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Tips For Negotiating Cost with Air Conditioning Contractors

Installing a new air conditioning unit is a large investment for homeowners. HVAC installation costs typically range from $3,500 to $7,525, but homeowners can reduce air conditioning replacement costs by negotiating the contract price and terms with their contractor. In the article below, learn helpful tips for negotiating with your contractor. 

Table of Contents

Compare Multiple Contractor Quotes

Modernize recommends comparing three to four quotes for your air conditioning project. Be transparent about this as you meet contractors. Many businesses are willing to lower their bid or match competitor pricing. To ensure this is a fair process, provide each contractor with the same project details and thoroughly read each estimate to make sure you are making proper comparisons.

 Vetting your contractors will ensure you find the most reliable air conditioning contractor for your project. Check their licensure and make sure they are accredited through the Better Business Bureau.

You may find a lower price with a less experienced contractor, but if something feels off about a contractor or business — go with your gut and be aware of scams. If a bid is too good to be true, it probably is.  

To help homeowners easily vet and find a trusted air conditioning contractors, Modernize has created a free contractor checklist.

Discuss Your Budget with Your Contractors

Simply asking your preferred contractor to lower their estimate is a difficult request. Instead, seek their professional advice on how to keep the cost in line with your budget. You may want to ask if there are more affordable air conditioner brands that are still of higher quality. This creates an open conversation and shows you value their expertise. Tell them you appreciate any money-saving recommendations they can share. 

During this time, agree that any unexpected project expenses will be presented in writing to help you remain within your budget. Surprises, in other words, shouldn’t surprise you or your contractor, and they should definitely not surprise your investment.

Compare local contractors with our local HVAC contractors near me page to compare quotes from reliable heating and cooling contractors in your area who can help you decide what kind of budget to expect with an HVAC replacement.

Get Clarity on the Warranty, and Ensure It’s Part of the Price

Warranties will also impact your quoted cost. Most installers offer manufacturer’s warranties that protect you from faulty equipment. Some might offer additional guarantees for the installation, as well, covering potential damage to your house.

Be sure the quoted warranty is clear in what it covers—and what it doesn’t. Additionally, use the warranty as a bargaining chip. A lower price should elicit a short length warranty and a higher price one that is longer. The particulars of your AC unit and your installation needs dictate these numbers more than anything else. Discuss them thoroughly with your contractor.

Take Advantage of the Off-Season

Air conditioning repairs are highest in the winter and summer. If your project is not urgent or an emergency, negotiate the timing to take advantage of “off-season” rates. Wait to have your new system installed in the fall or spring when AC contractors are typically less busy. Contractors may also offer additional discounts and savings during these slower seasons.

HVAC Contractors Get Second Opinions – You Should, Too

Since your contractor has (literally) been around the block and has the experience you might lack, be sure to consult close friends and family about the major steps of your home improvement journey. While we condone this type of support, homeowners have repeatedly told us through surveys and interviews that deciphering some of the deeper and more complex elements of their project left them seeking more professional support—which our homeowners found with Modernize.

Your biggest friend in an air conditioning replacement negotiation could be a service like Modernize. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you.

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