Buying a HVAC Unit from Box Store

Why buying an HVAC system from a box store is a bad idea

Many people believe that big box stores are the best option for buying new appliances. After all, they sell all of the products you could ever imagine. Surely, they're the best place to buy a new HVAC system, right?

Well, not exactly.

Buying a new heating and air condition system is complicated. Not only is it a great expense, but installation is complex, which means you'll need people with expertise. Though you might be tempted to buy an HVAC system at the nearest big box store to save some money, you might actually be spending more if you turn away from reputable HVAC companies.

Here are four reasons why buying an HVAC system from big box stores is a bad idea:

1. Their employees are not experts

The truth is that home improvement stores are focused on sales. While the employees might have some knowledge of HVAC systems, they'll mostly give you information on different brands and prices. People who work at these big hardware stores are trained to sell, not to answer all of your questions. The bottom line is that they aren't experts in HVAC systems, so if you don't know a lot about installation and maintenance, you might end up with the wrong product, or worse -- you might damage your brand-new, expensive HVAC.

2. They have marked up prices

People assume that big box stores always have the best prices, but that isn't always true. Big box stores get the products from the manufacturer, but then mark them up so that they can make a profit. If you shop from reputable HVAC companies, you'll get the manufacturer's price, which is significantly lower than buying from hardware stores.

3. They don't specialize in HVACs

If you want to buy a car, do you seek advice from the first salesman that you see? You don't, because you know you're supposed to go to a car dealership because that's their specialization. When buying an HVAC system, you should work with a company that specializes in HVAC systems. They will know everything that there is to know about HVAC installation, repairs, maintenance -- you name it. You will have access to expert help as they help you select the model that works best for you.

4. They don't offer full support

Aside from not having experienced technicians, box stores don't offer the services that you will eventually need from owning an HVAC system. Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit will need regular maintenance in order to prolong its lifespan and to produce safe air. If you buy from big box stores, your relationship with them ends after you've made your purchase. They might offer a limited warranty, but they'll just outsource the servicing to the manufacturer -- and typically this takes more time. You'll want to partner with a reputable HVAC manufacturer that offers services like installation and 24/7 repair over the long term.


Your local big box store might have all of the HVAC brands in the world, but it's still important to equip yourself with a general idea of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems before deciding on a purchase. If you want expert opinion and support, you should consider buying from an HVAC company instead. They have trained professionals who will make sure that you don't end up with an HVAC that will cost you more in the long run.