Are Furnaces Cheaper in the Summer? 3 Tips to Avoid Being Fooled

Summer is coming...and you may start to wonder if buying a new furnace this summer is a good idea or not.

After a quick online search you may be under the impression that summer IS a good time to buy because it's the "off" season or that vendors are trying to get rid of older models.  But is that REALLY the case?

Are furnaces cheaper in the summer? The short answer...No

Furnace prices are affected by two things. Manufacturers and HVAC contractors. And neither have a reason to drop prices in one of their busiest times, the summer.

Manufacturers change prices once or twice a year. And by "change" I mean raise. They produce a wide range of equipment and demand stays relatively steady throughout the year.

And HVAC Contractors, even in cold climates, tend to have more work than they can handle in the summer because of air conditioning work. It's peak season so they have little reason to drop their prices. Although they may say that they do..(

are furnaces cheaper in the summer

But you may have heard that HVAC companies try to get rid of "old" furnace models before the next heating season? I've heard this too but in fact, furnace models change very little (if at all) year to year. They're not iPhones. 

That's not to say that upgrading your current furnace in the summer months is necessarily a bad idea. In fact, there can be an advantage to doing a furnace installation then - but getting it cheaper isn't one of them.

Some Advantages Of Replacing Your Furnace In The "Off" Season

There really isn't an "off" season per se but there can be some benefits of replacing your furnace in the Spring/Summer seasons.

You Have More Time to Research

How do you plan for a furnace replacement? Don’t wait for it. Anticipate it.  A major mistake that many homeowners make is not deciding to replace their furnace until the existing one is already showing signs of serious issues.

Most people wait until their old furnace breaks down and is completely inoperable before even beginning the search for a furnace replacement. This type of emergency situation can lead to a hasty decision based on an urgent need instead of a well thought out plan of action.

And it often leads to picking equipment like a 2 stage furnace without having to research the pros and cons.

Careful planning and research are essential when picking a new furnace, and even more importantly, the right HVAC company to install your high efficient gas furnace.

The average lifespan of a furnace is 12 to 20 years. Some gas furnaces are said to last 35 years, but those are the exceptions, definitely not the rule.

As your furnace begins to near the end of its life expectancy, start spending some time researching your options. Start making inquiries to some trusted contractors in your area.

While you should spend some time researching specific new furnaces and the energy efficiency choices that are available, the majority of your research time should be focused on the contractor.

You might feel that your money is better spent on the new equipment and try to "cut your losses" by going for a cheap contractor.

That is the worst thing you could ever do! A quality installation performed by a qualified and top-notch contractor is as important as picking the right unit for your home.

In fact, even a budget AC if properly sized and installed by an expert HVAC contractor can outlive the "best" furnace brand that is poorly installed.

True, the upfront furnace installation cost can make you hesitate but it's wise to think of the future benefits - including less repairs which will save money.

If you wait until the last minute to buy a furnace, then you'll be more likely to make a decision that you later regret. So by shopping around and comparing your options, as well as doing some research ahead of time you will know what kinds of questions to ask before meeting with potential HVAC contractors and you'll hopefully be able to avoid any costly mistakes.

Better Weather

Due to milder temperatures in early spring and fall, you are less likely to be using your heating system. This makes it the perfect opportunity to get your furnace replaced or repaired, as you'll be able to comfortably survive a few days without having to rely on your heating system.

Better weather conditions are a plus for the contractors installing your equipment. Win, win for everyone. In the dead of winter, an HVAC company isn't any happier about tracking in snow than you are about it. Just more for them to clean up.

Better Scheduling Options

Again, due to the milder weather in spring and fall HVAC companies generally aren't quite as busy. Both heating and cooling give them a little breather. That doesn't mean their sitting around waiting for customers to call but will most likely be able to schedule your furnace replacement at a more convenient time.

Replace the Heating and Cooling System Together

Have you ever had a part on your older car repaired or replaced only to have it back in the shop the next week for another repair?  Car engines are complicated SYSTEMS, and all of their individual parts work together for maximum performance. A new part with different operating characteristics can put stress on other parts of the system, causing them to fail.

Similarly, your home’s heating and cooling equipment work together to form an HVAC SYSTEM.  So, if you’re thinking about replacing your furnace you should also be thinking about replacing your air-conditioning unit.

Your furnace, blower or air handler and evaporator coil are located inside your home, and they’re connected to your ductwork. Your air conditioning unit sits outside your home.

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America, ENERGY STAR®, and the American National Standards Institute, all recommend that the air conditioner, coil, and furnace be replaced together in order to meet their installation guidelines.

Like that car engine we talked about, not doing this can have serious implications on the performance and efficiency of your entire HVAC system. 

Here are some of the issues that you may encounter:

A decreased life span of your system

According to the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, “When (HVAC components are) improperly matched, the efficiency and longevity of these systems are significantly compromised.” With properly matched equipment, you will get the best possible system performance without any additional stress on any component of the system.

Lower system efficiency

A new unit combined with an older one can cause the entire system to lag behind, pushing your energy bills higher than they would be with a properly matched HVAC system.

There's no sense in investing all that money and seeing your energy bills go up!

Premature breakdowns

Back to the example of our car..an old air handler may not be as capable of moving the required volume of air as a new one. This can create undue stress on the other components of your cooling system and forces them to work extra hard which can result in premature breakdowns.

Increased installation costs

Replacing the furnace and air conditioner separately involves having the contractor come out a second time.  This means paying for two separate installations instead of one. Replacing your furnace and air conditioner at the same time will cut down on overall installation costs.

Conclusion

The best time to replace your furnace is when it's not an emergency. And although there are a few advantages to a spring or fall replacement, the cost will remain the same no matter the time of year. So determine the best time for you and focus on picking a quality contractor. You'll be glad you did.

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ABOUT Robert Bradford

I'm Robert Bradford. I've been in the heating and air conditioning industry for 30 years. Over 40 if you count the years I helped my father as a kid. On this site, I share everything I've learned about finding the best HVAC contractors and equipment for your home. I'm happy to say that over the last few years, The Comfort Academy has grown into a trusted site with thousands of informed site visitors each year.
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