Spring and Summer are always just around the corner, and nothing’s worse than getting stuck in a hot building with a broken air conditioner.
You could call a local repairman to take a look, but that could cost you hundreds of dollars. Air repair costs across the nation average out at $371.
Thus the question: how to afford AC repair costs when you don’t have hundreds of dollars to drop all at once? Here are some options to consider.
1. Homeowner’s Insurance
That high AC repair price could be covered under your homeowner’s insurance under certain circumstances. Home insurance covers home damage, including AC units, in the case of fire, falling trees, lightning strikes, and more.
Anything normally covered in your policy applies. That includes vandalism, as well, which should follow a police report. However, your AC unit’s repair costs do not apply if they’re due to age or negligence.
If you have an older unit and its warranty has expired, you’ll have to pay for repairs or buy a replacement. In addition, if you never clean out your filter or damaged it yourself on accident, then it won’t be covered.
Most people with homes should have corresponding insurance, so consider that if the damage was out of your control.
2. Get a Loan
In certain states, air conditioning is a necessity, especially when temperatures can get up into the triple digits. Without it, the inside of your house bakes, humidity rises, and your health can suffer.
Although it may seem excessive to get a loan for a single appliance, AC units are worth it.
Some states have a special energy efficiency loan program for households below a certain annual income ceiling. In Pennsylvania, their Keystone Home Energy Loan Program offers a fixed rate over ten years.
If you’re not in a state that offers a loan program, you can borrow against the equity in your home. Or you can open a credit line to help foot the bill.
It’s not ideal, but you’ll definitely sleep easier at night.
3. Financing AC Repair Costs
Financing a payment works much the same as loans, but they’re usually much more lenient. A bank loan, for example, might have a minimum of $3,000, even if you only need a fraction of that for a purchase.
When buying a brand new AC unit, look into AC companies that offer financing deals. Often, financing approvals for air conditioning clients can take as little as twenty-four hours to process.
Synchrony, a financial service company, offers promotional financing and monthly payment options, as well as revolving credit lines.
4. Apply for a Grant
One option to consider is applying for a grant. There are numerous grants created to aid low-income families who are in need.
The Federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) specifically helps anyone with heating and cooling.
More specifically, they usually give small grants to get caught up on energy bills. However, they can also cover the cost of new air conditioner units.
It can take up to forty-five days to receive help from them, so plan ahead if your AC unit has started acting up. Your total household income determines your qualification.
Because of the wait time, LIHEAP is not meant to cover AC repair costs. They can be a useful resource if you need emergency funds to pay your energy bills, though.
5. Reach Out to a Local Charity
Some local churches and charities offer one-time grants for emergency expenses. A broken air conditioner unit in the middle of summer can be considered an emergency in some states.
Modest Needs is one such charity formed to provide short-term financial assistance, lessen the burden of state and federal agencies, and promote compassion and generosity.
Donors empower them to give grants to applicants by paying the vendor or creditor directly.
Their grants are not meant to help pay rent and must be less than $1000.
6. Programs for Senior Citizens
Senior citizens of course have programs specifically designed to help them with these kinds of payments.
For anyone 62 or older and low-income, grants and long-term loans are offered by the United States Department of Agriculture. They’re meant to help fund home improvements, including those involving air conditioner units.
Applicants can get up to $7,500 in the form of a grant. Alternatively, they can choose a loan of up to $20,000 repayable over 20 years.
You most likely won’t require a full loan in order to repair your AC unit, but the grant could be helpful for investing in a new AC unit if needed.
7. DIY Repairs
If you’re a more handyman type of person, you could always try to repair a faulty AC unit on your own. Needless to say, this isn’t recommended for most people.
The most important and first step to repairing your unit is to have the user manual on hand. You can usually find an online copy on the manufacturer’s website.
Next, figure out what exactly is broken inside the unit. It could be broken ductwork or strange noises.
Broken ductwork can take days to fix and most likely requires an expert. Strange noises inside your AC unit could mean it needs a new belt.
Some other common AC problems are a dirty filter, a malfunctioning compressor, or leaking coolant. A filter can be replaced easily, but repairing a compressor or finding a leak may take a specialist.
If you want to avoid having to DIY your invaluable AC unit, try to have a professional come once a year for a checkup.
Don’t Sweat the Heat
No one wants to be trapped in the warmer months without access to cool air. And no one likes dealing with high AC repair costs.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for assistance when these situations pop up. Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes.
Contact us with your air conditioning and heating needs, and we’ll talk out some financing options available to you. If you’re a senior citizen or military, there’s also a discount waiting for you.
Get Help For Your Weird AC Sounds
Those weird AC sounds are trying to tell you something. Don’t ignore them.
If you’re experiencing any out-of-the ordinary AC phenomena, get in touch with us today. Contact us and we’ll get back to you quickly. Or, call our emergency service number and we’ll speak with you instantly.