Making a Deal

Everybody loves a deal. In this fast paced, capitalistic economy we are happy when we can get a lower cost or somehow feel like we got the better advantage in a situation. It’s normal. We buy low and sell high. And , when we can spend less money to get a better product or service, we feel satisfied somehow.

However, as the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” And, in the world of high velocity air conditioning this bit of wisdom was never more appropriate. In short, you can probably buy used AC equipment online, but those purchases may not be the wisest. Read on and see why.

Used HVAC Equipment

When considering the purchase of used equipment, it turns out we all think about some of the same things.

  • How do you keep the warranty intact?
  • How much does the installation cost?
  • Who will install the equipment for you?
  • How do you have the equipment delivered?
  • How do you determine the tonnage, brand/model of equipment to purchase?

Here are some things to consider when searching for used HVAC equipment.

Source: Where did this HVAC equipment originate? Who manufactured it? What were the state standards for manufacturing in the country or American state from which the equipment originated? Was the supplier reputable? Can you trust the person, company, or organization that is advertising and selling this equipment? How long have they been around? It may be an individual selling the equipment. How well do you know them? Once you have purchased the equipment, will the individual be likely to refund your money if the equipment fails? Can this individual offer you a warranty in writing? Is there a guarantee for any parts of the HVAC system?

Warranty: Check to see if the company offers a warranty. Most manufacturers to not offer a transferable warranty, so if a problem appears you may be in for a large expenditure.

Condition: Are you able to inspect the outward and inward condition of this piece of HVAC equipment? Unless you can personally inspect the product, you may receive something that doesn’t work.

Misrepresentation: Misinformation is a risk inherent in online and person to person purchases. Incorrect information is usually due to ignorance, but is sometimes direct and intentional deception. Oftentimes, the seller may misrepresent age, capacity, and number of repairs for a unit.

Financial Risk: This is the riskiest portion of a person to person sale. Usually the seller demands cash on delivery and sometimes wants a deposit up front. These kinds of dealings require a level of trust that may not be present.

Trial: A system may work differently, over time, in your home or building. The only way to observe how the system might work is to use it for a period of time. It is not likely a piece of used equipment will come with a trial period.

Wear/Abuse: The item is used. So, you can expect some degree of wear and tear on the unit. However, how will you make sure the unit hasn’t been through unusual circumstances like flooding, excessive electrical run-ins during storms, overuse in extreme climates, etc.


New HVAC Equipment

There are advantages to buying new HVAC equipment.

Repair Costs: As HVAC systems age, they cost more money to maintain. Energy usage increases as mechanical parts eventually wear down or just come to the end of their manufactured length of use. Recent generations of HVAC units are highly efficient and fall within federal standards.

Rebates and Incentives: New HVAC systems and upgrades to your home/business can put money back in your pocket. The US government in conjunction with state office and organizations offers tax credits and other incentives for reducing your “footprint” on the earth and decreasing the overall energy usage of your home or building. Go to to see these programs.

Helps the Environment: Old gases such as R-22 have been restricted due to their negative impact on the environment. Newer HVAC units do not emit gases that negatively impact our lives.

Peace and Quiet: Newer units are more quiet during operation and also have less mechanical noise when cycling on and off during peak times.

Comfort: HVAC units must be sized according to the square footage of your home/business, needs and capacities, and demand. With a new system, these requirements can be met easily.

Reliability: New systems come with warranties and break down less times than older systems.

Final Thoughts

Technology changes over time. Laboratories, companies, and governing organizations arrive at new discoveries and eventually release them for public consumption. The methods, electrical programs, and mechanical engineering paradigms used decades ago are simply not as efficient as recent generations of HVAC equipment.  It is therefore, recommended you allow a professional HVAC company research, install and maintain your home or business system. The professional will know how to evaluate your situation for optimal usage of HVAC equipment and be able to facilitate comfort in your situation. In addition, since the professional is the one who installed the unit in the first place, they will also be able to provide excellent customer service and maintenance of the unit as it goes through its paces.

Should you need assistance in determining which system fits your needs, call Freedom Heating and Cooling at 205-444-4444.

A Helpful Buyer’s Guide

  • Decide on the type of system you need such as a split system, packaged system, or a min-split system.
  • Compare costs between brands and systems.
  • Calculate the size of the unit needed. A unit that is not sized correctly will add stress to, and shorten the life of your HVAC system.
  • Determine the annual operating cost.
  • Make an assessment of the ductwork and its efficiency.
  • Assess the insulation.
  • Make sure the unit has an adequate SEER rating.
  • Understand your warranty.
  • Understand the steps of replacement, haul away and installation.
  • Look for features like quiet operation, zone controls and different speeds.
  • Take a look at upgrades and new technologies.
  • Determine the availability and time needed to install your unit.