The cost of cooling an apartment can add up, especially for families living below the poverty level who may also need assistance paying their electricity bills.
Air conditioning installation requires a high degree of training and experience. The proper professional can quickly diagnose problems and make necessary repairs. They can also help with energy efficiency improvements.
Home Improvement Loans
If you cannot pay for your air conditioning installation out of pocket, financing options can help. Local governments, utility companies, and nonprofits may offer incentives or subsidized loans for energy-efficient HVAC systems.
Personal loans can be used for major repairs or total replacements of air conditioning equipment. Many lenders offer streamlined applications and borrowing amounts starting at $1,000. When comparing loan terms, interest rates and repayment periods should be considered.
Credit cards can also be used to finance HVAC repair or installation, but high interest rates make this method best for small projects or when you can repay the balance quickly. Some credit card companies charge as much as 5% for credit card transactions, which can significantly increase the cost of your project.
Some HVAC manufacturers or authorized dealers may offer financing programs with competitive interest rates and promotional offers. You can also check with your local credit union to see if they offer home improvement loans for HVAC.
Local governments offer many incentives, rebates, and loans geared toward home improvement. Some cities also require that contractors obtain building permits before starting work on air conditioning installation.
This step, called “pulling a permit,” may seem like a hassle, but it helps ensure that your new HVAC system meets city inspection standards and is safe. A licensed contractor will know how to comply with these requirements and will handle the process for you.
Nonprofits and charities operate summer cooling programs to help low-income households. Some programs offer financial aid, such as free government air conditioners or box fans. Others may pass out window units on a first-come, first-serve basis.
To learn more, contact a community action agency that processes LIHEAP applications. The program may also prioritize households that include elderly or sick members. Other eligibility requirements apply.
Many localities offer rebates to encourage energy-efficient cooling systems. For example, a program in the Finger Lakes region provides up to $2,500 to homeowners who install heat pumps. The money comes from local carbon offset contributions to help the community reduce its environmental footprint.
The federal government also has some good incentives for energy-efficient AC systems. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provides tax credits to homeowners who purchase energy-efficient home heating and cooling equipment. The credit can cover 30% of the cost of the new equipment or up to $500 for replacing older equipment that does not meet efficiency requirements.
Moreover, the PSE&G instant rebate is another way for customers to save on the costs of high-efficiency HVAC equipment. These rebates are applied at the point of sale by a participating contractor and are noted on the customer’s invoice. In addition, there are rebates for low-income households and senior citizens who receive HEAP or LIHEAP assistance.