Here’s how most homeowners handle maintenance:
They install a new HVAC system. If it’s installed by a pro, it runs without issue for a few years. This instills the belief that maintenance is not necessary. They opt to let the system get away with running as long as it possibly can—which is to say, until it falls into disrepair. They pay a repair fee, have the system fixed, and the cycle repeats.
As you can see, maintenance never appears in that equation! And here’s why that’s a problem:
1. Repair Costs That Don’t Easily Factor Into Budgets
When it comes to HVAC repair, there’s no telling what kind of problem you’ll be experiencing.
With cars, for example, you can look up the make and model and find a reliable list of common repair issues: “Expect the water pump to fail after 5 years.” But for HVAC systems, there’s no guide like this. Your HVAC system can fail for any number of reasons: clogged air filters, refrigerant leaks, bad blower motors… the list goes on.
So, even if you’ve been budgeting for potential HVAC system repair needs, something like a broken compressor is going to far exceed that budget. Instead, you’ll need to pull together extra funds to replace the entire system (say “goodbye” to that vacation you’ve been saving up for). It’s a risk that we don’t believe you should subject yourself to.
The risk of catastrophic HVAC issues is greatly diminished when you have regular maintenance. (Plus, it’s much easier to factor into your expenses).
2. Gradually Increasing Operational Fees
Many HVAC problems begin as minor issues that, when allowed to persist, grow into big issues. But just because your AC hasn’t stopped functioning doesn’t mean it isn’t costing you.
For example, a pinhole leak in the refrigerant line is literally the size of a pinhole—how much harm could it really do? At first, the damage might be negligible. But as more refrigerant leaves the system, and as that pinhole expands, the problem gets exponentially worse until it becomes a full-blown emergency repair issue.
But what about all the time before it became an emergency? You can bet that your compressor was overcompensating for the imbalance of refrigerant, your evaporator and condenser coils weren’t performing properly, and your AC was running longer than necessary just to meet the demands of the thermostat. All of this manifests as wear-and-tear and a gradually-rising energy bill.
3. Missed Opportunities and Benefits
“If I’m only getting two maintenance checks a year, what’s the point of paying for an entire maintenance plan?”
This is a very good point; one that even we can’t refute. But that’s precisely why so many HVAC contractors bundle their maintenance plans with benefits and discounts. They know just as well as you do that there’s no point in paying for something if you can’t get a full value from it. Some of those year-round values include:
- Priority service, so when that bizarre HVAC emergency happens, you’ll have it fixed quickly.
- No overtime charges, meaning you can get that emergency fixed at 11:00 PM without any penalty.
- Discounts on any additional services, such as that UV air purifier you’ve been thinking about.
When you break down the total value, you’ll find that most insurance plans have far fewer redeemable benefits than an HVAC maintenance plan does.