Do I Need an HVAC Service Contract for My Heater in Havertown, PA?
With an HVAC service contract for your heater, you pay a little bit each year to ensure the unit runs efficiently and for as long as possible. The benefits you get usually depends on how much you pay. While they’re almost always a good idea, there are some circumstances where they’re not necessary.
With winter approaching, it’s time to consider paying for a service contract for your heater. Sure, Havertown and nearby towns in DelCo and Montgomery County aren’t the coldest places in the country. But, you still wouldn’t want to be without heat this winter.
So, it’s best to be prepared. But, we understand that these agreements are a hard sell sometimes. People get concerned about paying each month for services they only need a few times a year.
So, in this post we’re looking at what you get with a service agreement, and if it’s worth it for you. First, we’ll clear up some of the terminology. Then, we’ll get into the nuts and bolts.
What’s the Difference Between Maintenance Contracts and Service Contracts?
There’s really no difference between maintenance contracts and service contracts. They’re just two terms for the same thing. And, both boil down to preventative maintenance.
What that means is that you’re getting your heater “fixed” before there’s a problem.
This way, any repairs cost much less. The system will run more efficiently, which saves you money on your energy bills. And, you’re far less likely to get blindsided with a sudden breakdown at the worst possible time.
How’s this all possible? By staying ahead of any problems. Let’s look at how this works.
What’s Included in an HVAC Service Contract For a Heater?
We mentioned before that not all agreements for heaters are the same. Usually, they range from around $100 to $500, depending on what benefits you want.
The most basic contracts will include an annual tune-up. It’s the core of that preventative maintenance we talked about before.
This is when an HVAC tech looks over your system. They’ll clean off all the inner components and lubricate all the moving parts.
This way, everything’s in great shape, and your heater will use as little energy as possible. The more worn-down the parts are, the more gas or oil it’ll use to get the job done.
You’d get the tune-up before the cold weather kicked in. That way you know you’re good to go for the winter.
Repairs and Replacing Parts
Now, the price starts going up depending on what you want to do about broken or worn-out parts.
Part of the idea behind preventive maintenance is that the tech will fix or replace anything that needs attention. It’s a lot cheaper to do it before the part actually breaks. A lot of times that will cause even more problems.
Depending on your contract, you can get some of those parts, or some of the labor covered. That means less out of pocket when there’s extra work needed.
And, if you’re planning on keeping that furnace going for more than a decade, parts will inevitably wear out.
This arrangement won’t make all repairs free, but it will cover some of the smaller items and routine fixes.
Priority Emergency Service
This is one benefit you hope you never need: Emergency service.
But, it’s something plenty of people call for every winter. And, of course, it’s the busiest time of year for a good HVAC company.
Your heater is most likely to break down when during the coldest time of the year. That’s when it’s working its hardest. So, by January or February, a reputable HVAC contractor has a backlog of calls.
At that point, your options are to wait it out in the cold for an extra day or two. Or, pay extra for priority service that jumps you to the front of the line.
But, if you’ve got priority service baked into the contract, there’s no extra charge to get your problem taken care of quickly.
Do I Really Need Preventative Maintenance?
No, you technically don’t need preventative maintenance. But, when you add up all the benefits you get, you’ll realize it’s a pretty good idea.
First things first: Is your heater under warranty? If so, it may be required.
Check the fine print: Most HVAC units require a tech that’s certified with your brand to install it. Then, you need to have it checked out annually. Otherwise, the warranty is null and void.
Next is the money you’ll save on your energy bills. We mentioned before that the tune-up optimizes all the parts.
That means it’s working as efficiently as possible. Efficient means using less gas, oil, or electricity. That means less gas, oil, or electricity that you pay for each month.
Finally, there’s the life of the heater itself. For anything decent, you’re looking at paying at least seven or eight thousand dollars for a new unit. You want that to last as long as possible.
With preventative maintenance, you’re more likely to get well over a decade of use. Depending on what kind of heater you have, it’s possible to keep it going for more than 20 years.
But, to do that, you need to keep it in great shape.
When to Pass On an HVAC Service Contract
So with all that going for it, should you ever pass up an HVAC service contract? Almost all the time, the answer’s no. But, there are a few exceptions.
One is if your heater’s at the end of the line. If you’ve been getting it checked out regularly, then your tech should be able to let you know well in advance to start looking for a new one.
If that’s the case, then you might want to save a few bucks and forgo the contract. If you’re already in the market for a new unit, then it makes more sense to ride out the one you have.
When it finally goes, you buy the new one. Or, better yet, you get the new one installed before it kicks. This way, you’ve got a newer, more efficient heater for the next season.
We also mentioned that you need regular tune-ups to keep your warranty valid. Well, that doesn’t mean you also need a top-tier contract.
With a brand-new furnace, most of the items on a service contract are covered by the warranty. And, with regular service, it’s unlikely the unit will break down for a while.
So, for those early years, you can get away with a bare-bones maintenance agreement. Or, just pay for the tune-ups out of pocket.
As the unit gets some years on it, then you’ll want to sign on for annual service or upgrade your contract.
If you’re looking to get a service contract for your heater in Havertown, the Main Line, or another nearby town, give John Cippollone a call. We’ve serviced the Delaware Valley since 1953. With a free consultation, we’ll help you choose the right service contract for your needs.
Furnace Installation Main Line And Nearby Towns
Is your older furnace just not working as well as it used to? Is the warranty up, and is it not worth getting a service contact? If so, it’s time to start considering a new furnace installation for your Main Line home! Even if you’re not quite ready, exploring your options early means less stress if your system breaks down soon. Call John Cipollone at (610) 446-7877 for a free consultation.