Thinking about Leasing Your HVAC? Know the Facts and Read Your Contract!
You may be considering installing a new HVAC unit but do you know the benefits between a lease vs. buying scenario? There has been a rise of new payment options when replacing your heating and air system. Leasing a system is a new concept here in metro Atlanta that may seem like a good option at first. Once you read the fine print and details, will you have the same opinion?
The fact of the matter is, leasing a system in no way allows you to own the system. Similar to leasing a vehicle, you do have obligations and are bound to the company you are contracting for the life of your contract.
What your Lease offer May Include:
No Upfront Costs- Of course no upfront costs is appealing to unexpected home improvements.
- PRO – Keep your Money in Your Pocket
- PRO- Worry Free Installation without additional costs
- CON- Financing options to BUY your system also include the same no cost options, as well as possible 0% apr term plans.
While no upfront costs are a great selling point. Do not be deceived. You can get this same type of benefit and own your system with a financed plan.
Deferred Payment Options:
- PRO- Your payment is delayed by a certain number of months
- CON- Of course no company will just give you months for free. Where is that money going? The back end of the lease? In the purchase price? If it sounds too good to be true, it often is. Get the details of this deferred plan in writing and find out where the company is absorbing the cost of the months without payment.
Lifetime Service, Repairs and Maintenance:
- PRO- Not worrying about any costs for repairs and maintenance.
- PRO- Having 1 company to go to for all your heating and air needs. Better make sure their service is beyond great!
- CON- You cannot have anyone else work on your HVAC unit. You must succumb to the company schedule and customer service.
Are you ready to be married to your heating and air company and their employees, without the possibility of a break up? As a consumer, you have options when you are not satisfied. Leasing a system binds you to the performance and service of one company for the life of the contract. Is this company going to prioritize your repairs and needs (remember they already have your money and contract), over new customers that are paying at the time of service? Keep in mind, you don’t own your system. Your partnered HVAC company does and has the right to come at anytime they choose to access the system and equipment. Read the fine print!
The Equipment is Mine… Right?
While the appearance may be that the equipment attached to your home is yours, it is not. You are just borrowing the system and paying for it over an extended time. Think about when it comes time to sell your home- what now?
- CON- What happens when you want to sell your home? Will the potential buyers want to absorb your monthly payments? Is the payout option going to be a hinderance to your home sale?
- CON- does your homeowner’s insurance cover potential damage to the leased units? What happens in the event of hail, fallen tree, accident? Your leasing company will hold you responsible. Repairs on your contract do not mean physical damage. Repairs mean mechanical problems associated with routine wear and tear, and so forth. Read your contract.
- CON- You may not own the unit, but you are responsible for it. Just like when you lease a vehicle you must cover the damage from an accident, same applies to your new leased system. Read your contract and know where your responsibility begins and ends.
- CON- You are responsible for that system and if it is damaged, do. you have a say in the cost associated in the damage? The answer to this is often no and can be found in the fine print. Whereas normally you would have the luxury of choosing your repair services and price shopping, you are stuck with the costs you are given.
The Lease is Up, What Now?
Have you read your contract? Unlike a HVAC system you purchased through financing, a leased system at the end of the term is NOT YOURS. What does that mean? It means you either have to buy your old system at a payout (who wants to spend a chunk of money on an old system) or purchase a new one with the said company. Or they can come and tear out you HVAC. Remember it’s not yours.
Do You Get to Pick Your System?
The main reason you need a new system is to keep you comfortable right? The type of system you install is important. Brand is important. The installation process is key. Often times lease programs offer you a new system. However, the new system is a builder grade, low quality system. The HVAC company makes the most money by offering you a lower quality system that you pay astronomical amounts for over time. Research the various brands and make sure the product you choose is right for you. Most importantly, the system you choose will be heating and cooling your home for years to come. Is it efficient? Does it solve problems in your home with air flow? How about those utility costs?
But I Get to Save Money Right? Think Again!
The fact of the matter is that when you lease your HVAC system you may end up paying double to triple the amount that you would for purchasing a system. You are also at the mercy of the company that you sign with. Before you sign and approve an installation read the fine print. Figure out the cost of your system over the term of the lease. Even if you require repairs over the life of your system, they will not cost double of what your system cost is. HVAC systems are meant to last 10-15 years, if you change your filter and maintain your system. Again, the cost does not come to double your system cost or triple. Essentially, your money is going down the drain!
Bottom Line…. get multiple estimates. Interview the sales team and learn about the values of the company. How is the installation process? Read the company reviews. Most importantly, figure out what the system is going to cost you through its lifetime.
Guardian offers a variety of financing options to make a new system affordable and one that you OWN! With no upfront costs, a variety of system options, solutions to your comfort needs and a top notch team of installing experts! Contact Guardian today to schedule your free in home estimate.