Why You Should Install AC Early Before the Busy Season (Podcast)

Mike Cappuccio talks about the advantages of purchasing and installing an AC before summer starts, especially how demand from new work at home employees and the COVID restrictions are causing a backlog of work.

John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher and I’m here today with Mike Cappuccio, owner of N.E.T.R. Inc., a heating and cooling company in Massachusetts. Today we’re talking about why you should install AC early, before the busy season. Welcome Mike.

Mike Cappuccio: Good morning, John. How are you?

John: Good, thanks. So Mike, it’s the middle of January now and here in Boston, it’s about 30 degrees. So the last thing that I, or anybody really is thinking about right now is air conditioning.

So why should a homeowner be thinking about air conditioning right now and thinking about getting that installed?

Mike: Well, John it’s a great question. And I’m going to tell you with everything that’s happened in the last year of 2020, I mean, we have just seen lot of challenges. Lot of challenges this year and what’s been going on.

But the question you asked me is why should I be thinking about air conditioning this season? I can’t tell you how many people thought about air conditioning in June and July of last year when they figured out,

“Oh boy, I’m working from home and my house is not comfortable and I need to do something immediately.”

Well, there was, I’m going to say half the people in the United States were thinking that, and that created a big, big demand of people that were all trying to get the same thing done in the same amount of time. And it created a lot of challenges.

So seriously, if you’re going to be working from home and you’re being told you’re going to be working from home until next fall sometime. A lot of companies now are just telling people you’re going to be working from home for the unforeseeable future.

And you want to be comfortable, this is something you want to be thinking of now. You want to take advantage of what you can get for thinking about this now. 

Discounts for Off Season AC Installation and Springtime Price Hikes

So first off, the off-season discounts. I mean, we’re putting together some great off-season discounts right now.

We’re actually going to be putting together over the next week a single zone cooling only unit that’s going to start at $2999 installed in your home. We’re working on getting that together on that we’ll be rolling out probably at the beginning of next week.

You have off season pricing and you have peak pricing. This pricing is only going to be available until the end of April.

So we’re also offering 10% off up to $1,500 on all off-season discounts. On what we’re doing with that, we’re looking at last year’s pricing.

We’re still working with last year’s pricing, which is good because we have not had a price increase from our manufacturer. We usually see our price increases from a manufacturer right about March 15th, sometimes as early as February 15th, depending on where that’s going to come in.

So, when we get an increase from our manufacturer, sometimes they’re 10-12%, the 10-12% is getting passed on to the general public at that point too. So you’re going to see higher prices come springtime, much more demand, which is going to also going to create a lack of equipment availability because some of these factories have been shut down for COVID. 

Why You Don’t Want to Wait Til Summer for Your AC Installation

Mike: We’re still waiting on equipment for some things that we sold in the fall that we just don’t have yet that’ll be in the next few weeks. But we’re experiencing big equipment back orders because I mean there was some factories that were just closed for months, where you couldn’t get equipment.

I know one manufacturer; they don’t even have furnaces right now. They have no furnaces available right now in the winter time. So can you imagine what’s going to happen with the air conditioning side of that?

John: Right.

Mike: So you’ve got to look at that. And then, if this is something that you’re really seriously thinking about keeping your home cool come summertime, we had almost a six to eight week backlog in the summertime because there’s really just a lack of labor.

There’s just not enough people to install the amount of equipment that needs to be installed in a short period of time. So, we’re telling people, “Look, if you’re really thinking about putting air conditioning in your home this season, think about doing it now.”

It’s almost like I try to tell people, if you were going to buy a swimming pool, you don’t buy a swimming pool on the July 4th weekend because all the swimming pool manufacturers are busy at that point. You’re probably going to see a swimming pool in the fall at that point, you see what I’m saying?

John: Right. It’s going to take a couple of months before they even start working on it. And then it’s going to take them a few weeks or a month to build it and put it together. And then by the time it’s done the season’s over.

Mike: The season’s over. Exactly. The other thing too, is that all of our systems are heat pumps. So you can also possibly save on your heating bill now, if you have fossil fuels or things like that, where you want to be using a heat pump to just heat one room in your home. Especially if you’re working from home and you’re only in one room a lot of the day, you could put in a heat pump in that room, keep that room warm, turn the heat off in the rest of the house, pick up a tremendous savings on your heating bill. So that’s one I always tell people. That’s something that people don’t think about of how they’re doing that.

And like I said, we have major, major backlogs as far as last summer went.

I know we’re going to see price increases from the manufacturers. I can already see it coming. Just think of how factories now need to do their business prior than last year, how they were doing their business with all the COVID restrictions and everything else.

I mean, it’s going to drive up costs substantially of what we’re doing. 

Free One Year Maintenance on AC Installations Before April

Mike: And what we’re also offering too, is if anyone purchases a system now before the beginning of April, we are going to offer a free one year maintenance agreement with that. That’s going to be on everything that’s sold before April.

So if you’re really seriously thinking about doing this, we really want to talk to you prior to the beginning of April, because you can be right on our list of the 1st of April to get this stuff done. So you’re not waiting at that point.

You want to be able to have this in before it gets hot. Because I want you to think about this, we can get 80 to 85 degree days in May. It happens all time. Sometimes it even happens in April and I don’t know what the summer is going to be like, but I know last summer was a pretty hot summer.

I mean, every summer does get hot and then you can also you’ll have it in for next fall, you can save on your heating bills and things like that. So if you are serious about doing this, please let’s have a conversation. 

Rebates on AC Installation and Why they Get Delayed

John: Right. Talk a little bit about rebates and the amount of time it takes you guys to process those rebates for that money to get back into the pocket of the consumer.

Mike: Yeah. I mean, there’s a couple of different things with rebates right now, John is, I mean, if you are an Eversource customer, we can take care of that rebate right for you.

We can basically take the rebate money right off of the job. So let’s say the rebate is $700 or $750. And the job is $5,000. We can take that $750 right off that job, invoice you for the $4250 and we’ll take the rebate responsibility and wait the six to seven weeks to get that money.

Some of those rebates too, I can’t tell you how many people from National Grid that had to do their own rebates that were calling us saying, “Hey, I haven’t got my rebate from National Grid.”

Well first off, we don’t do the rebates, National Grid does those, but with the backlog of air conditioning that got installed last year, people were waiting 12 to 15 weeks for their rebates from power companies as well because of the demand of air conditioning that got installed.

So the sooner you get it put in, the less rebate activity that’s going on, the quicker you’re going to get your money back too from those rebates. 

Save on Heating If You Install an AC Now (February)

John: Right. If I was able to place an order with you now for air conditioning and get that installed, could I potentially get that installed before the end of the winter and even see some savings on my heating bill this winter?

Mike: Absolutely. Yeah. We’re running about right now, a three week backlog. So I mean, it could be put in by some time in February if you were to purchase now. But I mean, usually in March and April, we’re running a two to three to four week backlog, depending on what’s going on. But I mean, like I said, I saw backlogs at the end of June John, we were booked into August. That’s how busy it was with the amount of things that were going on and the lack of labor and the lack of equipment and things like that.

So again, it was a swimming pool scenario. You’re buying air conditioning in June, but then still it wasn’t being put in until August. And that’s the norm in this industry today.

That’s what you’re seeing a lot. Most contractors are very, very busy in the summertime with this. And then you’re also paying higher prices in the summertime too. So, you’re in a demand season at that point. If you’re really serious about this, like I said, and you want to pick up the savings and the rebates and the availability, now is the best time to do this. Smart people shop for swimming pools in the winter time. 

Free Maintenance with Off Season AC Purchase and Installation

John: Absolutely. Yeah. And then I understand that you’re offering a free maintenance agreement if you purchase in the off season. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Mike: Yep. So, basically we’re going to give you a free maintenance agreement with your system if you purchase this before the end of April. We’re going to come out to your home, if we were to install this in say April of this year, we would come back out to your home the beginning of April of 2022 and we perform a maintenance and check clean and check on that system, which is a value of about $179, some upwards to $500, depending on how big the system is to come out to your home and do that a year later. We’re offering that free with everything that we’re installing right now.

John: All right. Well, that’s really great information. Thanks again, Mike. Appreciate it.

Mike: Thanks, John.

John: And for more information, you can visit the N.E.T.R. Website at netrinc.com or call 781933 NETR, that’s (781) 933-6387.