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Before You Buy

Online AC Shopping: Buyer Beware

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Woman adjusting her Frigidaire thermostat

Although it is tempting to buy HVAC from a cheap source, like an online auction site, to cut back on costs, you could end up paying those savings back, and then some, over the life of the system.

It can be tempting to cut corners when it comes to choosing the right heating or cooling unit for your home. After all, systems can cost thousands of dollars (when you factor in the costs of labor and other services that have to be done for your system to be installed correctly). That is why many homeowners may turn to the internet for their system needs. This can be a critical error in terms of system life, performance and further costs down the road, depending on where you choose to turn. Without the guidance of a helpful heating and air conditioning contractor, you could end up with the wrong unit for your home. Whether you are buying an air conditioner, furnace or heat pump, there are things that need to be taken into account when choosing a unit. Not to mention, there are other pitfalls that come from deciding to purchase a unit from an unauthorized auction source. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

Frigidaire 10 Year Warranty

First and foremost, kiss your warranty goodbye

Frigidaire heating and air conditioning equipment comes with a great Limited Long Parts Warranty when your new unit is registered. However, when you decide to purchase one of these units at an unauthorized online auction site, the warranty will no longer be available. This can leave you on the hook for all costs if the system were to malfunction. Repair and replacement costs can be very expensive. Heating and air conditioning manufacturers do this because there are a number of problems that are associated with systems purchased through an unauthorized source, including: questionable quality, installation errors, improper sizing, and more. All of these problems can lead to poor performance and reduced system life.

Frigidaire contractor looks inside a Frigidaire furnace.

Improper installation can cause repairs and replacements in the near future

A quality contractor is less likely to install your equipment if it was
purchased from an unauthorized online source.

Most quality contractors who are backed by training and expertise are not going to install a system that was purchased from a mysterious place online. This means that you may have to turn to a less qualified contractor, a ‘Mr. Fix-It’ or even tackle DIY installation. This is arguably the biggest cause of system malfunctions. An improperly installed system can have a number of problems. These range from not performing at peak efficiency levels to system failures shortly after a unit is installed. And, remember, your unit may no longer be covered under the warranty when it is purchased from an unauthorized online auction site, so you will be on the hook for all of the costs associated with a repair.

Sizing issues may be a problem

If you were to purchase an air conditioner without help from an experienced contractor, you cannot ensure that it is properly sized for your home. When a contractor sizes a system for your home they take many factors into account with a Manual J load calculation. System size, measured in BTUs and tons, are critical for long-term performance and overall system satisfaction. An air conditioner that is too large will cool your home too quickly, resulting in hot and cold spots and uncomfortable humidity levels. On the other hand, if your system is too small it could always be running, which can lead to astronomical utility bills. Not to mention, there will be a greater strain placed on your system because of the constant operation.

It is best practice to avoid all unauthorized, online auction/advertising avenues.

Whether it is an auction site or a personal advertisement, an air conditioner, heat pump or furnace that is purchased from an unauthorized online source can void your warranty. It is better to be safe and purchase your new heating and cooling equipment by going through a Frigidaire heating and cooling contractor. Your HVAC system is going to make the biggest impact on your home comfort, so make sure you take the time to select the one that is right for your home - your contractor can guide you through that process.

A Frigidaire contractor and homeowner discuss buying HVAC online.

Instead of buying from an unauthorized, online source, go through your local heating and cooling contractor. Find your local Frigidaire contractor by using the dealer locator.

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