When Should I Replace My HVAC System?
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  1. #1
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    Oct 2009
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    When Should I Replace My HVAC System?

    We have a gas furnace and AC system in the house. This system was installed 17 years ago when the house was built. It is still running OK without any problem. With the current federal tax credit we are thinking about replacing it with a more efficient system. I did a little bit checking around and here is what I found out. Not all equipment on the market now is eligible for tax credit. As a matter of fact, very limited number of equipment is tax credit eligible. There seems a number of rebates going around (manufacturing rebate, utility company rebate, etc.) on top of the fed tax credit. So here are my questions:

    1. Should I wait (say sometime next year) when there is more high efficient and tax credit eligible equipment coming to the market? This would also get a little more usage from the existing equipment.

    2. Will overall price (equipment & installation) go up or down next year taking into the consideration of recession and demand?

    3. Do manufacturers always have these rebates going around every year?

    4. Should I just wait until the unit die (it may still have a few year life left)?

    I would really appreciate it if you have any insights on these questions!

  2. #2
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    Wisconsin
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    I just had the same debate with myself. My new unit was installed yesterday. My thought process ended up like this: I'm really going to kick myself if the furnace dies in 2 years and there is no $1500 tax credit. Also, what if the $1500 credit is so popular like cash for clunkers that it is discontinued next year? I decided to make sure I get my $1500 credit while it's available.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2009
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    bucks county, pa
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    1. There is plenty of eligible equipment out there

    2. Equipment price goes up every year

    3. Rebates are usually seasonal

    4. Thats up to you, the sooner you replace it the sooner your comfort level will increase, the more you'll save on your energy bill

    I think your doing the right thing looking into it now. I would concentrate on finding a good installing contractor and not get into the which brand is better thing. The installation is more important then brand and every contractor has his favorite.

  4. #4
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    burlington county n.j.
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    prices on equipment never go down.

    who knows how long rebate program will last.

    better to replace an old system at your convienience than when it dies and its a rush job.

    ps. heaters never die when its nice out, air conditioners usually die on the hottest days.

  5. #5
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    Bear in mind that most "manufacturer" rebates are split between the manufacturer and the dealer. So if the dealers are going to pay half the rebate, expect them to increase their prices accordingly. Similarly, there was much talk of prices mysteriously increasing when the Federal Stimulus Package tax credit was anounced!

    If your furnace is getting to the end of it's useful lifespan then consider replacing it. The tax credit goes through until the end of 2010 so I don't see any rush.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sktn77a View Post
    Bear in mind that most "manufacturer" rebates are split between the manufacturer and the dealer. So if the dealers are going to pay half the rebate, expect them to increase their prices accordingly. Similarly, there was much talk of prices mysteriously increasing when the Federal Stimulus Package tax credit was anounced!

    If your furnace is getting to the end of it's useful lifespan then consider replacing it. The tax credit goes through until the end of 2010 so I don't see any rush.
    Thanks for your info. I didn't know that dealers are paying half the rebate. I understand that rebates are seasonal. It seems to me that rebates always come around spring and fall, but not in summer or winter (when equipment usually break down).

    So my question is:

    Does manufacturing rebate actually change the bottom line price? In other words do consumers usually pay about the same price whether there is rebate or not?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by violetmd View Post
    Thanks for your info. I didn't know that dealers are paying half the rebate. I understand that rebates are seasonal. It seems to me that rebates always come around spring and fall, but not in summer or winter (when equipment usually break down).

    So my question is:

    Does manufacturing rebate actually change the bottom line price? In other words do consumers usually pay about the same price whether there is rebate or not?

    Thanks!
    As has been said half of the rebate is from the manufacturer. In this competitive market it is for sure being passed on and yes your net cost is cheaper.

    I am told by a large manufactures rep they see a 5% increase in shipped units for 2010 and believe it or not a 40% + increase in 2011.
    If this is even close to being true I for one will not be selling at today's ridiculously cheap price. They say it is attributed to pent up demand.

    Want to gamble wait a year and find out.
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  8. #8
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    Jan 2007
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    TN
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    17 yrs old, that sounds familiar, my old gas pack is also 17yrs old (to be replaced before winter) it has already had the heat exchanger replaced once and now it is bad again. You might want to have that heat exchanger leak checked on yours before you commit to using it through another heating season. Just a thought.

  9. #9
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    Virginia
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    the best time to replace a system is while it still working that way it gives you time to get more than one quote and you are not under pressure to have it done right now at 17 years old it is good to be proactive and start exploring your options

  10. #10
    jpsmith1cm's Avatar
    jpsmith1cm is offline Global Moderator/AOP Committee
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    Quote Originally Posted by catmanacman View Post
    the best time to replace a system is while it still working that way it gives you time to get more than one quote and you are not under pressure to have it done right now at 17 years old it is good to be proactive and start exploring your options
    Very good advice.

    When it's very cold outside, you are not going to want to spend a week or two getting bids and considering competing offers. You will want HEAT.

  11. #11
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    Jun 2009
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    I was in the same position at 17 years and decided to get a Carrier Infinity furnace and AC now. It took almost 2 months to go through the 4 bids and recommendations and then wait for the install. As previously said, don't discount the big increase in comfort you will probably experience with the newer technology. I am happy I did it now... it is an amazing difference.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2006
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    I have been looking into the rebate from American Standard. The rebate states: Promotions subject to dealer participation. I have asked a few AS dealers and they say they are not participating. I was not aware they would have to pay for half of it. To me, this is almost false advertising saying there is a rebate available in my area, but no one is a participating dealer.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by violetmd View Post
    This system was installed 17 years ago when the house was built.
    4. Should I just wait until the unit die (it may still have a few year life left)?
    If you paid $X for the thing it's now costing you $X/17 each year to run it, plus the cost of maintenance, but the new one will also have [possibly higher] maintenance costs.

    An HVAC thing this old has a 50% chance to make it to 26 yrs
    and a 10% chance of dying within a year or making it to 56 yrs.

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