Many companies today offer HVAC contracts for their customers. While these HVAC contracts have always been common in business and industrial applications they are now becoming quite popular in residential applications. But the question remains, should you have one of the maintenance contracts for your home? I’ll dig deeper into these contracts and explain who they benefit most and why some of them is a waste of money.
Are HVAC Contracts Really Necessary?
When you have a new HVAC unit installed in your home chances are the company that installed the unit will offer an extended warranty, maintenance, and service contract. Typically, when it’s offered in a new install the cost is cheaper. When you already have a unit installed, the cost of regular maintenance can be much higher.
The way an HVAC contract works is by having the HVAC technician make regular visits to the home in inspect and service the unit. This usually occurs every 6 to 12 months. The technician will perform many of the routine service procedures that they would on a normal service call. The big difference is the cost is covered by the contract you signed initially and paid for.
When You May Not Need a Service Contract
All service contracts aren’t the same. Some contracts will only cover certain parts and procedures of the unit. Such as a hermetic section may be excluded from the contract. A repair in this area can be costly and it’s why it could be left out. Typically, most brands offer a warranty on the hermetic system and a contractor will look to the brand for replacement on a compressor or a related part.
Be sure to read over any parts of the contract and make sure to ask questions. Having everything in black and white is best so in a few years when there is a dispute you’ll have something to fall back on. Typically, most HVAC companies will have a standard contract with little changes other than brand names and schedules. They may also offer a lower cost alternative with less check-ups and less covered in repair costs.
Just Because The Unit is New Doesn’t Mean It Won’t Break
Many people think that just because a unit is new it’s not going to need service and maintenance for a few years. Why not just get a service contract then and not waste money to start. This is how many people get in trouble with their HVAC unit. There are two reasons why this is the wrong way to think and I’ll go over them below:
Your HVAC Unit Can Break Down at Any Time
Just because you have a new HVAC unit, doesn’t mean it won’t stop working for you. An HVAC unit needs regular maintenance even after it’s installed for just one year. Skipping out on service is akin to not changing the oil in your car until it breaks down. Having an HVAC contract can help you maintain the unit.
The Cost of HVAC Contracts is Higher on Older Units
The same reason why auto mechanics don’t give warranties on cars with over 200,000 miles is the same reason why HVAC contractors won’t give a service contract on a unit that’s 10 years old. It’s simply not feasible for them to do so. They may offer you an HVAC contract but chances are it’s going to be much more expensive and won’t cover as much stuff. That’s why getting the HVAC contract to begin with is so important.
Most people don’t think about their HVAC unit each day. Chances are you never give any thought about it until it stops working. By not getting a service contract when the unit was installed you may not remember it 5 years down the line when you planned on getting. Chances are you’ll only remember it once it stops working.
So Should You Get an HVAC Contract
The HVAC contracts that many of the contractors offer today are good for both the home owner and the company offering them. You’ll need to read over the contract and see if it covers everything in terms of parts, labor, and service. But shop around and look for different contractors to compare prices with. You may be able to get a service contract much cheaper just by shopping around.