Inflation is a word you’ve probably seen referenced on the news when prices at the grocery store or the gas station increase. You may think you know what it means, usually higher prices, but did you know inflation can also impact the cost of your new HVAC system or system upgrades?
During periods of high inflation, you may be wondering if it is still an excellent time to commit to system upgrades on your HVAC system or put it off along with other large purchases.
First, let’s address what inflation is.
What is Inflation?
Inflation is a general increase in price and the fall of the purchasing value of money. Generally speaking, buying a good or service costs more for a sustained period. But, how does this impact your ability to get a reasonable price when upgrading your HVAC system?
How Is Inflation Impacting HVAC?
Like many other items, The cost of the materials that create all of the HVAC system components has gone up in price, and all of the associated costs of transporting and manufacturing a product.
Part of this is due to COVID restrictions and just the manufacturers getting the details to make the systems we sell and rising fuel prices for the trucks to transport that equipment, transportation shortages, the conflict in Ukraine, as well as anything going on a local scale, all impact the price at which we can sell equipment.
Additionally, labor shortages have impacted HVAC. This means that not only is it more expensive for us to hire and keep employees, but for all of the employees who work for the companies that help supply and bring the products to us.
As you may have noticed, this also impacts the frequency of price increases.
How Often Do Price Increases Typically Occur?
Price increases typically happen twice a year in the HVAC industry. Once at the beginning of the year from updated pricing for new models and another halfway through the year, around the summer time. Currently, we are seeing steeper price increases that are happening more frequently than twice a year.
There is also a supply and demand issue; some of the equipment in the highest demand has the most significant incremental jump in price. We have had customers wait six to eight weeks for their equipment to be installed because it has been back-ordered due to this issue.
This is why waiting on a system upgrade may not always be beneficial in terms of saving you money.
Waiting on a System Upgrade
Because increases happen on a twice-yearly basis, and more frequently and at a steeper rate right now, your system may be more expensive the next you go to purchase it. You may have considered waiting to upgrade or waiting to find an incentive deal, but this isn’t always a good idea.
A lot of it depends on timing
We’ve had customers who said no to a system upgrade two years ago that have been contacted again about the same system and are experiencing sticker shock when they discover a 20% increase in price.
Considering this, depending on the condition of your current system it may be better to upgrade now than to wait when prices may be even higher than they were when you got an estimate.
Here at Fire & Ice, we understand how much of an issue this can be for our customers. Especially when 20% - 30% of a several thousand dollar HVAC system is a significant price difference. We are taking some steps to help customers navigate price increases.
How Do I Mitigate High HVAC Costs?
To help reduce the burden of upgrading your HVAC equipment, you do have options to help make things more affordable. Especially if you can’t wait any longer because your system is malfunctioning or stopped working. These include:
- Incentives on older stock and models
- Seasonal incentives
- Financing options
- Tax Rebates
- General Discounts
Incentives on Older Stock and Models
For our customers, we are working to mitigate high costs by offering customer’s the option to purchase older inventory. We have been offering incentives on models from the prior year or just, the stock that we have that has not moved off of the shelves.
This also helps us serve other customers better because it allows us to order products and keep our equipment stocked as best as we can. This way, we can have more items in stock that are in demand, and you are not waiting as long to have your HVAC equipment installed just because you want the same popular model everyone else does.
It doesn’t necessarily make it more affordable, but it makes it more available and allows us to better replenish our back stock instead of waiting on the manufacturer to get through a shortage.
If you’re trying to mitigate the cost of an HVAC upgrade, waiting to upgrade parts of your equipment in the off-season when you aren’t using them can result in a better price. For example, upgrading your air conditioner in the fall can be cheaper than upgrading it during the summer when it is being used. Your furnace can be upgraded in the summer when it is likely not being used.
No one puts ice on sale in the summer, so that’s one of the advantages of this industry. We don’t necessarily have an off-season, but our peak season is summer, so everyone usually runs some sort of incentive in the fall and spring. They’re going to be different depending on the company, but shop around during these seasons and see what is available.
However, be reasonable with expectations. Just because it is outside of the busy season does not mean that everything is suddenly going to be half price, companies still need to make money, but it is not wrong to assume that there is a deal to be had that may help offset your costs.
Additionally, we also offer options for our customers to finance their products with three primary payment options to suit your needs.
- Purchasing Your Fire & Ice HVAC Solution in Full
- Financing for Fire & Ice HVAC Solutions
- Purchasing Your Fire & Ice HVAC Solution with Bitcoin
Purchase Your Fire & Ice HVAC Solution in Full
If you’re ready to pay for your new HVAC system in full, we accept a few payment options:
- Check, including ACH digital checks
- All major credit and debit cards
Financing for Fire & Ice HVAC Solutions
We offer a few financing options for making payments on your new equipment.
Some of our financing options include:
- 0% interest for up to 72 months on qualifying equipment
- No interest if paid in full within six and up to 18 months
- Lower monthly payments with interest
How Do I Apply for Financing through Fire & Ice HVAC?
Once you’re ready to apply for financing, access our financing page any time and submit your application to see if you pre-qualify.
If possible, we recommend pre-qualifying ahead of your free in-home estimate because you’ll have a better idea of how much you’ll be able to finance, and we’ll have a more productive conversation during your appraisal and be able to expedite the process.
But don’t worry: even if you pre-qualify, you’re not obligated to purchase a system from us. And our residential sales representatives will never pressure you.
If you’re not approved for one of our standard financing options, ask one of our residential sales specialists about our additional financing options.
What Information Will I Need to Apply for Financing?
During the application process, you will need to provide some basic information such as:
- how long have you lived in your current home
- how long have you worked at your current job
- your household income
- personal information like your social security number or individual taxpayer identification number
- an email address
Purchase Your Fire & Ice HVAC Solution with Bitcoin
You read that right—Fire & Ice is one of the only HVAC contractors that accepts Bitcoin!
Although it may sound gimmicky, we believe in meeting our customers where they are now and where they’ll be in the future. As cryptocurrency portfolios rival or surpass traditional savings and investments in some cases, we’re advising other contractors to follow us and do the same.
To pay for your new HVAC system with Bitcoin, you’ll first need to download the BitPay mobile app. In our Bitcoin FAQ, you can learn more about paying for your system with Bitcoin.
What Do Home Warranties & Insurance Cover for Your New HVAC System?
Both home warranties and home insurance policies can cover portions of a repair or replacement for your HVAC system. However, it’s usually not an easy process.
Although there are typically other conditions, the final amount you receive typically depends on the diagnosis of the problem. Once your HVAC contract provides an estimate for the repair or replacement, the decision is up to your insurance company.
Ultimately, your insurance company determines the amount you receive. In many cases, the amount may not cover the total cost of the repair or replacement. In addition, some homeowners don’t qualify for claim payouts.
If you do receive a payout, your home insurance or warranty may only cover the cost of the equipment. In that situation, you’d be responsible for the cost of labor and permits.
Before moving forward with the repair or replacement, ensure that your HVAC contractor includes an estimate for any potential hidden costs.
Does Your System Qualify for Tax Credits or Rebates?
The short answer: If your furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump is a high-efficiency model, your system may qualify for a tax credit and rebate.
The Energy Star program, established by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1992, helps dictate whether HVAC equipment is high efficiency. Energy Star also helps determine efficiency requirements for tax credits.
According to Energy Star, equipment must meet or exceed the following standards to be eligible for tax credits:
- Air conditioners—16 SEER
- Gas furnaces—95 AFUE
- Heat pumps—15 SEER and 8.5 HSPF
If these acronyms seem like alphabet soup, don’t worry. You can learn more about efficiency ratings in our article on SEER, AFUE, and HSPF.
In addition to these tax credits, your natural gas provider may also offer rebates for furnaces that meet their efficiency requirements. For example, if you live in Columbus, Ohio, visit Colombia Gas of Ohio’s appliance rebate page.
Tax credits and rebates can fluctuate throughout the year. Therefore, even if your system meets the guidelines above, there’s no guarantee that tax credits or rebates will be available. We recommend doing your research to ensure you access any available tax credits and rebates.
To check for current rebates and tax credits—no matter where you live—visit Energy Star’s, Rebate Finder. We also suggest talking with your tax professional or certified public accountant (CPA) to find all eligible tax rebates that apply to you.
Fire & Ice consistently offers several discounts and other incentives, including:
- Military and veteran discount
- 3% off when you pay in full by cash or check
- Upgraded Aprilaire Media Filters for full-system installation
We also offer seasonal promotions and deals. Visit our promotions page to check out the latest offers.
Contact your residential sales professional for more information on the terms and conditions for these discounts and incentives.
If you’d like more information about overall cost for installing an HVAC system and what you can expect to pay for a furnace, heat pump or an air conditioner, please visit our cost articles for a further breakdown.
Buying an HVAC system can be complicated enough, let alone when inflation is considered.
At Fire & Ice, we will answer any questions you have regarding inflation, availability of products, and labor and parts cost during your installation. If you’re looking to take the next step, check to see if we are in your area here by using the zip code map below.
Explore our learning center. It's a comprehensive section focused on answering your questions, providing detailed information, and tips that will improve buyer education when it comes to your home's HVAC system.
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