How Can I Pay for a New Air Conditioner (A/C) this Summer?

Are you wondering how to finance your new air conditioner (A/C) now that summer is quickly approaching? You might be surprised to learn that you do not have to go all-out instantaneously since there are several methods to lower out-of-pocket expenses.

A new air conditioner (A/C) is a large investment, so you may be wondering how you’re going to pay to replace it, especially now, with summer on the horizon. It may come as a surprise to some that you don’t have to pay for it all at once; in fact, there are several ways you can get assistance to help reduce your out-of-pocket cost.

The main alternative options for AC unit financing include:

  • Home Equity Loan: Those with a credit score of at least 620 and a debt-to-income ratio under 43% qualify. 
  • Personal Loan: Applicants must have a credit score of 640 or above, a record of on-time repayments, and a consistent paycheck.
  • Home Equity Line of Credit: To qualify, one must have a 680 or higher credit score.
  • Contractor/Retailer Financing: This option mainly varies with the lender, merchant, or subcontractor.
  • Credit Card: Normally, this option is available to those with credit ratings of 670 or higher for balance transfer cards with 0% introductory charges. However, this differs by card.

Why Is Air Conditioning So Important?

Extreme heat and skyrocketing temperatures are nothing new for Illinois residents. For instance, summers are hot and muggy, with highs often in the 80 °F to 90 °F range. However, it is not unusual to see several days in a row with heat exceeding 100 °F. It not only gets uncomfortable with these temperatures. It could even be hazardous.

The most vulnerable groups are the chronically ill, along with the aged. The electricity consumption may increase in response to increased heat, which can occasionally result in blackouts. This heat-related shutdown also puts those who take meds that need to be refrigerated at risk. As such, a well-functioning air conditioner is a worthy investment. 

7 Ways to get Grant Money or Financing for Your new A/C Unit:

1. Check for Home Energy Incentives

Today’s air conditioners are designed to perform at peak energy efficiency with higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings than ever before. These new A/C units are designed to keep you comfortable and keep your cooling bills low. Because of these huge energy savings, you can now get help from your utility providers that have efficiency upgrade programs. We will help you through the paperwork and fill out the requests for incentives that help you pay for new HVAC equipment. You may also be able to get help paying for a new furnace or add other energy saving measures like insulation and air sealing.

Illinois Residents:

Programs like the Ameren Illinois Home Efficiency Program are based on your income, how many people live in your home, and the current energy efficiency of your home. If you are approved for this program, you can have a significant amount of your project paid for by Ameren Illinois.

Ameren Illinois also offers instant rebates for high efficiency equipment installs through their Standard HVAC Program. If you are not familiar with this process, contact us and we can help.

Missouri Residents:

Missouri Utility On-bill financing program provides utility customers an additional way to finance energy efficiency upgrades to their property. These programs help customers to invest in energy efficiency upgrades for various equipment. At the moment, Spire is the only utility in the St. Louis region that is offering an on-bill financing program to customers to help them finance energy savings.

Spire and Ameren Missouri are also both offering significant rebates when a homeowner decides to upgrade their equipment to a new high efficiency system. If you are not familiar with what is available to you, contact us and we can help!

2. HVAC Manufacturer Incentives and Rebates.

All HVAC equipment manufacturers advertise savings periodically and so do their dealers. We also offer savings from time to time and have them listed on our specials page. This is an easy way to upgrade your unit and get a lower cost from the dealer or HVAC manufacturer.

3. Check With Your Homeowners Insurance if you have storm damage.

Another way to get your A/C unit replaced for free or at a lower cost, is to check your homeowner’s insurance policy. If your A/C is down because of normal wear and tear, your insurance will not pay for it. However, if it is seriously damaged after a storm or accident, your homeowner’s policy may cover the cost.

4. Credit Cards

Credit cards can be a great way to get your system with less frustration. Sometimes credit cards offer a short-term solution, especially if it has a higher interest rate. A credit score hit could be something you wish to avoid. So other financing options might not be the best for you at this time. Going through a refinance, trying to build your credit score and more could all be reasons to use a credit card. Some cards offer low or no interest rate promotional periods, when you transfer a balance to another company that might be worth exploring.

5. Options for Soldiers and Veterans

Active duty soldiers and veterans can get assistance covering emergency expenses from organizations that partner with military aid societies.

American Red Cross – Hero Care Center will help active duty service members, a member of an activated National Guard or Reserve unit, an immediate family member of a service member in the above two categories, or a military retiree or spouse/widow(er) of a retiree. Emergency expenses can include costs related to the repair or replacement of a central air conditioner. Call the American Red Cross at 1-877-272-7337 or submit an online application to determine your eligibility.

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society offers emergency financial assistance to active duty Sailors and Marines. They provide funds to help with a wide range of financial needs, including essential home repairs. They can help with the costs of repairing and replacing the air conditioner. Start by contacting your nearest NMCRS office.

If you are a veteran planning to buy a home, the Veteran Loan Center can help finance the addition of energy efficient appliances to your mortgage, even on a pre-existing house.

6. Programs for senior citizens

If you’re 62 or older and low-income, the United States Department of Agriculture offers grants and long-term, low-interest loans to fund various home improvements, including the repair or purchase of an air conditioner. With this program, applicants may receive a grant of up to $7,500 or a loan of up to $20,000 that is repayable over 20 years at a 1% interest.

7. Air Conditioning Financing

Staying comfortable this summer shouldn’t be based on your budget. That’s why there are many ways to finance your air conditioner. One way is to go through the HVAC contractor you’re working with on your project. At Energy Stars, we have many financing options on our finance page. This is one of the best ways to secure financing, because your contractor will already have a relationship with the financing company.

Why It’s Important to Hire HVAC Professionals for New Unit A/C Installation

Relying on professionals for air conditioner installation is essential due to: 

Steep Cost of Errors          

All the air conditioner parts equally influence its performance. This means that even minor damage to any of them might cause the entire system to malfunction. Cutting a vital line, damaging any component, or installing the unit incorrectly can all have complicated and costly repercussions.

Expertise

Choosing the ideal heating or cooling system for your house can be difficult, given the wide range of manufacturers and choices available. However, it could be easier to do so with expert advice, which guarantees the product’s endurance. Expert advice will also help you get familiarized with different air conditioners’ technical specifications.

Productivity and Time

The opportunity cost of a DIY air conditioner setup is incredibly high, considering the hectic daily schedule of most people. The most practical choice is to hire professional services since, besides saving dollars, doing so also helps save time.

How to know when A/C Needs Maintenance

Here are five indicators that your air conditioner is not operating correctly and needs maintenance.

  • Limited airflow: Get the house or property evaluated if the air is not flowing freely. Several things may bring this issue, including blocked ductwork or clogged filters. The ductwork might become blocked by dirt and dust gathered in the vent.
  • Lack of cool air: If the air from the ventilation is not as chilly as it once was, you could use air conditioning maintenance.
  • The temperature rises: This could show a refrigerant leak, a faulty motor fan, a filthy coil, or faulty electronic systems with the air conditioner.
  • Strange sounds and unpleasant odors: If your air conditioner emits strange sounds, it needs to be serviced. A burning smell from the air conditioner could result from burned insulation on wires.
  • Leakage: If your air conditioner leaks refrigerant, you must act quickly and have it replaced. You can have a blocked drain tube if water is dripping from your unit. Even though it is not as hazardous as a refrigerant leakage, ignoring it could cause more serious issues.

Energy Stars Heating & Cooling Caters for All Your Air Conditioner Needs

At first sight, a new A/C system or unit could appear pricey, but the expense of upkeep and fixes for an older system continuously breaking down makes an upgrade more worthwhile. At Energy Stars Heating & Cooling, we can install a new HVAC for you if your present system no longer operates as efficiently as it could and you want to stay cool this summer while lowering your energy expenses.

We hope this information has been helpful as you make decisions about your A/C Unit. When you’re ready to replace or repair your A/C Unit, call Energy Stars Heating & Cooling Co. in IL at 618-477-8337 or in MO at (314) 287-5353.

Looking for ways to pay for a new furnace? You might want to read our blog: How to Pay for a New Furnace This Winter.