HVAC Financing: How To Keep Your Heat And Air Running For Any Season
Hanna Kielar7-Minute Read
UPDATED: March 10, 2023
Being comfortable in your home can largely depend on your ability to regulate the indoor temperature. A heating, ventilation and air conditioning system – or HVAC – that works properly can be a necessity for homeowners who live in constantly changing seasons.
Adding or replacing an HVAC system, however, can affect your finances as much as it affects your home comfort. Equipment, installation and other costs can add up quickly, and a functional HVAC system may not feel like a worthwhile investment if you can’t afford the monthly utility costs that come with it.
Fortunately, there are options for HVAC financing, so you don’t have to break the bank for your home comfort. Let’s walk through some potential HVAC installation and replacement costs, and the financing options to pay for them.
Why You Should Consider HVAC Financing
Costs for installing and replacing a heating and cooling system can change every year, and older homes can have systems a decade or more old. The costs go beyond just the main unit, too. To help you understand what you’ll be paying for, we’ve broken down the various costs for equipment and other factors that go into installing or replacing an HVAC system.
Signs Your HVAC System Needs An Upgrade
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, it might be time to replace your HVAC system:
- Your energy bill keeps increasing.
- Your home struggles to stay at a consistent, ideal temperature.
- You’re hearing odd sounds or smelling unusual odors from your HVAC vents.
- You notice more dust around the house than normal.
- An indoor air quality test uncovers mildew, mold spores or other pollutants in your home.
- Any repair to your HVAC is more expensive than purchasing a new one.
Cost To Replace An HVAC System
According to Homeadvisor.com, Homeguide.com and Modernize.com, a full HVAC system can cost $5,000 to $10,000 to replace. That price includes the new unit, installation costs and the removal and disposal of the older unit.
For your convenience, we’ve broken down the average costs based on the type of heating and/or cooling unit you intend to replace.
Average Replacement Cost
Air conditioner and furnace (HVAC)
$5,000 – $10,000
$3,000 – $7,600
Ductless mini-split AC
$2,000 – $10,000
$1,500 – $2,500
$4,200 – $6,900
$4,000 – $8,000
Boiler or radiator
$1,500 – $7,700
Geothermal heat pump
$15,000 – $35,000
Other Factors That Affect HVAC Costs
Beyond the unit itself, a few notable factors will affect how much you pay for your HVAC in the end.
- Ductwork: If your HVAC requires any ductwork, you can expect to pay an additional $500 to $2,000.
- Local conditions: Heat leaving or entering your home is measured in British thermal units (Btu). Depending on where you live, you may require an HVAC unit of a particular size to match the Btu measurement of your environment.
- Square footage: The size of your home can directly affect how much you’ll need to spend on an HVAC unit. The average cost per square foot for an HVAC is $20 to $60.
- Warranty: If you’re buying a new air conditioner or furnace, you might want to purchase an extended warranty to help protect your investment. While this expense can be pricey, it can also be worth it.
- The HVAC company: While we can show you the average costs for an HVAC system, the price will ultimately depend on the company you purchase it through. Higher-end systems will cost more, but these units may have longer lifespans than less expensive brands.
Air Conditioner And Furnace Financing Options
Not everybody can cover the cost of a new AC or furnace out of pocket, but enough financing options are available for you to likely find one that works.
Let’s take a look at some HVAC loan options.
A personal loan is a common way to pay for numerous types of expenditures, including home improvement projects like HVAC installation. If you have the required credit score and can afford your monthly payments, a personal loan might be the simplest and fastest way for you to get the funds you need.
Consider the following items when thinking over a personal loan:
- Credit score: A credit score of 720 or higher is considered excellent and could get you good terms for a personal loan, but you may qualify for a loan with a lower score. If your credit score is on the lower end, you can expect a higher interest rate.
- Interest rates: Interest rates for personal loans are usually in the 6% – 36% range and depend in large part on your credit history. With a fixed interest rate plan, you’ll pay the same amount for every monthly payment.
- APR and additional fees: A loan with a lower annual percentage rate (APR) will cost you less in the long run. In addition to interest rates, your APR accounts for lender fees such as an origination fee.
- Loan terms: The repayment terms for personal loans are typically 36 to 60 months. A longer term will mean lower monthly payments but more interest overall.
- Application process: Getting a personal loan requires submitting a full application along with your Social Security number, ID, proof of income, bank statements, pay stubs, tax forms and other personal info.
- Time to fund: You can receive your personal loan funds within a week or even days after getting approved. And sometimes, as is the case with Rocket Loans℠, you can even get funds into your bank account on the same day.*
Home Equity Loans
With a home equity loan, you convert your home’s equity into cash you can put toward your HVAC replacement and installation. You must meet certain credit and debt-to-income ratio (DTI) requirements to qualify, as well as have enough equity in your home to borrow against. Unlike personal loans, it can take weeks for your loan application to be fully processed and to receive your money. The other caveat is you’ll have to put your home up as collateral to borrow the funds.
If you fail to make your monthly payments on the loan, you could end up losing your house through foreclosure – and your new HVAC along with it.
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is similar to a home equity loan. But instead of borrowing against your home’s equity, you convert it into a revolving line of credit you can borrow from and repay, much like a credit card.
As with a home equity loan, your home is used as collateral, risking the house itself through foreclosure if you fail to pay back what you borrow.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) can help with HVAC financing through the following loans and programs:
- FHA Title I loan: Title I loans are fixed-rate home improvement loans that can be used to pay for new appliances, such as an HVAC unit. The FHA requires you to meet certain credit and income criteria. Also, your home must meet HUD-related standards.
- FHA 203(k) loan: If you refinance with a 203(k) loan, you can roll an HVAC replacement into the new mortgage. You must satisfy FHA requirements to qualify, and the necessary renovations must cost a minimum of $5,000.
- FHA Energy-Efficient Mortgage Loan program: The FHA’s Energy-Efficient Mortgage (EEM) program offers borrowers the funds to upgrade their home and appliances to be more energy-efficient. While HVACs with higher energy savings may cost more upfront, you could see a much lower utility bill over time.
Because the FHA requires you and your home to meet certain requirements, your HVAC installation may take longer than you’d prefer. If you’re OK with waiting, these FHA options could save you some money.
Alternatives To HVAC Loans
Loans aren’t the only payment option you can use on a new HVAC. Let’s take a look at some alternative ways to finance.
HVAC Company Financing
Many HVAC retailers and companies partner with third-party lenders to offer financing to their customers. Rolling your costs up into a single payment plan can be a convenient option, although interest rates are typically higher with manufacturers.
0% APR Credit Cards
Some credit card companies offer interest-free introductory periods for new cards. You could pay for your HVAC with a new credit card and take advantage of its 0% APR promotional period. This term usually will last 12 to 18 months, and if you can repay it during that time, you can avoid paying any interest. If not, you could face high interest rates and wind up in even more debt.
As a last resort, you always have the option to dip into your emergency fund. It may hurt to spend your hard-earned savings, but you can skip out on monthly payments and interest rates by pulling from your piggy bank. Depending on how extreme the temperatures are outside, you might treat a new HVAC as an emergency.
FAQs About Financing Central Air Repairs
What’s the best time to buy a new HVAC system?
In most cases, prices for a new system will be lower in the spring and fall. That’s because HVAC companies face less demand at those times and are therefore more likely to offer HVAC systems to their customers at reduced cost.
How can I get HVAC financing with bad credit?
Thankfully, if you have a low credit score, a few options are available. These include credit cards and HVAC company financing. But keep in mind that you might face higher interest rates using those options. To help save money, you could take some time to improve your credit score. This extra effort might give you access to financing that typically has lower rates, like a personal loan or home equity loan.
Can I refinance an HVAC loan?
Depending on the type of loan you used, a refinance may be possible. If you have a personal, home equity or FHA loan, you may qualify for a refinance. To find out the eligibility requirements, you can contact your lender for more information.
Final Thoughts: Stay Comfortable All Year-Round With HVAC Financing
You can be comfortable in your home without going house poor if you find HVAC financing that works for you. From personal loans to FHA loans, plenty of options are available to help prepare your home for any season.
If you believe that a personal loan sounds like the right fit, apply today with Rocket Loans and get ready to crank the thermostat.
*Disclaimer: Same Day Funding available for clients completing the loan process and signing the Promissory Note by 1:00PM ET on a business day. Also note, the ACH credit will be submitted to your bank the same business day. This may result in same day funding, but results may vary and your bank may have rules that limit our ability to credit your account. We are not responsible for delays which may occur due to incorrect routing number, account number, or errors of your financial institution.
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