Tag: AC Repair

Purchase or Lease Furnace and AC Unit

Purchase or Lease Furnace and AC UnitWe contacted our Real Estate Agent about whether we should purchase or lease furnace and AC unit. His answer follows and is quite enlightening. Basically you are going to pay for it one way or the other and it is up to you just how you want to do it. Some alternatives are more economic than others. After reading his answer decide for yourself based on your own situation.

Purchase or Lease Furnace and AC Unit

In terms of the real estate sales side of things, it is presumed that the furnace and A/C are bought and paid for by the seller.  If they are rented then the buy out is the key # required. At time of transfer of the deed it is expected that the seller will pay for it.  I think that you need to examine that and look at different scenarios. What if I had to sell the house in 3 years, 5 years 7 years or 10 years, what is the cost to ‘pay off’ the contract.
You are suggesting that you will remain in the house for the next 10 – 15 years. Life changes on a dime and maybe you will be facing family or personal instances where you must sell.  So somehow you have to factor that into your decision making.

Buyers Agent

As a buyer’s agent when showing homes, we take into account the furnace and A/C are 10 years or more. I emphasize to the buyers that they are going to have to budget for a new furnace and A/C  in the short term.  So if your contract is 10 years AND you actually expect to be living there for that time then maybe a rental plan would work to your favor.  (is the equipment free and clear and paid for after the rental contract?)
Bottom line is that everything boils down to price.  Your home would be priced accordingly – to market conditions. Also conditions of the home along  with the features and chattels etc. so, you are going to end up ‘paying’ either now or later.
Many of the homeowners on our street used the same guy someone had found.  He is a one man band so to speak, and he sells, installs and services the Goodman brand.  When we bought, it had a 10 year guarantee which has paid off for us. We had the burner unit replaced in the furnace at about year 9.  It works for us and him because he gives us all a great price on annual cleaning etc. and does everybody the same day for cash.  So that’s another bonus for him.
It’s a tough question to deal with – as the homeowner you are looking at a good chunk of change to make it happen. Just be sure that on the rental lease scenario, you are well aware of the buy out costs.  Also transfer costs / obligations conditions etc.
Hope this helps and hasn’t muddied the waters! For more energy saving ideas, click here.


Upgrade Aging Air Conditioners

upgrade aging air conditionersWhen is it time to upgrade aging air conditioners? Ours is over 28 years old and is still working. Our furnace which is only 14 years old just quit. We are having the furnace replaced and wonder if we should upgrade aging air conditioner at the same time. Perhaps we will get a discount for doing both at the same time and a rebate from the government.

Upgrade Aging Air Conditioners and Furnace

There are several reasons why we decided to replace everything at this time, rather than take a chance on the old AC unit. The following is our list and you can attach importance levels to them based on your own situation:

  • If the coil on the old AC unit leaks over the new furnace, the warranty is not valid
  • Twenty eight years is a phenomenal life cycle, maybe I would get several more years at most
  • Existing AC is very inefficient compared to the new units
  • Get the job done once and they do not have to come back other than for annual maintenance
  • Replace both and obtain full government rebate
  • Energy costs continue to rise, so efficiency is important to control utility bills
  • The existing system is noisy, newer units are quieter
  • Resale value for our home will increase with new units still under warranty if we sell in next 10 years


Replace Aging Air Conditioners

Replacing aging air conditioners that are no longer working is a bit of a non decision. However what if it is still working and your furnace quits on you? This is the situation the writer is faced with. We decided to replace the AC at the same time that we are replacing the furnace. We wanted to have a new energy efficient model that will help to control our ongoing utility bills as well as increase the resale value of our home. A real estate friend of ours told us that if the furnace or the AC unit is more than 10 years old, they should set aside money to replace it. If we sell in the next 10 years, the units will still be under warranty!

Replace Aging Air Conditioners – Damage

There is another reason to replace the AC when you replace the furnace. If the coil begins to leak it could damage the new furnace. The coil sits on top of the furnace. Leaking water or coolant would damage the furnace causing it to rust, possibly short circuit the electric motor and other components.

We decided  to replace both our furnace and replace our aging air conditioner at the same time. After all it was 28 years old and really does not owe us anything. Because it is so old it is inefficient and so we will gain from some of the savings we will get from the new system.

Everyone is in a different situation. We could have taken a chance and just repaired our furnace. This would have cost $800 with no guarantees that there would not be other problems. Apparently our furnace is known for cracks in the heat ex changer as well which we do not want to deal with.

So a big expense, but hopefully the right one in the long term.

AC Unit Size for My Home

upgrade aging air conditionersMost AC salespeople will ask you how many square feet your home is and whether it is two-story or single-story. Magically they will come up with the size of air conditioner that you need for your home. It should be the most efficient and provide adequate cooling at the same time. There is actually a little bit more to the decision that needs to be considered before you decide on the AC unit size for my home. Most people would be surprised to find out that two identical-sized homes could have different-sized AC units. There are a number of reasons for this and we will cover these in the following paragraphs.

AC Unit Size for My Home – Orientation

For example, if your home has windows on two sides of your home, let’s say the front and back. The orientation of your home is really going to matter. A north-south-facing home will need a smaller AC unit than one that faces east-west. That afternoon sun poring heat into your home through the windows will require a great deal more AC capacity. Much more than one that is facing south and does not have the afternoon sun to deal with. The heat impact can be mitigated to some degree by having blinds that cover the windows. They reduce the amount of infrared heating that takes place! Energy-conscious consumers will want to invest in high-quality blinds that help control the heat factor.

Skylights are another major issue regarding how much AC is required. Of course, the direction the skylights face is also important. A southwestern roof with a skylight will allow a great deal more heat in the home and necessitate a larger AC unit. Again appropriate window shades for a skylight can be installed.

If you have a lot of shade trees on your property that provide shade for the home, your AC could be sized a little smaller as long as there is no plan to cut these trees down. Take these factors into account to not only save yourself some money but also to ensure you are comfortable as well during prime air conditioning periods.

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