Should I Buy HVAC Parts Online?
  • Posted on March 12, 2018
  • By Rod Miller

It’s a fair question, and it’s one we hear more and more often: should I buy HVAC parts online?

The rationale is straightforward. A quick Google search can uncover almost any HVAC part imaginable, ready to be shipped to your house with the quick click of a button. Has your blower motor broken? There’s a replacement listed somewhere. Has a condenser motor or a capacitor stopped functioning? You’ll be able to find the parts.

You can find a way to buy almost anything online. That’s the beauty of the internet, on the one hand – but on the other hand, it’s also the danger of the internet. Just because you can buy almost anything online doesn’t mean you should.

Here’s our recommendation: most HVAC parts should not be bought online. More often than not, if you buy online, you’ll regret it.

That’s because, for all of the parts and products you can find via a quick search, there are a few essential things that aren’t available online, and missing out on any of them can cost you time and money while ultimately hurting your heating and ventilation systems.

Here’s what you can and can’t find on the internet.

What You Can Find Online

Some parts are available for purchase from reliable sources online. These include:

  • Air filters
  • Thermostats
  • Indoor air quality accessories (humidifier pads, UV bulbs, etc.)

We actually recommend pre-purchasing air filters, and we will implement thermostats purchased online, as well.

What You Can’t Find Online

However, while you’ll be able to find almost any part, you won’t be able to find any of these necessary things if you attempt to buy HVAC parts online.

1. Reliable Sourcing

You can find parts easily enough, but it’s much more difficult to find parts that are reliably sourced. That’s because most part manufacturers don’t sell parts directly to consumers. To ensure reliable and safe installations, manufacturers sell only to certified installers.

That means that, when you see a part listed online, there’s a good chance somebody is skirting manufacturing regulations and bending the rules to their benefit. Are they sourcing their parts from manufacturer surpluses? Are their parts discontinued models? Are they refurbished?

It’s impossible to tell – and it’s also impossible to ensure that the parts listed online have been reviewed for quality.

At Rod Miller, we won’t install parts purchased online (other than those listed above). We take pride in guaranteeing our work, but we can’t do that if we can’t guarantee the quality of the components we’re installing.

2. The Ability to Install a Part Properly

You can’t find the ability to install a part properly on Google.

Yes, you can find tutorial videos to perform a variety of installations or repairs. But consider this: how much confidence would you have in a technician if you saw them relying on a YouTube video to install a part?

Probably not much. So, you probably shouldn’t trust yourself to follow a video, either.

There’s real skill that goes into installation and repairs – more than can be acquired by watching a five-minute video. Our technicians have put hundreds of hours into learning how to care for HVAC systems. They’ve performed repairs and installations countless times before.

They know what they’re doing, and they do it well.

Even if you receive a high-quality part from an online purchase (which is unlikely), attempting to install it yourself can lead to broken components, improper installations, and malfunctioning systems. We’ve walked into situations where a homeowner has completely taken apart the furnace in a failed attempt to implement a purchased part. Obviously, the resulting repair is more expensive and complicated than a simple part replacement.

You can purchase a part online, but the ability to install it properly doesn’t come with it.

3. The Skill to Diagnose the Real Issue

Additionally, online purchases don’t come with the skill and training needed to diagnose deeper issues.

It’s essential to understand the underlying issues behind part failures, because many times, when parts fail, simply replacing them won’t fix the underlying problems. If there’s a deeper issue, you can replace a part again and again, but it’ll break every time.

Replacing a part without addressing what caused it to break is like continually paying the mechanic to fix the engine without ever getting an oil change.

HVAC technicians have the skill to not only replace a part, but also to diagnose what may have caused the part to break in the first place – and then fix that, too.

4. The Expertise to Install a Part Without Voiding Its Warranty

Finally, on a simple, practical level, parts online don’t come with the expertise necessary to install them without voiding a warranty.

Manufacturer’s warranties nearly always require installation by a certified installer. Attempting to use non-standard parts or perform installations yourself can void system warranties and leave you paying more in the event that something goes wrong.

The Bottom Line for Buying Online

Look, we understand the temptation to purchase parts online. They’re listed at cheaper prices. That’s appealing. But it’s ultimately misleading.

Purchasing and installing parts from questionable sources online is more likely to cost you more time and money in the long run – not less.

At Rod Miller, we treat our customers like family, and we want you to receive the quality and comfort that you deserve. The reality is that quality and comfort are the result of skilled replacements and installations, performed by certified technicians who are experts at what they do. When your air conditioning goes out during the 90-degree heat wave, you don’t call “the internet”. You call a trusted HVAC provider, because you want to see a real person you can trust.

At the end of the day, that’s why you shouldn’t buy HVAC parts online: because you deserve service you can trust, not unnecessary stress and complications.

Do you need HVAC repairs or service? Get in touch with us. We’ll treat you like family, and we’ll make sure that your systems are working dependably with parts you can rely on – parts that are assured for quality and sourced from legitimate manufacturers.

So, the next time you’re tempted to click the “Buy Now” button on a questionable third-party website: don’t. Don’t spend time, money, and trouble you don’t need to. Pick up the phone and give us a call instead.

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