s say you have this cold, hard, cash on hand. That’s actually pretty neat. You can pay upfront—no questions asked.
By paying directly in cash, you can save so much time and effort from doing the huge paperwork.
The best part is, you can simply walk in an HVAC store, sign whatever’s required, and go home and wait for your brand new AC unit. Once delivered, it gets installed and presto it’s good to go.
And lest we forget—you can forget any type of finance charges. No monthly payments to worry about.
But paying cash, however comforting money-wise, only becomes the most practical choice if you have the money to back it up.
And it shouldn’t be just any money. It must be that which can’t put a dent on your overall monthly budget, wouldn’t clean out your money savings, and would never impact your family’s financial capability—ever.
If the case is otherwise, raise the red flag. You might be better off with other options.
A credit card purchase, perhaps?
Credit Card Payment
This is what most people think as one the easiest, most convenient methods. Which, in some ways, is true.
But is it the best way? Unfortunately, not all the time.
Yes, it’s a great way to build up your credit score, but only if you have enough wiggle room in your current monthly budget to cover the payments. Besides, how many times have you heard stories of people mired in credit card debt? So, be wary.
But for the sake of argument, let’s that say you have a good credit standing, have a good record as a credit card holder, and have stable financial sources to back up your credit card purchases.
That, obviously, puts you in a good position to use your credit for payment. But when you opt to choose this option, it pays to remember that credit cards have higher interest rates than the other types of loans, depending of course on your credit status.
The smarter thing to do before jumping into this option is to consider your financial capability. If you deemed it will be more burdensome to you financially in the long-run, then you might have to look for other ways.
And one of the better ways is to finance your HVAC purchase.
Essentially, financing is a type of loan. It means you are borrowing money to cover the price of the system in exchange for an agreed interest rate that you will have to pay on top of your monthly charges.
The financing method is a great way to quickly make your purchase without any hassle on your part, except maybe working on a few paperwork which is not even taxing in any way.
Among the options available to pay your HVAC purchase, this could be the most convenient, easiest, and affordable. And these explains why this is what most people choose.
The biggest advantage of financing is getting the right system that you need without paying money upfront. It is quick and easy. And the best part is you will be in complete control because the payment methods are usually flexible. Companies like CreditforComfort are known to be simple financing options for HVAC so ask your dealer if they offer it.
Most HVAC vendors now provide financing programs for an HVAC purchase, so it’s just a matter of finding the one with the lowest interest rate, more flexible monthly payment options, and even better penalty conditions.
Your financing could be sourced from third-parties, such as banks and credit unions, but direct financing from an HVAC dealer is still the best option for several reasons. With that said, let’s examine why.
Going to your local bank as an alternative to finance your HVAC purchase may be an option, but it is not always the best place to go. Aside from the fact that they don’t offer the best interest rates, you might be tied to bigger monthly charges especially if you have an outstanding loan on the same bank.
But then again, if you think that bank financing is your best vet, then you might have to be prepared for a stricter application process. Normally, you must have a good credit standing to be pre-qualified. And then you will have to wait, which in many cases takes weeks and even months.
But if that wouldn’t be an issue at all, make sure that you can negotiate for the best deal. As long as you can afford the monthly charge, choose a shorter loan period because it provides a lower interest rate.
Credit Union Financing
Compared with banks, credit unions provide a much lower interest rate because they are not really profit-driven. But while this could be another alternative to finance your HVAC purchase, this is not for everyone.
To avail of a credit union financing, you must be a member. And there are certain requirements to become a member which you might have to take into consideration if you’re planning to join one. If you are not a member yet and really want to make use of this option, you can start by looking for a credit union in your area.
Remember that credit unions are normally geographic-based, so it’s best if you visit the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) website and find a list of credit unions in the place where you live.
For a simple purchase like an HVAC unit, this might take a lot work, which in itself is a downside. And even if you are already a member of a credit union, you will also have to wait until your application for financing is approved.
Truth be told, your best option is direct financing from an HVAC distributor.
HVAC Dealer Financing
Truly nothing beats direct transaction, and the same could be said if you’re planning to finance your HVAC purchase.
When you directly deal with an HVAC dealer to finance your HVAC purchase, it means that you’re buying a unit from the same store, but also taking a loan from the same source to cover the price of the system, the cost of installation, and even the required accessories. In return for the deal, you will be paying the HVAC dealer a monthly charge which is inclusive of an interest rate.
Why Go for Direct HVAC Dealer Financing?
While banks and credit unions have their fair share of advantages when it comes to financing alternatives, dealing directly with an HVAC dealer is just the easier, more convenient, and definitely a more cost-effective option.
With direct financing, you would normally enjoy these excellent advantages:
• Zero to minimal upfront cost. With financing, you don’t need to shell out huge amount of money. In fact, you don’t need to pay any amount at all especially if there’s no upfront payment required. All of your charges will be paid when you start paying on a monthly basis.
• Easy application and quick approval – Most HVAC financings from a distributor have simple application and approval process. Normally, it only takes less than an hour (or even seconds) after submitting your application. Nowadays, many HVAC dealers also allow online application which is an added convenience.
• Flexible monthly payments – HVAC stores that offer financing provide an array of flexible payment options. All you need to do is choose the right one that suits your budget and situation.
• Low interest rate – Interest rates vary per dealer, but generally, these rates are affordable. To get the best deal, make sure that you understand the terms and conditions so you would know every aspect of the deal.
• Freebies on top of the system purchase – While other HVAC dealers only provide systems financing, you can find some that also offer free shipping, free installation of the unit, and free maintenance.
• Excellent support and warranties – Because you’re dealing directly with a manufacturer or distributor, you might also get excellent warranties and support for the system that you purchased.
How you pay for your HVAC purchase might have a net effect on your family’s finances. And so at the very onset, it is important to consider your different options, take into account your buying power, and carefully evaluate your decision based on which of these options can give you the greater benefits.
Basically, which one will you be better off should be the foremost question in your mind. Fully understanding the answer to that question equips you with enough knowledge to make the right decision, financially.
Take note that there are many options available to cover the expense on your HVAC purchase. But while each one has pros and cons, regardless of your situation and budget, the financing method simply stands out when it comes to convenience, flexibility, peace of mind, and control over your finances.