To Rent or Buy? Top 5 Considerations

In order to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter there are few things more essential than a reliable HVAC system. Depending on where you live in the Ottawa and surrounding area will likely influence your HVAC equipment choice. For example, in rural areas such as Greely, Constance Bay, and Dunrobin, where natural gas is not conveniently accessible you may want to consider alternative equipment selection such as electric or geo-thermal heat pumps, or propane fired furnaces.

Once you have chosen the right equipment such as a central air conditioning system, furnace, boiler or energy efficient heat pump you will then need to consider the best way to pay for it. Ottawa homeowners looking for new heating and cooling equipment have a few financial scenarios available to them including outright purchase, purchase with financing and renting.

In this blog post we will examine the pros and cons of each option to help you choose the one that is best for you. Your decision to rent, finance or buy new HVAC equipment offers several advantages that should be considered. We will review our top 5 considerations when looking to rent or buy a new HVAC system:

1. Total Cost:

The primary advantage of renting a new heating or cooling system is the reduced upfront costs. It should come as no surprise that when purchasing a new HVAC system, there are higher upfront costs, but savings are made in the long run. When opting for a rental, homeowners are not fronted with the requirement to pay for the entire unit upfront, but instead pay a smaller monthly fee. However the smaller monthly fee can really add up if you consider that you will be paying for it for at least 12 years.

The reality is that with most rental contracts, you will have paid the same amount as an up front purchase by year 8. If you rent for 12 or more years it will contribute to a significantly higher total cost over the lifespan of the equipment! Most analysis shows that buying can cost up to 45% less than renting, even including a maintenance plan! Ultimately, when presented with the option to buy, especially if financing is available, it is almost always more wise to purchase new equipment as opposed to renting.

Comparing AC Buying vs Renting

TIP: If you are getting quotes from HVAC companies and you feel like they are pushing you towards a rental option, ask them to outline the total cost of the system based on the projected rental period.  Also ask what is the minimum rental period and if you can see a copy of their rental contract buyout table if you look to break it early.

2. Savings Through Government Rebates: 

Whether you’re looking to upgrade to a more eco-friendly or higher tech heating or cooling system, or you’re in an emergency and need a replacement right away, government programs such as GHG can offer significant financial relief. Government grants and rebates are only available to homeowners looking to purchase HVAC systems, not rent them. If homeowners are cash-tight, the ability to save in this case comes from the opportunity to finance new equipment!

By purchasing new heat pump systems, homeowners can take full advantage of government rebates such as the one offered by the Greener Homes Grant through Natural Resources Canada. Depending on your requirements you can receive up to $7,100 in government rebates. Unfortunately, renting similar HVAC equipment means homeowners have limited eligibility for similar government rebates.

To learn more Call Us Now to learn how much you can qualify for in both scenarios.

3. Flexible Payments With Savings:

When it comes to your home’s comfort, owning an HVAC system provides benefits that renting simply cannot. One key advantage lies in the flexibility of financing options. For example, many HVAC contractors offer options to finance equipment, leaving you the freedom to choose a financing plan that suits your budget and preferences. Preferences can include interest on loans, installments payments, or flexible payment terms, and ultimately allow you to tailor the financing to your specific needs.

It’s also important to note that most rental agreements include a buyout fee should you wish to opt out of your rental contract. A buyout fee is an amount you pay to release yourself from a contract in addition to the monthly payments you have already made. Financing, on the other hand, ensures homeowners reap the benefits of ownership without the large upfront cost of an outright purchase.

4. Hassle-Free Maintenance and Repairs:

When a rental agreement is in place, all repairs and regular maintenance services are part of the package, but homeowners have no choice in the service provider. As seen in the chart above, maintenance and protection plans are affordable, and when factored into the cost of owning HVAC equipment they become almost a non-factor compared to renting costs. In cases where the homeowner purchases new HVAC equipment from Francis Plumbing Heating & Cooling, you can get the same level of worry-free protection from our GOLD Maintenance and Protection Plans. If you live in the Ottawa and surrounding area and purchase an HVAC system from Francis Plumbing Heating & Cooling, our local technicians can get to you the same day to address emergency issues. This not only saves homeowners the hassle of finding reliable technicians, but also ensures unexpected expenses are something they do not have to worry about!

5. Value of Home and Ease of Sale:

When considering making any home improvements, homeowners are constantly leveraging the fact that the value of their home increases by making purchasing investments. In this case, renting new equipment doesn’t add any value to the home, and rental agreements must be transferred to new homeowners should the home be sold. Additionally, the home sale process is a stressful and busy time for homeowners on either end of the deal, and negotiating rental contract transfers leads to more of a headache. By purchasing new HVAC equipment, the value of your home increases and the home-selling process is simplified as there are no contracts to transfer!


In conclusion, owning your HVAC equipment offers the greatest value and lowest cost. The most important takeaways on why buying makes is more beneficial than renting for most homeowners include:

  • Buying saves an average of 45% vs. renting
    • That’s $7,519 (Total Cost of Renting vs. Buying in the chart above)
  • Financing your purchase offers all the same benefits with one affordable monthly payment
    • That’s still 43% and $6,881 less than renting (Total Cost of Financing vs. Buying in the chart above)
  • Renting offers the highest overall costs and least flexibility, and we do not recommend it 

When possible, buying equipment offers the clearest, lowest cost to homeowners, and offers maximum flexibility for choice of service providers, maintenance and protection plans, and taking advantage of government rebates. If budgeting is a concern, financing offers a monthly payment that still offers the same benefits since you do own the equipment. Renting offers none of the benefits that owning HVAC equipment does, and has the highest overall cost, and because of this, and our desire to have a long term relationship with our customers, we do not offer lengthy rental contracts. We want to enable you to make the smartest choice for your home and your budget!