Off-Season Air Conditioning Purchase Saint John NB
Selkirk , NB
Winnipeg , NB
Off-Season Air Conditioning Purchase
by PJ Wade
Economic stress could drive property owners and buyers into a frenzy. Research, however, not emotional reaction, is the key to thriving in the face of unpredictable change. Research will allow you to 'zig' while others 'zag' and to come out on top in most, if not all, situations.
One simple property-management example of the benefit of against-the-flow thinking and basic research is air conditioning. Once a luxury and increasingly a necessity, air conditioning (AC) is an element of summer that may be best dealt with out of season.
As summer slams up against back-to-school advertising, consumers are encouraged to fast-forward to colder days ahead. Instead of responding to this marketing push, why not investigate end-of-season AC opportunities?
"The time of year to do it is late summer or fall as people aren't even thinking about it at that time and you'll get the unit a bit cheaper," said HVAC/sheet metal mechanic and gas fitter David Apostolov, who is President of Mississauga-based C&D Mechanical." Buy something at prime time and you're paying a premium. Get a quote on both [heating and AC] to save more."
HVAC is industry jargon for Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning, interrelated fields with equipment and systems that overlap.
Apostolov, who is a second-generation sheet metal mechanic, compares manufacturers and their equipment to ensure clients get the best match for their needs and budget. He advocates sidestepping the top one or two marketed brands and researching their competition. Learn what extra benefits you receive for any extra cost.
"A lot of the residential [AC] products are pretty much the same," said Apostolov. "If they want [the top brand] I'll put one in, but if they don't have a clue about the product, then I tell them about the other brands. I do the research myself to know the history of each brand ... . If you watch TV, you think if you do not have a [top brand], it is not going to work right ... . I'd rather they did not just jump on it because it has a big name. I'll put in [another lead brand] and they save themselves C$1,500 or C$2,000. I don't know who does not want to save money."
Apostolov has other suggestions for home owners who are prepared to approach property management as the cost-effective business it should be:
- Research new or smaller HVAC firms at the municipal licensing office, trade associations and The Better Business Bureau. An experienced, accredited professional who has put five or more years into building a reputation, maintaining a complaint-free work history and developing a loyal client base should have a lot at stake when answering a service call.
Apostolov: "Look for someone who is organized and has a schedule, not just some guy with a truck."
- Ask about post-installation serve policies and fees. Apostolov: "When I put in an install, I give an additional one year on my labour. Ask what warranty they will give, and to prove they will come at the most inconvenient time to help you—24/7 service that's what you want....Ten o'clock at night [one customer] wanted his AC. It was pouring rain. With the homeowner holding the umbrella, I spent two hours outside. By the time I left, the AC was blasting cold air."
Pre-purchase online investigation is a valuable aspect of intelligent shopping. Take your research a step further and search out other ways to save money. Consumers intent on making energy-saving choices are supported will find incentives and rebates at most levels of government, from municipal and provincial/territorial to federal [ federal, and from many manufacturers and service providers:
- Manitoba's Power SmartTM Home Incentive for New Homes, which offers a certificate for up to C$1000 towards the purchase of a front-loading clothes washer or a C$600 rebate on the Manitoba Hydro electric account. In 2006, Manitoba offered 13 residential Power Smart programs which allowed residential customers to lower their energy bills by approximately C$12 million. This cost saving also reduced emissions by an estimated 214,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases, which is the equivalent of taking 61,000 cars off the road for one full year.
- Ontario supports a variety of programs including rebates of up to C$675 per household for energy efficiency improvements like replacing existing central AC with an ENERGY STAR® qualified system.
- The federal government offers a range of options including ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes, which grants up to C$3000 after eligible energy-saving renovation.
- Service Providers like Union Gas offer customers incentives for improvements including replacement with programmable thermostats.
- Which incentives and rebates does your municipality offer? Check with City Hall or your elected representative.
These research approaches can be applied to any area of home ownership that you decide to treat like a property management project and measure costs against benefits.
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