If you own a house, then you probably have a furnace. It’s also possible that you have a central air conditioning system. If so, you know both of these need maintenance from time to time. You can certainly set up a schedule with a heating and air conditioning company like Cool by Design to come to your home once per year to make sure that everything looks good with your furnace and air conditioner. You can pay them for that service as a one-time payment when they arrive. However, you also have the option of buying a yearly service plan.
Is it better to pay for one of these service plans, or is it not worth the money? We’ll examine this question in the following article.
What Do You Get with One of These Maintenance Plans?
Many air conditioning and heating companies offer maintenance plans. Some might cost a little more or less. You may also notice different features that you’ll get with some of them that won’t come with others. Generally, though, these maintenance plans come with certain universalities. For instance, you can expect that a yearly checkup for your air conditioner and furnace will be a part of that plan. That feature alone might be enough to get you to buy one of these plans. Sometimes, the cost of the plan for the whole year is not that much more than what you would pay for a yearly HVAC company visit to check on your AC unit and your furnace.
In addition, you usually get preferential treatment over other customers if you get one of these plans. Let’s say that there’s a big winter storm, and there’s something wrong with your furnace. It’s not working, and your house rapidly gets cold. If you have one of these yearly maintenance plans, you’ll often have a guarantee from the company that they will come to your aid before they will help other households that don’t have one of these plans. The thought that you’ll get the HVAC company to come to your house very quickly to assist you in an emergency might be enough for you to pay the yearly fee.
What Else Comes with These Plans?
If something ever goes wrong with your air conditioning unit or your furnace, if you have one of these maintenance plans with a reputable HVAC company, they will usually give you a discount if they need to make any repairs. That discount is typically something like 10-15%. If your furnace suddenly dies, you will be glad that discount is coming your way. Without it, the cost of the repairs would probably be a lot tougher to deal with than would otherwise be the case. If you need to get an entirely new air conditioner or furnace, these plans will usually afford you a discount on that as well. The unit itself, plus the cost of installation, is generally discounted by about 10-15% if you have one of these maintenance plans.
What About Possible Downsides?
When anyone talks about not wanting to get one of these maintenance plans with an HVAC company, they all usually bring up the same point. That is the cost. It’s true that these plans cost money, and you’ll have to make a financial outlay that you wouldn’t if you elect not to get the plan. You need to pay for the entire plan at one time if you want to cover the whole year all with a lump sum payment. You can also usually pay quarterly or monthly. If you pay for the plan in either of these ways, it probably won’t feel so onerous as if you pay for the entire year all at once.
It’s true that paying for these plans might be cause for you to grumble, but if payment is the only thing that’s stopping you, it’s helpful to think of this plan in the same way you might when buying car or homeowner’s insurance. You’re paying for something you might not have to use, but you’ll certainly be glad you have the policy if you ever need it. In fact, it’s a calculated risk if you decide you don’t need one of these plans.
What’s the Verdict?
Each person or household will need to make a decision regarding one of these plans. If you get an HVAC company to come take a look at your furnace or air conditioner, they will doubtless offer you one of these policies. If you do not have the cash to pay for this policy, whether monthly, quarterly, or the whole year all at once, then there’s your answer. You might want the plan, but if you’re struggling to pay essential bills like groceries and electricity, there’s no point in even considering one of these policies. However, if you have the money, it’s at least worth considering. Remember that even if nothing goes wrong with your furnace or air conditioner during the year, at a minimum, you will need to get both of them checked. You will need to pay for that. Again, the cost of those two inspections will probably be close to what you’ll pay for the protection plan.
You might also consider how old your air conditioner and furnace are and how likely they are to break down during the course of the year. If you have a pretty old furnace or AC, and you think it probable that they’ll give you trouble during the year, you should more strongly consider one of these protection plans. When your AC goes on the fritz in the middle of a sweltering August, you’ll be glad you’re paid up, and the HVAC company will drive right to you as soon as you call. Talk this decision over with any adults in the house and do what you think is best. If you have the money, though, this is certainly a responsible thing to do as a homeowner.
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