We have 2 split systems. One for upstairs. One for downstairs. Gas heating (propane). Sears came out and priced the two split systems for us. They were very diligent. Spent about 45 minutes measuring and bidding, then about 45 minutes scaring us (see below), then about 45 minutes trying to get us to sign on the dotted line because "prices are going up tomorrow."
Their first trip was for Carrier equipment (17 seer - including intake air cleaners, etc). The price blew me away. I wasn't prepared to ask myself, "pool or hvac?" The second trip was for Payne systems (13 seer). Price was about 25% less, but still 40% more than what we were anticipating. I priced comparable Payne equipment at retail prices, and the Sears price (obviously including install, guarantees, etc.) was still about 3x the price of the equipment. Not sure if that's reasonable or not, but not for me.
The installs are pretty basic. One is in outside closet - easy access w/ condensor just a few feet away. One has furnace in the attic w/ condenser outside. All duct work is high quality - no upgrades there.
It's a hard sales pitch, and they cover all the bases (be afraid of the local guys, be afraid of guarantees from anyone who hasn't been in business for 100 years, be afraid of bad workmanship, be afraid...). I'm not much for the "be afraid" thing.
It's tempting with the 1 yr 0% interest, but, if I want to borrow for the system, I'm better off borrowing for the actual price of the system (7.5% from my credit union), rather than repaying Sears in a year with credit card debt at 14%. I tell you, if Sears actually offered reasonable financing, their market share would increase substantially. Cheers.