Homeowners Tactics When Negotiating with HVAC Dealer

Two businessmen sitting indoors with coffee laptop and folderLike in any other businesses, homeowners have to sit down at the proverbial table with dealers to reach an agreement. To do so, owners possess various negotiation tactics and strategies.

The most general plan known to nearly all contractors is them being requested to match a competitor’s lower bid. However, homeowners are in most cases in the hopeless case when it comes to this tactic.

The reason behind this is that a majority of homeowners do not have sufficient information about their comparisons. For instance, two different ACs may have the same efficiency and ton number and noise level but still have a different installation cost. This depends on what the dealer installs, a little quality model or maybe a more superior model.

Alternatively, as a homeowner, it is more appropriate if you decide to know why a dealer charges more than the other (you can ask contractor directly). As it is said, cheap is expensive in the long run. A more competitive contractor has their reason for doing so. For instance, maybe they are not entirely qualified in their work and are not aware of the industry standard charges. In the same way, a ridiculously expensive contractor has their reasons as well. Maybe they are just exploitive, or their work is entirely exclusive. Understanding the reason behind of different installation costs will help you decide on what contractor to choose. After doing that, you can then go ahead and ask for a discount from your contractor.

There Are Few Ways to Request a Cut in the Said Price

1. Know the average local price before talking to your contractors. QualitySmith and Networx are the 2 biggest free local estimate service provider. According to our visitor’s feedback, Networx offers the more accurate price by including tax-credit. You can free estimate here with Networx service.

2. Make the contractor understand how you badly need the unit for sale. Additionally, explain why you need to have it although your budget is limited. Find out if there are ways to you getting the desired unit with your budget at hand. Many contractors are familiar with this and will always meet the homeowner halfway regarding cost.

3. Advertisement and loyalty are vital to a majority of contractors. Make known to the contractor that if they reduce the price for you, you will not only tell your family and friends about them but you will also be a frequent customer. This, however, will only happen if you are satisfied with the work being done.

4. Contractors like the rest of us do not like to wait for long for their payments to be made. Therefore, proposing a more suitable payment means such as paying in cash as soon as the work is done can help woo the contractor. Cash payment is more preferred to avoid more charges. Then again you can offer flexible timing on the installation prices

The above tactics only work if the reduction margin is rather small. Cases, where contractors are not willing to give discounts, are however common. This is especially if the reduction price margin is quite high. A few things to do if the contractor is unwilling to give a discount

I. Negotiate for other things

There are other negotiations other than price that you can as a homeowner can take. An example is the maintenance and service contracts. Contractors always have a lot to gain from such contracts. The contractor will do the service on your unit every year. Hence, you will be familiar with them. You are likely to advertise them even without knowing it

II. Contractors want their services known to as many people as possible.

This means more work and more profits in the long run. They, therefore, like to include their contact information on free items such as programmable thermostats. You should ask for such free accessories from contractors. They will surely give you that without hesitation.

III. In an attempt to close the deal, contractors often offer extended warranties on a unit’s parts and labor. In a majority of cases, Manufacturers pay back their dealers for such, especially on higher-end systems. Subsequently, Contractors will often pass such savings to the homeowner.

Also Try: HVAC Installation Cost – How HVAC Contractors Determine Their Estimates

Negotiating Negatively Affects the Homeowner-Contractor Relationship?

Customers react differently to contractors depending on the outcome of the negotiation. Adverse reactions from contractors are a frequent occurrence, especially from aggressive clients. Such ought to be tedious, and no contractor wants their work made even harder for them. Actually, negotiations are a part of any business. Customers will always negotiate to pay less. A client with negotiation tactics is an indication that they are serious about buying and not just asking for the product. However, not all contractors agree with this opinion. Bargaining is a usual thing. As a homeowner, you should not be discouraged from doing your negotiations. It is part of doing business, and everyone should understand that. At the end of the day, you cannot live beyond your means trying to impress a contractor. Likewise, a contractor wouldn’t like their job owing to a single client. The key is therefore to reach an understanding that both the parties will benefit.

Written by

Rene has worked 10 years in the HVAC field and now is the Senior Comfort Specialist for PICKHVAC. He holds an HVAC associate degree and EPA & R-410A Certifications.

5 thoughts on “Homeowners Tactics When Negotiating with HVAC Dealer”

  1. This article has been a real help! I was flying blind, and had no idea whether contractors were taking me for a ride. They were, but aren’t now. Thank you!

  2. I thought I had learnt something for the hours I have been here reading and reading … !
    Do you offer Replacement of the inside electrical unit which I thought everybody calls Air Handler ( the condenser at the bottom, then the blower in the middle, then at the top, the heating coils)? I did not see it listed there when filling up the zipcode, etc for you to tell contractors to call me to get estimates for exactly the same but … new ( or refurbished? …. again ?) Many thanks for your articles. I really appreciate it. I let you know that I am still searching for videos to learn more, and also see, about the PAN where the water drips and then goes outside thru pvc pipings and also, where exactly the filter should be located when this unit is installed inside a closet. have a great day.

  3. I certainly wish I had found your website sooner. I made the costly mistake of hiring a small contractor who had done service work for me before. I did not get bids because I trusted that this contractor and his wife would be knowledgeable and fair.
    I was not offered a choice of hvac units. He just chose the cheapest model that Bryant makes (214D) to replace a top of the line model that had gone bad.
    After the fact, I discovered that my power company offered a $1500 rebate and I would have qualified. Unfortunately since I had the lowest rated model that did not have an energy star rating it did not qualify. I would have needed at least a 215 model that only actually costs $295 more plus $155 more to install.
    When I called the wife and asked about the rebate she told me she didn’t pay any attention to rebates and that I would have had to pay $2000 more for the next model up. I also discovered that my contract excluded the permit.
    Not only did I miss out on a huge rebate but I now have a less efficient, noisy heat pump that isn’t protected by an inspection permit that only cost $200. I would have gladly chosen the better quality model.
    I only wish I had done my homework before making this mistake.

    • Sorry to hear that. I also made similar mistakes in the past and let’s face it and move forward.

      Actually, higher efficiency rating can not save much as we expected and if you not live in the south, the savings will be more less.


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