Having seen a vast variety of flooded out and crushed heating and air conditioning equipment in the last few weeks, it seems self-serving to discuss the “silver lining” that being forced to replace HVAC equipment presents, but it is a huge opportunity for owner and contractor alike.  Current recommendations from GAMA, FEMA and most insurance companies and state agencies are that any appliances including hot water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and boilers that have been submerged require replacement rather than repair.  Of course, for those with flood insurance or FEMA assistance, there is the opportunity to replace and upgrade your heating and air conditioning equipment while having that cost subsidized by your insurance company. For those that upgrade to a 16 SEER and a gas fired furnace with ECM motor, LIPA will now wave the requirement that your old system be operational and will also provide up to a $1500 “Early Retirement” rebate.
Details of LIPA’s Sandy Cool Homes Air Conditioning offer and the parameters for eligiblity to qualify affected customers are as follows:

  1. Customers that never participated in the Cool Homes Program or rebated in 2009 or prior (2008, 2007, etc) may take advantage of the opportunity.  Customers rebated from 1/1/2010 through today are not eligible for Early Retirement.
  2. The new system to be installed must be at least 2 full SEER greater than the existing (damaged) system.
  3. LIPA will waive the requirement that the existing damaged system must operate in order to qualify for Early Retirement
  4. Both the Air Handler and Condenser must be replaced to qualify for a rebate.  This is the same eligibility requirement as before.
  5. A Manual J report, completed Air Flow and Charge Form, and all necessary supporting rebate application paperwork are still required.
  6. You will need to still complete an ER, or PR, or CR Reservation Request form as standard operating procedure.
  7. Please write on top of reservation request form “SANDY” in order to alert us the existing system may not operate and avoid a failed inspection.
  8. Use an Early Retirement application when submitting rebate, as you normally do.

National Grid gas customers with flooded heating equipment can also receive some assistance. National Grid is reaching out to their natural gas customers who have been most seriously impacted by Hurricane Sandy in Long Island and New York City. Phase One of their Sandy Relief Program is broken down to two Tiers.
Tier 1 – all eligible gas heating customers that National Grid has placed a warning tag on a furnace, boiler or water heater will receive a $150 credit on their gas bill.   A warning tag means that the equipment is unsafe for relight and operation until repairs or replacement is made.
Tier 2 – In addition to the $150 credit, for the most vulnerable customers receiving benefits under Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), they may be able to receive additional assistance in the form of National Grid covering the cost of gas/gas equipment (repair or replacement) related to Hurricane Sandy.  Please call 877-MY-NGRID with any questions.
For those who may have been holding out replacing older inefficient HVAC systems because of expense, the combination of insurance subsidies and utility rebates makes this a great opportunity to have significant utility savings going forward.  Take advantage of it. You deserve it for all that you have been through!
As always, to keep up to date with what’s new in HVAC technology, visit our website at airideal.com and follow us on Twitter @airideal and at our Facebook page!