Are HVAC Service Plans Worth It?

All major electrical systems and equipment have sensitive components that need servicing at one point or another in their lifetime. While you can always schedule maintenance and repairs when necessary, the alternative is to subscribe to a service plan and have a company handle that for you. But is a service plan worth subscribing to?

HVAC service plans are worth it if you’re careful while choosing your service provider and level of coverage. Some service plans save you money by providing minor repairs and HVAC parts at discounted costs. Others can be exploitative and more expensive than having individual maintenance visits. 

If you’re still unsure whether to opt for an HVAC service plan, the rest of this article will outline all the details to help you can make an informed decision. Read on to find out the upsides and downsides of HVAC service plans and what they comprise. I’ll also explore the alternative: getting repairs done out of your pocket periodically.

Pros and Cons of HVAC Service Plans

Let’s dive into the upsides and downsides of subscribing to an HVAC service plan. Knowing these advantages and disadvantages is crucial in determining whether it’s worth getting a subscription. 

Advantages of HVAC Service Plans

Priority Service

Perhaps the best part about signing a deal with your contractor is that you’re guaranteed a quick response in the event of a complaint. 

Service plan subscribers are first in line for service delivery even during extreme weather when there’s likely to be an influx of customers waiting to get their systems fixed.

Additional Benefits at No Extra Cost

Since you’re paying a reasonable amount for your service plan, your service provider will offer several perks to keep their end of the bargain. These perks include:

  • Free or discounted labor costs.
  • Discounted prices for the replacement of some components.
  • Free or discounted diagnostic fees, depending on your package.
  • Filter inspections.
  • Guarantee of emergency appointments.
  • Reminders for scheduled HVAC system servicing.
  • Cleaning of indoor or outdoor units depending on the season.

Every contractor is different, and the bonuses they offer their customers will vary. Research your options carefully to determine where you’re getting the best deal.

Reliable Service

Having regular check-ups and maintenance by qualified HVAC technicians gives you the peace of mind that your system is in safe hands. In addition, having a maintenance schedule means that you don’t have to worry about setting up regular appointments with your service provider. 

Read: Why HVAC Damper Keeps Getting Stuck Closed?

Improved HVAC Performance and Lower Utility Costs

If you don’t maintain your HVAC system, any clogged, dirty or damaged components will ultimately affect its heating and cooling processes. Scheduled visits from your service provider ensure that all the kinks in your system are quickly discovered and resolved.

An HVAC system that gives you consistent, efficient performance also guarantees you reduced energy costs, lowering your electricity bills and saving you money in the long run. 

Disadvantages of HVAC Service Plans

Here are some of the downsides of HVAC service plans: 

  • Even though most contractors guarantee priority service for service plan subscribers, most breakdowns occur during extreme weather periods. With an overwhelmed staff, you might not always get the quick response time that you’re hoping for. 
  • Expensive repairs, such as heat exchanger and compressor replacements, are generally not covered in service plans.
  • Some contractors may use scheduled visits as an opportunity to pressure customers to make unnecessary repairs. 

Out-of-Pocket HVAC Maintenance

Without an HVAC service plan, you’ll have to bear the cost and responsibility of maintenance of your HVAC system, along with minor or major repairs, if any. Here’s a helpful article on the average cost of HVAC service charges.

If you’d like to know whether a service plan is the right choice for you, here are a few things to consider:

  • A service plan will work out great if you have a sizeable house and don’t want to take on the responsibility of managing your HVAC
  • If you just bought a new unit and want to upkeep its warranty, a service plan will do you good. 
  • On the other hand, paying for individual visits will be more economical if you’re content with enlisting a professional service occasionally.   

Overall, the company you sign with matters a lot. Give your contract a thorough overview: understand what it includes and excludes and the additional incentives you are entitled to. Ultimately, when compared to individual visits, the objective is to spend less or an equal amount on a service plan.

Read: How To Tell If HVAC Zone Damper Is Normally Closed Or Normally Open? 

About HVAC Service Plans

An HVAC consists of numerous components which can be affected by various issues that can render your HVAC useless. Read this comprehensive guide on common HVAC failures to know more about the problems that can occur with your system. 

HVAC service plans aim to have around-the-clock personnel to tend to repairs and maintenance of your heating and air conditioning equipment. Many companies encourage customers to subscribe to their service plan at the time of purchase. This is so customers can avoid getting individual maintenance and repairs done independently. 

Purpose of HVAC Service Plans

All heating and cooling systems require maintenance for consistent and efficient performance and to ensure reasonable and expected energy costs. The various components in an HVAC are prone to accumulation of debris, dust, and other pollutants. These pollutants reduce the efficient performance of the system and can also damage the equipment.

As the owner, you must maintain your system’s high potential. This is where a service plan comes in. A service plan is essentially an agreement between you and your contractor to upkeep your HVAC components, avoid expensive fixes in the long run, and take responsibility for repairs. 

Here’s what you can typically expect from an HVAC service plan: 

  • Preventing serious repairs in the future and promoting longevity of the unit and its components by providing regular maintenance.
  • Providing minor and extensive repairs according to the defined coverage of your selected package. 

The Three Main Types of HVAC Service Plans

Depending on the package you select and its cost, you get different levels of coverage for your HVAC system. Here’s an outline of the three types of HVAC service plans: 

  • Basic plan: This package provides regular inspection of the air conditioning and furnace.
  • Intermediate plan: Being first in line for service and minor repairs is a major benefit of this package. In addition to regular maintenance, customers also enjoy free replacement of parts such as air filters.
  • Premium plan: Subscribers can enjoy reduced prices on parts and minor repairs at no extra cost. This package also encapsulates all the benefits of the basic and intermediate plans. 
Furnace Filter Airflow

Expected Cost of HVAC Service Plans

Depending on the contractor, basic service plans range from $100 to $200 and are typically yearly subscriptions. It will likely cost you about $100 more per year to upgrade your service plan to the next level.

Read: Why HVAC Zone Damper Actuator Making A Clicking Noise? How To Troubleshoot?

Conclusion

Getting a service plan isn’t a bad idea at all. However, its worth is generally determined by the kind of benefits you can squeeze out of it. 

While some plans will provide you great convenience while costing less than what you would pay for individual visits, others can be exploitative. Ensure that you read the different types of plans various companies offer and settle on what works best for you.