Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Trials of Buying a New HVAC Unit

I live in the desert and three months of triple digit temperatures are coming. My air conditioning unit is 23 years old. The unit is still working; however, when you look at it you can't help wonder how long it can keep going. So, when I received an advertisement in the mail for a new HVAC unit with a manufacturer's rebate, an electric company rebate and advice that I could get up to $1500 in a federal tax credit next year, I thought it was time to look into a new unit. I made an appointment for an estimate.

Now, here is where I have to admit I am an impulse buyer, particularly if I like the seller and they seem honest to me. This trait has led to some disappointments and frustrations in the past when big ticket items were purchased. Consequently, my family made me PROMISE to wait 24 hours before I commit to purchasing anything.

Last week I had a salesman come to my house to give me an estimate on a new installed HVAC unit. I liked the gentleman and felt he was dealing honestly with me. He went through all the numbers with the various rebates and credits and presented me with a price I thought to be good. I wanted to sign up for it right then; however, I remembered my promise to my family and told the gentleman I would let him know in the morning.

That afternoon I thought it would be a good idea to surf the web to find out more information about energy efficiency rebates and tax credits. Maybe there was something else I should be looking at upgrading in the house.

I found out the tax credit only applied with HVAC units rated 14 SEER and 12 EER. The quote I received was for a 13 SEER unit, 10.8 EER. No tax credit for that size system. OUCH!

I contacted the gentleman, he said he thought I was wrong and he would get back to me. Within the hour he called to apologize, he had been wrong. His company has offered me partial compensation for the error through additional yearly maintenance rebates. I have called other companies for quotes.

And I have to listen to my family say: "Told you so." Sigh.

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