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Repairing your HVAC system when it breaks down can cost you hundreds of dollars. Replacing it can be even more expensive. It's necessary, though, to get you through those hot summers and cold winters. One way to mitigate major repair costs around the house is with a home warranty. Would an old HVAC system be covered? Is it a worthwhile investment? Here's what you need to know.
What Is a Home Warranty?
The term "home warranty" is a little misleading. Most warranties cover brand new items, for a limited period of time, against breaking down prematurely. If the thing you've purchased breaks or malfunctions while still under warranty, it can be repaired or even replaced at no cost to you.
A home warranty is more like a service contract than an actual warranty. It's often offered to you when you purchase your home, for a period of one year, though it can be extended and renewed for longer. If there are any major home expenses during that time, such as plumbing or electrical repair, the warranty will take care of a portion of the cost. Repair of most major household appliances is also covered under a home warranty, and even replacement if they're far enough gone. These repairs are significantly discounted, but not completely free.
Even if the home and the appliances in it are on the older side, they can still be covered under the home warranty contract. But keep in mind that a home warranty is different than homeowner’s insurance. Essentially, you can see the difference between homeowner’s insurance and a home warranty as covering expected vs. unexpected costs, where the insurance plan covers the unexpected such as a fire or theft.
Is HVAC Covered Under a Home Warranty Plan?
Most home warranties will cover repair and replacement of your HVAC system, even if it's a few years old. However, it needs to be in reasonably good repair. If the system is able to heat or cool your home properly when you purchase the warranty, it will probably be covered. However, if it's already falling apart, has frequent breakdowns, or was damaged in a natural disaster, then a home warranty company likely isn't going to pay to keep it working.
It's also important, under a home warranty, to schedule regular HVAC maintenance. Once a year, your HVAC technician needs to inspect the system. They'll perform a variety of tasks, from oiling the motor to checking electrical connections to cleaning the coils, and more. If there are any potential issues with the unit, they can address them before they turn into bigger problems. They'll ensure your system is in good repair and operating at peak efficiency.
If you don't schedule an annual service visit for your HVAC system, then your home warranty provider will say you've allowed your system to fall into disrepair and won't cover the costs. There are also basic maintenance tasks you need to perform yourself periodically, such as replacing the air filter when it gets clogged. If you don't, it can restrict airflow and damage the system - thereby negating its coverage under the home warranty.
If you're looking at home warranties, talk to the providers to see what's covered, how much you can expect to pay out of pocket for repairs, and what your responsibilities are in terms of system maintenance. A home warranty can be a great investment, but only if you know upfront what's involved.
If you need annual HVAC maintenance, David Gray Heating & Air can perform all the basic services necessary to keep your system working properly and efficiently, year after year, and fulfill the requirements of your home warranty. Contact us to learn more!