Buying a home warranty is a great way to protect yourself and your home. Also known as home service agreements, home warranties take the stress out of having important home systems and appliances break down or malfunction. Whether you currently have a home warranty or intend to get one in the near future, it’s important to understand the coverage that it will provide for your HVAC system.
Making Sure Your HVAC System Is Covered
Most home warranties offer coverage for both home appliances and home systems. A home appliance is a separate, freestanding unit such as your oven, your dishwasher, or your washing machine. A home system is any complex, integrated feature with multiple components. Recognized home systems include HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems.
There are, however, some lower-priced home warranties that are only applicable to appliances. When buying a home service agreement, find out whether the warranty provider has included protections for your home systems. Some companies have appliance-only plans, with the option to add one or more home systems for an additional cost. Buying the right type of warranty can make all the difference in your out-of-pocket spending.
Using Your Home Warranty
Home warranties do not provide accessible coverage immediately after they’re purchased. All homeowners must complete a mandatory waiting period before accessing and using their benefits. Waiting periods ensure that homeowners aren’t just buying warranties because their appliances or home systems are already in a serious state of disrepair. The details concerning your mandatory waiting period should be available in your policy documents. For most home warranty plans, this period lasts 30 days from the date of signing. As the homeowner, you will be required to pay for any problems that arise during this waiting period. This speaks to the importance of choosing and purchasing a home warranty well ahead of any major issues.
Maintenance Provisions in Your Service Agreement
When you purchase a home warranty, you’re responsible for taking good care of everything that it protects. For your HVAC system, this means staying on top of all maintenance tasks that your heater and air conditioner manufacturers have recommended. Home warranty companies require diligent maintenance to ensure that they’re only paying for wear-related problems rather than problems resulting from negligence. Much like the details of your mandatory waiting period, an in-depth list of required maintenance tasks is likely listed in your warranty contract.
There are also many home warranties that assist with ongoing maintenance. For instance, you may find that your home service agreement includes one free HVAC system inspection and tune-up per year. If this is a provision in your warranty, you’ll want to take advantage of it before the deadline has already passed. Using these benefits is also an easy way for homeowners to stay current with the maintenance requirements that their plans have specified.
When Should You Use Your Home Warranty for HVAC Repairs?
Unlike home warranties, home insurance policies are intended to protect you from damages that are caused by sudden and unexpected events. For instance, it’s entirely possible for your air conditioner, oven, or clothes dryer to be damaged by a major flood or a building fire. When these things occur, you should file a claim with your home insurance company.
Home warranties, on the other hand, are intended to cover expected damages. Although it might seem too good to be true, these agreements pay for problems that are the result of normal wear and aging. As your heating and cooling equipment gets older, it will likely develop more problems. Rather than paying to fix these things out of pocket, you can submit service requests to your warranty provider. This is a very cost-effective way to keep all of the appliances and systems throughout your home working like they should.
Submitting a Warranty Repair Request
There are often stipulations concerning how repair and replacement requests must be handled. For instance, it’s a good idea to speak to your warranty provider before scheduling any HVAC system repairs that you want your warranty to cover. For most home warranty repair and replacement projects, homeowners require pre-approval. Scheduling work and having it completed before you’ve gotten any necessary approvals could leave you paying the resulting charges out of your own pocket.
When consumers rate and review home warranty companies, they often consider how quickly these entities respond to service requests. The best home warranty companies are diligent about giving homeowners the authorizations and information they need within a reasonable amount of time.
It is vital to note that your warranty provider may choose HVAC companies on your behalf. This is a common practice with home service agreements as it ensures that warranty providers have a good rapport with the professionals performing work. It also allows home warranty companies to stay in the loop and verify professional licensing and insurance requirements. Outsourcing projects to their authorized partners assures home warranty companies that they’ll be informed of anything that’s relevant to their interests. For instance, if you schedule repairs for your broken HVAC system and your contractor determines that negligence is the source of the issue, your warranty provider will receive this information too.
Replacing Heating and Cooling Equipment With a Home Warranty
The repair and replacement approvals that home warranty companies issue are intended to be mutually beneficial. For instance, if your heater or air conditioner breaks down and has a fair amount of time remaining in its expected lifespan, your warranty provider will likely authorize repairs instead of replacing your equipment. However, if your heater or air conditioner has repeated service issues, replacing this equipment will be the most cost-effective choice for your warranty provider and the most desirable option for you.
When submitting replacement requests, you should be prepared to clearly state the reasons why your items should be replaced rather than fixed. It’s often also important to have detailed maintenance records on hand. Your warranty provider will likely approve a replacement that’s comparable to your current heater or air conditioner in performance and price. If you decide that you’d rather upgrade these units, you can usually do so as long as you’re willing to cover any differences in cost.
Which Aspects of Home Heating and Cooling Systems Are Covered?
Although all home warranties are similar in their language and intent, each service agreement can be unique. For instance, some comprehensive home warranties cover all aspects of an HVAC system. Others may exclude HVAC air ducts or any other components that are considered a fixed part of the building structure. If you have questions about warranty exclusions, you should contact your warranty provider directly.
At Quality Air Of America, we proudly serve residents of Miramar, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami, Florida. We offer heating and cooling system installation, maintenance, and repair services. We also provide dryer vent cleaning, attic insulation, and advanced indoor air quality solutions. Get in touch with us today!