Consider the benefits and drawbacks of an extended HVAC service contract before investing.
If you’re installing a new home heating and cooling system or servicing an older one, many contractors offer an extended HVAC service contract or maintenance agreement. These contracts can be a blessing, but they can also be a waste of money. By understanding more about what these contracts are and what they offer, you can make an intelligent and wise selection.
What are heating and ac system service contracts?
Service contracts are agreements between you and an HVAC service provider wherein you pay a specified fee to guarantee the company’s ongoing services for your HVAC system.
With the most basic contracts, the service includes a checkup and tune-up emphasizing your heating system at the start of the winter and cooling system before summer. You can also find arrangements that include parts and service for problems found during those check-ups, and some will even include emergency service.
They sometimes also include top priority treatment, which can save you time and discomfort when your heater fails in the freezing cold or your air conditioner conks out in the heat of summer. The more services the contract includes, the more you will pay.
Benefits of regular HVAC routine maintenance
If you purchase a service contract, you will be most likely to get an annual tune-up for your HVAC system. This will improve your energy efficiency, as the technician will be able to change dirty filters and catch other problems that are impacting your efficiency, helping your system to work better overall.
Hiring a qualified HVAC contractor to inspect your system a few times each year means you can find issues while they are still small and easy to fix, rather than waiting until they damage your system or become expensive.
HVAC service agreements costs may be higher than the repair
The primary reason homeowners do not purchase an HVAC service contract is the cost. They can cost between $150 and $500 annually, depending on the amount and type of services offered. If the HVAC equipment is new and still under a manufacturer’s warranty, the cost may not be worth it. Any major repair services should be covered under the manufacturer’s service warranty. Some manufacturers require routine maintenance as a term of the warranty. Be sure you are familiar with the manufacturer’s warranty before you buy a service contract.
The contract may cost more than the service or repair it offers. Remember that you will be paying the service contract fee each year no matter whether you have a repair done. If you go five years without needing a major repair, but are paying $250 a year for the contract, you may be paying much more than it’s worth. Remember, though, that you’re getting routine maintenance performed on your system, so factor that cost in when determining if the contract is a good deal.
Research HVAC service agreements before you invest
Before enrolling in a service contract, determine the cost of routine maintenance for your unit and make sure the cost of the service contract is commensurate. You may find that it is cheaper to simply purchase the routine service out of pocket one time vs an annual fee (it rarely is!).
If not, you may want to look elsewhere for the service. Always read the minutiae before signing, being sure you know what actions on your part could nullify the deal. If you skip a check-up or service call, you could potentially void the manufacturer’s warranty. The devil is in the details.
Make sure that you choose a company that is honest, trustworthy and reliable. Remember, the service contract is only as good as the company backing it. You can trust Pickerington Heating & Cooling– we’ve helped thousands of Columbus-area families with their home’s cooling and heating equipment needs for more than 40 years. You don’t stick around that long without making a lot of people happy!
Interested in a service contract to cover your home’s HVAC equipment? Contact our office today at (614) 837-4026 to learn more or to enroll.