Extended HVAC maintenance has become a must-have service for many homeowners simply because frequent breakdowns and HVAC system inefficiencies are on the rise. Most companies offer service contracts also known as maintenance agreements when installing new systems or repairing older ones.
While these contracts can be a blessing, they can also waste your cash if not well understood and executed.
Understanding HVAC Service Contracts
At their simple definitions, service contracts are mutual agreements between a HVAC service provider and a homeowner where you are obligated to pay a fee so that the company can continuously or periodically service your HVAC system.
The most basic service contracts include checkups and tune-ups especially at the beginning of winter that is late fall and just before summer. Some contracts are customized to include parts and labor for services rendered during periodic checkups.
At times, service contracts have a clause that entitles you to priority treatment which can significantly save you time and discomfort when your system fails at the height of extreme temperatures. Inasmuch as many services in contracts are preferred, they also come at a cost which means you should always balance what to include in your service contracts vis-à-vis your budget.
Why Regular HVAC Maintenance is Beneficial
If you buy a service contract, chances are high that you will get an annual tune-up as one of offerings of the contract. This tune up is very important because it increases your system efficiency. During the tune-up, your designated technician will inspect and change your filters as well as spot other problems which impact on the overall efficiency of your HVAC system.
Qualified technicians understand the nature of HVAC problems and they can pick them up quickly during the system inspection process. This is critical because delays in fixing these problems can lead to a damage of your system.
How Much Do Service Agreements Cost?
One of the major reasons that is making homeowners not to purchase service contracts is the cost. Typically, the cost lies between $150 and $500 annually depending on the amount of services that you are offered.
A system that is newer and still under the manufacturer’s warranty may not cost as much. That being said, some manufacturers insist that routine maintenance should be done if the warranty is to stay in place.
One of the things to keep in mind is that whether you have had a repair job or not, you will be required to foot the service contract fee each year. Assuming you are paying $250 per year for the service contract and you happen to go for 5 years without a major repair, the amount you spend will certainly be higher than it would have cost you to have repairs done on the unit.
Before you sign up for any HVAC service contract, you should first determine the cost you would incur for non-contractual maintenance agreements and then compare this with the service contract fee.
All said and done, you are more secure and protected with a service contract agreement from a professional and reputable HVAC contractor. It’s your license to an effective and efficient HVAC system.