When installing a new HVAC system or repairing an old one, you will encounter companies offering an extended maintenance agreement or HVAC service contract. These contracts are often very beneficial, but some people perceive them as a complete waste of money. Service contracts essentially allow you to pay a set fee to guarantee the company’s ongoing maintenance and repair for your HVAC system. This is as opposed to paying indeterminate amounts every time the service providers show up. Have you been offered an extended HVAC service agreement and you’re wondering whether they’re worth your money? Read on to get vital facts about these contracts.
There Are Different Types of Contracts
If you’re contemplating getting an HVAC service agreement, you will want to make an extensive comparison of the cost and coverage of the variously available contracts. There are three broad categories of service contracts including the following.
Contracts are exclusively comprising of labor expenses for planned maintenance visits, which are either annual or semiannual. These upkeep visits are purposed at checking, cleaning, and adjusting equipment.
Contracts covering labor expenditures for both scheduled maintenance visits and unpredicted repairs.
Contracts are covering the cost of selected parts in addition to the labor expenses for both maintenance and repair visits.
These broad categories present different coverage. For instance, some contracts will cover furnace exclusively or air conditioning only while others include a combination of the two. Moreover, some contracts cover tasks that are excluded by others, with the most common exclusion being the cost of cleaning AC coils. Similarly, contracts encompassing the cost of labor and components for repairs exclude some expenses. Such might include compressor replacement expenses or even the cost for relatively cheap items like capacitors. HVAC service contracts can be customized to suit your specific requirements. It’s, however, imperative to request copies of the agreement from your prospective service provider.
Different Companies Charge Disparate Prices
The distinction between the prices charged by different companies is downright incredible. For instance, the cost of annual coverage among separate HVAC might range between $100 to $300 and more. This is attributable to the fact that each company compiles a customized package of maintenance services, with each presenting a distinct level of comprehensiveness.
You will, therefore, get a clear picture of the value carried by different companies by scrutinizing service providers covering similar or the same items. Find out which tasks are executed by each company during maintenance visits. For example, check to see if they clean AC coils or even whether they offer 24-hour service. Exercising due diligence when buying a contract will prevent you from getting into an arrangement where you end up footing the service and repair bills every time you require work.
Benefits of a Service Contract
The primary purpose of buying a service contract is saving money in the long run. Regular maintenance plans will go a long way in preventing more significant HVAC issues that are more costly to fix. Besides, a regularly monitored system will rarely develop problems that might otherwise impact on its efficiency. A service contract will also serve to protect you from incurring substantial expenses when executing sizable repairs. Although you might not require a service contract if your unit is relatively new and covered under warranty, you will find that some manufacturers out rightly need regular maintenance as a vital component of the warranty.
When is a Service Contract Ideal?
Most HVAC companies will encourage you to buy these contracts because they facilitate their efforts to schedule work, especially when demand is low. This allows them to avoid paying overtime through peak times or even hiring extra workers in preparation for increased demand during hectic periods. Conversely, other companies perceive service contracts as a ploy for overcharging clients. Since both views are right to some extent, it’s imperative to evaluate your circumstances before making a decision.
You might require a service contract if you have a huge house and end up hiring professionals for maintenance every year, probably because you are not accustomed to performing even the simplest of maintenance chores yourself. However, first ensure that you’re not paying too much more for the contract than you’d otherwise incur paying for individual visits that the agreement encompasses.
When is a Service Contract Extravagant?
On the other hand, a service contract might prove to be wasteful if you require maintenance visits less than once annually. Paying for the individual visits one at a time would make more sense in this case, and the only reason you’d need to buy a service contract is to insure yourself against costly repairs or getting priority service on unplanned repair calls. However, it’s important to note that purchasing a service contract with the hope of acquiring priority treatment on unanticipated repair visits is not always fruitful. This is because most HVAC units malfunction during extreme weathers and few companies have enough staff for handling the high demand.
Such companies can hardly keep up with the pace irrespective of their efforts to place technicians on overtime. Thus, they might not come to your rescue even when you’re a priority customer. Therefore, you might end up waiting forever to get an appointment, which could compel you to hire a different company to complete the task notwithstanding having bought a service contract.
If you’re looking to buy a service contract to acquire insurance against costly repair bills, ensure to inspect the prices of different agreements offering similar levels of protection. Be warned; most of these service contracts rarely cover the majority of costly repairs that include replacement of compressors and heat exchangers. Before buying a service contract, it’ll be a point plus if you take care when selecting your prospective company. There have been numerous consumer complaints about technicians who somehow discover something that is not covered by the contract on every visit thus they demand extra payment. Other contractors will utilize service contracts as an opportunity to execute unnecessary repairs twice annually.