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When the winter winds grow stronger or the summer heat becomes more intense, our reliance on HVAC systems to maintain comfort increases. To ensure our families' well-being during extreme weather, it is crucial to maintain or replace our HVAC systems as they begin to wear out.
Regrettably, HVAC system expenses can be substantial, varying depending on house size and the specific system chosen. In fact, the cost of system replacement can reach up to $13,000, which is a significant amount that may not be readily available to many individuals. Fortunately, homeowners have access to numerous financing options that can help ensure their homes are properly cooled and heated during these extreme seasons."
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What is HVAC financing?
HVAC financing is quite simply a method of paying for a new HVAC system in installments rather than all at once. Many homeowners don’t have enough spare cash to pay for a full replacement system, so plenty of manufacturers, installers, lenders, and other companies offer ways to finance the purchase.
An HVAC system can vary depending on where you live. If you live somewhere that doesn't need air conditioning, it can often solely consist of a furnace. Others would consist of a furnace and air conditioning unit, or a combination of a few other things. All of the options will make the price vary widely, but either way, it is possible to finance.
How does HVAC financing work?
HVAC financing works differently depending on where you decide to get your financing.
Generally, there are three options for financing your HVAC system.
- Through the HVAC manufacturer
- Through the HVAC installation company
- Personal loan through a 3rd party lender
The process for financing varies depending on which method you choose. For example, choosing to open a personal loan will require an application to be filled out, often a credit check to be run, and then you will be presented with terms to accept.
Depending on the lender you may be offered an interest-free period, a grace period where no payments are due, or various other benefits. Going forward you’ll need to make monthly payments to ensure you don’t default on your loan.
Can HVAC systems be financed?
Yes, HVAC systems can be financed. Financing options are available to help homeowners cover the cost of purchasing and installing a new HVAC system. Many HVAC companies and contractors offer financing programs or work with third-party financing providers to assist customers in spreading out the cost of the system over time.
Financing options for HVAC systems may include personal loans, home improvement loans, HVAC-specific loans, or financing through manufacturer promotions. These options allow homeowners to make affordable monthly payments while enjoying the benefits of a new and efficient HVAC system.
Options to finance an HVAC system
While there are many options for financing an HVAC system, some may be better than others.
- Personal loans: Homeowners can apply for personal loans from banks, credit unions, or online lenders to finance their HVAC system. These loans typically offer fixed interest rates and can be used for various purposes, including home improvement projects like HVAC installations.
- Home improvement loans: Some lenders specifically offer home improvement loans that can be used to fund HVAC system replacements or upgrades. These loans may have favorable terms and may be secured or unsecured, depending on the lender and borrower's creditworthiness.
- Manufacturer financing: HVAC manufacturers often collaborate with financing companies to provide special financing offers to customers. These promotions may include low or zero-interest financing options for a specific period, making it easier to afford a new HVAC system.
- Energy-efficient financing programs: Certain government or utility-sponsored programs offer financing options to encourage homeowners to upgrade to energy-efficient HVAC systems. These programs may provide low-interest loans or incentives for installing energy-efficient equipment.
- HVAC contractor financing: Many HVAC contractors have partnerships with financing companies or offer in-house financing options. These arrangements can provide convenient and streamlined financing solutions tailored to HVAC system installations.
- Home equity loans or lines of credit: Homeowners with substantial equity in their homes may consider using a home equity loan or line of credit to finance their HVAC system. These options allow borrowing against the equity built in the property, often offering favorable interest rates.
- Credit cards: Using a credit card to finance an HVAC system is another option, although it's important to consider the interest rates and fees associated with credit card debt. If using a credit card, it's advisable to choose one with low interest rates or a promotional 0% APR period to minimize interest charges.
Pros and cons of HVAC financing
Like everything in life, it’s important to know the positives and negatives of a decision. Here are the pros and cons of financing a new HVAC system.
- Affordability: Financing allows homeowners to spread out the cost of a new HVAC system over time, making it more affordable to install or replace the system without a large upfront payment.
- Immediate Access: Financing options provide immediate access to the HVAC system, allowing homeowners to enjoy the benefits of a comfortable home while paying for the system over time.
- Flexibility: Financing options offer flexibility in terms of repayment. Homeowners can choose loan terms and monthly payment amounts that fit their budget and financial situation.
- Upgrade Opportunities: HVAC system financing may provide an opportunity to upgrade to a more energy-efficient system, which can lead to long-term cost savings on utility bills and contribute to a greener and more sustainable home.
- Competitive Rates: Depending on the financing option chosen, homeowners may have access to competitive interest rates, especially if they have good credit scores. This can help reduce the overall cost of financing the HVAC system.
- Interest Charges: Financing comes with interest charges, which can increase the overall cost of the HVAC system over time. Homeowners need to consider the interest rates and fees associated with the financing option they choose.
- Debt Obligation: Taking on a loan for HVAC system financing means adding debt to your financial obligations. Homeowners should carefully consider their ability to make monthly payments before committing to a financing option.
- Qualification Requirements: Some financing options may have specific qualification requirements, such as credit score thresholds or income criteria. Homeowners with lower credit scores or limited income may face challenges in obtaining favorable financing terms.
- Total Cost: While financing spreads out the cost of the HVAC system, homeowners should be aware that the total cost of financing, including interest charges and fees, may be higher compared to making a cash purchase upfront.
- Length of Repayment: Financing options typically involve a repayment period. Homeowners should consider the duration of the repayment period and assess their long-term financial stability to ensure they can comfortably manage the monthly payments.
Types of HVAC systems that can be financed
With such a wide variety of HVAC systems out there, it may leave you confused as to which system works for you, and whether it can be financed. Here are some of the most common types of HVAC systems that can be financed.
Heating and cooling split systems
These are the most common HVAC systems offered today. These systems are great for climates in which both heating and cooling are needed annually. The way the systems work is by having two separate units - one for heating, and one for cooling.
The cooling system is located outside and is the typical “box” air conditioning system you often see on the outside of homes and buildings. The heater, which could be a furnace, a boiler, or another system - is located inside the house and provides heating using either electricity or gas.
Hybrid split systems
These systems are nearly the same as the heating and cooling split system with one major difference. Homeowners like these systems because they can often result in a lower power bill than typical split systems.
These systems offer the homeowner the choice of altering between eclectic and gas, which can help them choose whichever power method is cheaper at the time, saving them money.
Duct free systems (Mini-splits)
Often installed in smaller residences, or individual rooms within a residence, a mini-split is a great method for controlling the temperature in individual rooms.
The mini-split is mounted on the interior wall, while the condenser for the system is mounted somewhere outside. While this does require a hole to be drilled in the wall and a system permanently mounted on the wall, it is usually a quick installation and provides great temperature control per room.
Packaged heating and air conditioning systems
Often the least popular, this type of system tends to be used in warmer climates because the heater is usually electric, which does not work great in very cold climates.
These are often placed on the interior of the house and can be done if there isn’t room on the outside of the building for a split unit.
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Reasons for replacing old HVAC systems
Although replacing an old HVAC system may seem expensive, it is an investment that will be worth it in the long run. Some of the most common reasons for replacing an aging HVAC system include:
HVAC system is over 10 years old
If your HVAC system is over 10 years old, it’s time to start thinking about a replacement. Systems are generally meant to last 10-15 years, and once they get older they begin to get less efficient, which could end up costing you significant money on your power bill.
Higher energy bills than usual
If your power bill has gone up an abnormally large amount, there is usually one culprit - your HVAC system. Whether it has broken or has just gotten older and more efficient, the HVAC system is the largest user of power in your home and will cause a jump in your bill when something is wrong.
Repair costs more than replacement
Often, older HVAC units may require costly repairs. Financially it doesn't make sense if a repair costs more than an entirely new unit. Not only will a new unit last longer, but it will also work more effectively and run more efficiently.
Your home is warm or cold
If the system cannot keep your home warm in the winter or cool during the summer, you likely need a major repair or replacement. Once you get your home back into a comfortable temperature, you’ll wish you did it earlier!
How much does a new HVAC system cost?
The cost of a new HVAC system can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the home, the type of system chosen, the region, and any additional features or upgrades. On average, the cost of a new HVAC system installation in the United States ranges from $4,820 to $9,350, according to HomeAdvisor. However, it's important to note that this is a general estimate and the actual cost can be higher or lower based on the specific requirements of the project. Complex installations or specialized systems may increase the overall cost. To get an accurate estimate for your specific needs, it is recommended to consult with local HVAC professionals who can assess your home and provide a detailed cost estimate.
Trusted HVAC brands
When financing your HVAC system, personal loans can provide a flexible and convenient solution. Consider the following reputable HVAC manufacturer brands as you explore personal loan options:
- American Standard
- Mitsubishi Electric
By securing a personal loan, you can have the financial flexibility to invest in a high-quality HVAC system from these trusted manufacturers. Remember to compare loan terms, interest rates, and repayment options to find the best personal loan that suits your budget and HVAC needs.
How much does it cost to repair an HVAC system?
According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to repair an HVAC system in the United States ranges from $165 to $507. However, the actual cost can vary significantly depending on the type and extent of the repair needed, the region, and the specific HVAC contractor hired. Major repairs or complex issues may cost more. It is advisable to obtain quotes from reputable HVAC professionals in your area to get a more accurate estimate based on your specific repair requirements.
Of course, these are estimates and you should contact your local HVAC company for a quote.
How long do HVAC systems last?
On average, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems can last between 15 to 25 years. However, the lifespan of an HVAC system can vary depending on several factors such as the quality of the equipment, proper installation, regular maintenance, usage patterns, and environmental conditions.
Furnaces and air conditioners typically have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. Heat pumps, which provide both heating and cooling, can last up to 15 years. Ductless mini-split systems have a similar lifespan of around 15 years.
What is the best way to finance an HVAC system?
While there isn't necessarily one single best way to finance an HVAC system, the most popular method today is via personal loans.
Personal loans can be used for home repairs, vacations, debt restructuring, and much more, making them a common method of paying for a new HVAC system.
Most lenders offer good terms for those that have a good credit score and a decent income, making it worth it to take out a loan rather than pay for the entire cost upfront.
There are other methods that we listed previously, but there are more downsides with going down those routes when compared to a personal loan.
What credit score do you need to finance an HVAC system?
The credit score requirements to finance an HVAC system can vary depending on the lender or financing provider. Generally, a credit score in the range of 600 to 700 or higher is considered good and may help you qualify for financing options with more favorable terms.
However, it's important to note that credit scores are not the sole determining factor in financing approval. Lenders also consider other factors such as your income, debt-to-income ratio, employment history, and overall creditworthiness.
Do HVAC companies offer financing?
Many HVAC companies offer financing. Large and well-known companies such as Trane and Carrier offer financing through their company to those who cannot afford the total upfront cost of the system.
To receive financing through an HVAC company, you will need to purchase your system directly through a dealer. From here, you can apply for the financing and you will be presented with the terms.
Note that most of the financing offered by these companies is run through other lenders such as large banks. Often the large banks will not offer rates that are competitive with other lenders, so be sure to compare the rates offered with those you can find for other personal loans.
Should you finance an HVAC system?
Unless you can pay for the entire cost of an HVAC system and still have plenty of money left over as an emergency fund, financing an HVAC system is a good idea and perhaps your only option.
When you need a new HVAC system, it’s usually something you can’t live without. Living without heat in the winter or AC during the summer may prevent you from even using your own home. The rates offered today are much lower than they have been historically, allowing borrowers to purchase a new HVAC system without placing themselves in a bad place financially.
How can I qualify for HVAC system financing?
To maximize your chances of qualifying for HVAC system financing, follow these steps:
- Research financing options: Begin by exploring various financing options specifically tailored for HVAC systems. Investigate options offered by HVAC manufacturers, local banks, credit unions, or online lenders. Understanding the range of choices available will help you narrow down the best fit for your needs.
- Check your credit score: Obtain a copy of your credit report to assess your creditworthiness. Look for any errors or discrepancies that could be affecting your score. If your credit score is lower, consider taking steps to improve it, such as paying bills on time and reducing outstanding debts.
- Strengthen your creditworthiness: Take proactive measures to enhance your creditworthiness by managing your finances responsibly. Paying bills on time, reducing debt, and maintaining low credit card balances can positively impact your credit score and demonstrate financial responsibility to potential lenders.
- Prepare necessary documentation: Gather the necessary documents typically required for financing applications. These may include proof of income, bank statements, identification, and any additional documents specific to the lender's requirements. Being prepared with all the required paperwork will expedite the application process.
- Consider a co-signer: If you have a lower credit score or limited credit history, having a co-signer with a strong credit score and stable income can bolster your application. A co-signer provides an additional layer of assurance for lenders and increases your likelihood of approval.
- Provide a down payment: Offering a down payment can reduce the amount you need to finance and demonstrate your commitment to the investment. It also shows lenders that you have a financial stake in the project, which may increase your chances of approval.
- Demonstrate stable income: Lenders often evaluate your income stability and ability to make regular monthly payments. Prepare documentation such as pay stubs or tax returns to showcase a consistent and reliable income source.
- Shop around and compare offers: Obtain quotes and financing terms from multiple lenders or HVAC contractors. Compare interest rates, loan terms, fees, and repayment options. This allows you to make an informed decision and select the financing offer that best aligns with your financial situation.
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