2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

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IMO
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2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by IMO » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:18 am

So my parents in SoCal are finally having to replace their 45+ year old HVAC as the A/C finally died.

Has anyone used Costco for HVAC?

Thoughts on using them, issues, warranty, etc?

(Didn't search for older threads on topic as want up to date feedback).

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RickBoglehead
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:41 am

About 5 years ago we needed to put in two new systems at my mother's house. Got a bunch of quotes, Costco was significantly more including whatever incentive they had, i.e. cashback card. Got 10 year, and 5 year labor from smaller company that installed the systems.

I find that many of the Costco 3rd party things are not a savings for the shopper that does research and price shops. They sell convenience.
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andypanda
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by andypanda » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:10 am

I looked at the local Lennox dealers the beginning of the year and had narrowed it down to two of them before I heard about Costco's deal on Lennox heat pumps. I soon discovered that the Lennox dealer they used was my least favorite of the four.

Call the number on the Costco site and see if they install HVAC in your area and what brands/models are available and who will be doing the work.

I went with a larger installer. I still got a $900 Lennox rebate, a discount from the installer, a percent or so off for paying by check and got an installer who had a fabrication shop to deal with the finer points of the installation of the insulated galvanized pipe replacement duct system I wanted. The only flex duct is the last couple of feet before each outlet.

My wife ended up with the $900 Visa card. :)

The predicted life expectancy of new heat pumps is somewhere in the 10 to 12 to 15 year range if you're lucky. It's not like it used to be when I was a kid and equipment was overbuilt and inefficient.

runner3081
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by runner3081 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:38 am

It really depends on the contractor they sub this out to in your area. As we know, Costco is not really involved at all with the installation.

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mhc
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by mhc » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:43 am

I have never tried them for HVAC, but I have looked at their offers for rental cars, travel, and new cars. I was able to do better by not using Costco. Costco has their fingers in a lot of things, but I do not find them to be competitive in many areas.

I would ask friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors in the area to get recommendations.

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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:45 am

The Costco program sets you up with a local contractor. They do a good job of selecting contractors.

We used the program and got a quote from the local/smaller contractor. I also got a separate quote for the same Lennox system outside of Costco.

The incentives made the Costco buy a much better deal. I don't know what the current incentives are. The 10 year warranty is through Lennox and the heating/cooling company does the yearly inspection to keep the warranty in place.

We also went through Costco for our carpet replacement. Same deal. Good/smaller/trusted local contractor. Good price and the incentives made it better. Use your Costco Credit Card and pile up the cash back and reward points.

All good things to say here. There are always cheaper options but selecting lower quality brands, builder grade stuff. We want the stuff to last.
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LilyFleur
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by LilyFleur » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:13 am

The Costco HVAC contractor's bid was too high. I went with another contractor with stellar Yelp scores, no complaints at the BBB, and a license in good standing with the state contractor's board.

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stickman731
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by stickman731 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:36 am

I do not know about Costco HVAC system, but I would check with your local utility company for potential rebates. In NJ, I was totally surprised the amount of $$$ I received.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:58 am

And check before installation as the efficiency of the unit can impact the rebate, or if you get a rebate at all.
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AllMostThere
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by AllMostThere » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:22 am

I got a quote from a local Lennox HVAC Costco Supplier ~ 3 years ago. They were the most expensive of all quotes (including Costco rebates) and unwilling to negotiate any on the price. They seemed to have the opinion that they had a "lock" on the business due to their Costco affiliation. Wrong! I went with a local Bryant installer who did a great job on the install at 30% less than the comparable Lennox system. Plus, they completed all the local utility rebate applications for me, so I didn't need to worry about it. :happy I have found that Costco Affiliation does NOT always mean best price, maybe some convenience and nothing more.

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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:38 am

mhc wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:43 am
I have never tried them for HVAC, but I have looked at their offers for rental cars, travel, and new cars. I was able to do better by not using Costco. Costco has their fingers in a lot of things, but I do not find them to be competitive in many areas.

I would ask friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors in the area to get recommendations.
Interesting. I have never been able to beat Costco for rental cars.

And I love their travel deals. For the same package, I’ve never been able to beat them. But their packages are limited.

Mr. Rumples
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by Mr. Rumples » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:40 am

One thing to find out is how are they going to address issues that might come up. Will the electric panel need updating? Is there asbestos around? It wasn't until the late 1970's that asbestos was finally banned from drywall and such. In our Denver home, the drywall and insulation did not test positive, but the paper around the insulation tested positive and the drywall "mud" tested positive. No one can look at it and determine if there is or isn't asbestos.

I don't know about Costco HVAC, but subcontractors for HomeDepot and Lowe's are working on a slim profit margin and you don't want to cut corners when dealing with asbestos. A savvy buyer in the future might be asking questions about it.

NewMoneyMustBeSmart
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by NewMoneyMustBeSmart » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:20 am

IMO wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:18 am
So my parents in SoCal are finally having to replace their 45+ year old HVAC as the A/C finally died.

Has anyone used Costco for HVAC?

Thoughts on using them, issues, warranty, etc?

(Didn't search for older threads on topic as want up to date feedback).
Thoughts are my opinions.

2 years ago one of our 2 ACs went Kaput. Costco's exit path had a sales person for a certain A/C company who was not annoyingly intrusive. Their collateral material showed a rebate of some sort.

I negotiated. I forget the #s, maybe it was a $300 rebate. Their first price for the replaced A/C (parts and labor) was somethinglike $4500.

They came down to something like $3800, plus the $300 rebate to $3500 plus the 2% on each of the two programs (Citi + Costco) of .04*3500=another $140 back, so around $3360 from their $4500.

It's my opinion that while CostCo is a good company and sort of stands by their brand, this CostCo branded HVAC is really just a commission paying referral system. Your real quality/relationship/cost is determined by the HVAC vendor. So YMMV.

aerosurfer
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by aerosurfer » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:55 pm

I’m in the process of a new HVAC system too, I tried Costco too, had a local Lennox guy come out. He was knowledgeable, but ultimately tried to sell me way more system than I needed. After a few other estimates from other companies, I emailed him back and asked for a quote that more fit both my house needs and the investment of the system (budget). He still came back on the high end of what the other 6 estimates were. I have gone with another vendor.

westie
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by westie » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:59 pm

Same business model Lowe's or Home Depot uses. Can't imagine their installation contractors are different, they're just another big box store contracting out work.

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IMO
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by IMO » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:36 pm

Thanks for the feedback.

My parents did get 2 estimates from other companies which will be helpful to compare.

I had advised them to get a quote from their local Costco simply because I was under the presumption that Costco would be holding their service contractors to higher standards. It seems there is mixed responses.

I'll hopefully be able to help them figure out the various specifics on hvac quality, etc. Harder to do from afar due to parents age, health vision issues, etc.

Kennedy
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by Kennedy » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:36 pm

Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:38 am
mhc wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:43 am
I have never tried them for HVAC, but I have looked at their offers for rental cars, travel, and new cars. I was able to do better by not using Costco. Costco has their fingers in a lot of things, but I do not find them to be competitive in many areas.

I would ask friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors in the area to get recommendations.
Interesting. I have never been able to beat Costco for rental cars.

And I love their travel deals. For the same package, I’ve never been able to beat them. But their packages are limited.
Me, too! I always use Costco for my rental cars.

Big Dog
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by Big Dog » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:55 pm

IMO wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:36 pm
Thanks for the feedback.

My parents did get 2 estimates from other companies which will be helpful to compare.

I had advised them to get a quote from their local Costco simply because I was under the presumption that Costco would be holding their service contractors to higher standards. It seems there is mixed responses.

I'll hopefully be able to help them figure out the various specifics on hvac quality, etc. Harder to do from afar due to parents age, health vision issues, etc.
Replaced our HVAC last year and obtained at least a dozen quotes, including 3 from Costco's chosen companies. (We have 3 Costco's within a 20 minute drive and each Costco had a different 3rd party vendor, so I had them all quote.) Our experience was that the Costco vendors were in the range of some of the independents, but what made the Costco deal attractive was the Cash Card back that they were offering at the time. With the cash back deal, one of the Costco vendors became one of the lower bids. However, that vendor had mixed online reviews, particularly when they were a 3rd party sub for Lowes.

In the end, we went with a local family owned business, that wasn't the cheapest but had the most 5* reviews. They did a Manual J heating and cooling load calculation as well as a Manual D (ductwork). Highly recommended. (Most sales guys don't want to put in the extra work.)

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:28 pm

I got a quote through Costco's program when I replaced my A/C a couple of years ago. Their contractor was a local company. After I explained my specific problems and desires they proposed an expensive and complicated system (mechanically zoned) that I felt was likely to need more (and more expensive) service. They paid little attention to the energy efficiency of my home. I had no way to judge the likely quality of their work.

I ended up going with a smaller company that put a lot of effort into analyzing my home's energy efficiency and how to improve it. They then recommended a cost effective system that would solve the problems I had with my current system. Working with them gave me confidence in their quality of work which turned out to be excellent.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:13 am

Check any quote for whether they are replacing thermostats. First, may be totally unnecessary. Second, make sure the homeowner has the technical capability to understand how to work it.

My mother has zero technical ability. Actually, less than zero. :oops: I made sure that all quotes either included a simple, non-programmable thermostat, or left the old one. The winning contractor pushed for the programmables, so I said he had to write this on the quote: "Owner of company will provide 24/7 thermostat operation support, including 24/7 onsite visits if necessary, for ten years". He got the message. :P
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

Topic Author
IMO
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Re: 2019 Costco HVAC services: Good deal/issues?

Post by IMO » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:59 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:13 am
Check any quote for whether they are replacing thermostats. First, may be totally unnecessary. Second, make sure the homeowner has the technical capability to understand how to work it.

My mother has zero technical ability. Actually, less than zero. :oops: I made sure that all quotes either included a simple, non-programmable thermostat, or left the old one. The winning contractor pushed for the programmables, so I said he had to write this on the quote: "Owner of company will provide 24/7 thermostat operation support, including 24/7 onsite visits if necessary, for ten years". He got the message. :P
Yeah zero to negative technical ability. Will remind them.

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