New AC Unit Rebates Spring 2018
Should I Wait for Manufacturer Rebates to Buy a New AC Unit?
I’ve seen this question pop up several times in a Facebook Group I’m a member of so thought it would be good to share some industry insider secrets about the factory rebates manufacturers offer every year before the start of summer.
New AC Unit Factory Rebates from Lennox and Trane Every Spring
Air conditioning companies in Phoenix and HVAC equipment manufacturers alike consider early February through mid to late April, the “slow season” for new AC unit installations. This is the time of year when companies like Magic Touch Mechanical are focused on scheduling our pre-season air conditioner tune-ups and maintenance visits to make sure our maintenance agreement clients AC’s are ready for the long summer ahead. Our installation crews are only installing new equipment for the “planners” this time of year, because the majority of our installs are “emergency” installs for units that break down in the heat of summer.
Many of the major equipment manufacturers offer factory rebates and special financing options each spring to encourage people who were considering installing a new AC unit or replacing an existing AC unit to do it in the spring and take advantage of the extra incentives. They are hoping more people will plan their replacement instead of waiting until it is an emergency and incentivize them with something everyone likes…cash!
Will I Really Save Money Waiting for HVAC Manufacturer Rebates?
A lot of people ask how manufacturers can afford to offer $1,000 and sometimes $1,500 or more in cash rebates…do they really have that much profit margin built into this equipment? The answer may surprise some of you because they don’t advertise this fact: The manufacturer only pays ½ of that rebate, participating contractors pay the other ½… (or do they?).
If that sounded cynical, it’s because it was. At Magic Touch Mechanical, we use fixed, printed “menu” pricing. In other words, we dictate how much our salespeople sell a new ac unit installation for. We do that so every customer pays the same for a particular model as the next customer, for the sake of both our clients, and our reputation.
Not all air conditioning companies use this pricing model however; some allow their salespeople to sell the equipment at a higher rate and earn a higher commission – margin-based compensation is unethical in my opinion, and one that contributes to giving HVAC contractors a bad name.
The most unfortunate part of margin-based compensation for the consumer when the factories are offering rebates is; typically, the sales person adds their ½ of the rebate costs upfront and then shows it as a discount to the customer. In other words, the consumer only got ½ of the rebate they should have, because the salesperson rolled the company’s half of the rebate money back into the price upfront, i.e. added it in and then took it back out on paper to increase his or her commission on the job. Or worse, they added the manufacturer’s share back in as well, and by doing so, are actually selling the unit to the consumer at higher than regular pricing. Yes, it really happens!
That said, in answering the question; Will I save money with AC manufacturer rebates? – It really depends on the AC Company you call. If you never get to see the company’s prices until the end…maybe not. If the salesperson does show you pricing upfront, does the price book look brand new or does it look like it has seen some mileage? In other words, is this their everyday pricing or do they keep a second set of books for rebate season?
At Magic Touch, I personally control all the pricing and when rebate season comes around, our pricing is truly lowered by the rebate amount. We have one price book and it usually gets updated once a year (unless new models come out mid-year). It behooves us to give the customer the full rebate, because the weather is gorgeous in the spring and replacing the air conditioner is not the priority it is in May, June, or July – but I’m obligated to make sure our team has work every day.
Usually, the Lowest Price Air Conditioner Costs You the Most
I hear it time and time again – “I went with another company that was much cheaper than you for the same exact model.”, or “I got four bids and one gave me a much better price for the same thing than everyone else.”
I can’t stress this enough: How the equipment is installed, all the ancillary items, and the best practices used during the installation are much more important to your comfort and savings and the longevity of the equipment, than the unit itself.
Having worked in the air conditioning and heating industry for thirty-years I can confidently tell you; if an AC company gives you a “much cheaper” price for a central heating and cooling system installation…you ARE getting less! The scary part is you don’t know what “less” is, and usually only start to discover what “less” is until a few years go by, when the system starts breaking down regularly, doesn’t keep your home comfortable when you need it most, or costs you a lot more to run than it could’ve / should’ve.
To get peoples gears turning after hearing a comment like this, I usually respond with something like; “You can probably find a lot of companies willing to install this cheaper than us…and probably for less money too!”
You Can Save Money by Taking Advantage of AC Manufacturer Rebates
Here in Phoenix, I can name a few dozen AC Companies that I have the utmost respect for – and know others all across the country that are of the highest caliber. These companies employ all the best installation practices, stand behind their work, have well trained installers and technicians, and use ethical pricing practices. Unfortunately, in every market for each one of these “best” companies, there are dozens who are predatory, or mean well but are inept. The tough part for the consumer is figuring out who’s who.
Finding one of the good one’s is a matter of doing your research and due diligence upfront. If you do this, you can save money by taking advantage of factory rebates. What you need to shop for is the best value, not the lowest price!
Lennox and Trane are Both Offering Manufacturer Rebates Right Now
I always like to make sure our blog readers know we are completely unbiased and do not favor one brand over the next. We represent five different air conditioner manufacturers; Goodman, Mitsubishi, Trane, Lennox, and Day & Night. We like to say, “We offer options, not ultimatums”, in other words, we “sell” Magic Touch Mechanical, not our “favored manufacturer”.
I also like to clarify that we know by reviewing our website analytics, who reads our blog articles – eighty percent of our readers aren’t even in our service area. Do we hope homeowners in and around the Mesa, AZ area where we are located read our articles and choose to contact us because of information they found in our articles…you bet! However, we write these articles to educate people all over the world in the hopes that we can help answer their questions and become an informed consumer.
That fact out of the way, two major manufacturers offering attractive 2018 Spring rebates are Trane and Lennox.
- Lennox is currently offering cash rebates up to $1,700 or 0% financing for up to 72-months.
- Trane is currently offering cash rebates up to $1,000 or 0% financing for up to 48-months.
Add Utility Company Rebates for Even Higher Savings
Check with your local power company to see if they offer rebates for replacing your central air conditioner with a new high-efficiency air conditioner, many of them do.
Here in AZ, customers of SRP can get up to $800 per unit (limit five per household) in additional rebates when installed by a participating contractor. Of course, Magic Touch Mechanical is an SRP Certified Contractor that participates in this program.
Add the two together, and you could save as much as $2,500 on a new air conditioning system!
Don’t Forget Other Home Efficiency Improvement Rebates
Often, when replacing an air conditioner, your contractor may point out other deficiencies that if improved can make your home more comfortable and efficient. A very common deficiency is leaky or poorly installed air ducts. Replacing, repairing, or sealing these ducts can save you hundreds of dollars in energy waste annually – and some utility companies are willing to pay you the homeowner for fixing these issues.
Here in the Phoenix area, both APS and SRP offer rebates for these improvements through a program called Home Performance with Energy Star. Yes, you guessed it, Magic Touch is one of the leading contractors in the valley approved by both utilities to offer these rebates!
There are more rebates to be had for other energy and comfort improvements like attic insulation improvements and sealing the home’s “envelope” to name just a couple. Again, the best thing you can do to ensure you maximize on these rebates is doing your due diligence upfront and choosing your contractor wisely!
Are you in the Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale area and interested in speaking with an air conditioning, heating, and home energy efficiency contractor you can trust? Contact us today, and let us know what problems you are having and we can provide a custom solution for you!