More and more people are turning to home warranties as a way to protect their finances. These plans are typically designed to cover things in your home that are not covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy, such as your TV, water heater, washing machine, etc. If any of these items is damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced, a home warranty can ensure that you won’t have to pay for the costs out of pocket. One question many people have when considering a home warranty is whether it will cover things like their plumbing or their HVAC system. The answer to this is maybe. It depends on the type of plan you have and its exact terms.
What Type of Home Warranty Will Cover HVAC?
There are several different types of home warranty plans. Some are appliance-only, and these plans will typically only cover things like a TV, dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer. There are also system-only plans that will potentially cover any necessary repairs to your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems.
The best home warranty plans should cover all of your home’s most important appliances and systems. While these plans are more expensive, they are the only way to ensure that most everything in your home is covered.
When deciding to purchase a home warranty, it is essential that you carefully read through the policy terms. This ensures that you know exactly what the plan covers and what it doesn’t. If not, you could be in for a rude awakening whenever you go to file a claim.
Is a Home Warranty Plan Necessary for My HVAC System?
When deciding whether or not to purchase a home warranty plan, one of the first things you should consider is whether it is actually necessary. If you have recently had your HVAC system replaced, you may not really need a home warranty plan if your main goal in purchasing the plan is to cover your HVAC equipment.
The reason is that all new furnaces, air conditioners, blower fans, and other HVAC devices come with a factory warranty. In most cases, this warranty is good for 10 years from the date of installation. Some manufacturers do stipulate that the equipment needs to be maintained once a year by a certified HVAC technician for the warranty to remain valid. However, this is something you should already be doing anyway since it can reduce the need for future repairs and protect the lifespan of the unit.
The only issue with relying solely on your HVAC factory warranty is that it typically only covers the costs of any necessary replacement parts and will not cover any labor costs. This means that if any major repairs are needed while the unit is under warranty, you may still end up paying a few hundred dollars out of your own pocket. However, this could still be less than what you would pay for several years of coverage under a home warranty plan.
One other important thing to note is that most home warranty plans have a waiting period from when you sign up to when you can actually file a claim. This is to prevent people who know that their furnace or AC is about to fail from signing up and getting the cost of a new unit covered. Even after this waiting period has passed, your claim can still be denied if the warranty provider determines that the specific issue existed before you signed up for the plan. For instance, if your AC is already 15 years old and in poor shape when you purchase the warranty plan, the provider most likely won’t cover the full value of replacing the unit.
What Types of Issues Will a Home Warranty Cover?
Unlike HVAC factory warranties, home warranty plans will usually cover both parts and labor costs. These plans will typically cover the entire cost of any necessary repairs that result due to normal wear and tear or aging. If your AC or furnace gives out and needs to be replaced, the plan will also cover the full cost of replacing it with a new unit of the same size, efficiency, and value. The same is usually also true if your ductwork is failing due to age and needs to be replaced. In any of these cases, you will only have to pay a flat-rate service charge. This service charge varies from one plan to another, and it will be listed in the plan’s terms.
What a home warranty plan will not cover is issues that result due to negligence or damage. For instance, if you slam something into your ductwork and put a hole in it or knock it loose, you will have to pay to have it repaired yourself. Similarly, if your child throws something at the TV and breaks its screen, this also wouldn’t be covered.
The bigger issue is determining what qualifies as negligence. Most home warranty plans require you to have your HVAC professionally maintained every year, and some plans even cover the cost of this maintenance. Even if the plan has no specific maintenance requirements, failing to have your HVAC system maintained will greatly increase the chances of your claim being denied.
For instance, let’s say that your blower fan motor wears out and needs to be replaced. This can happen due to normal wear and tear and the age of the unit. However, it can also happen because the fan motor is forced to work harder than it should and starts overheating every time it runs.
This frequently happens because the air filter wasn’t changed often enough. It can also happen if you don’t have your ductwork cleaned periodically or if your supply or return air vents are clogged or obstructed. All of these issues can significantly restrict the amount of airflow coming into the system, which forces the blower fan to work harder to circulate air throughout the ductwork.
If the technician who is inspecting the fan blower issue notices any of these other problems, your claim will most likely be denied. This is because the technician could reasonably say that the motor failed not due to normal wear and tear but as a result of poor airflow caused by your negligence.
Most home warranties will also not cover damage that results from some other cause. For instance, what if you have a plumbing leak that damages your furnace? The plan will possibly cover the cost to repair the leak, but it may not cover the furnace repair. However, your homeowner’s insurance should cover the furnace as long as the leak was not caused by poor maintenance or neglect.
Reliable Cooling and Heating Services
If you need any type of HVAC service in San Antonio, Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating is the one to trust for all of your home’s cooling and heating needs. Our team has more than 40 years of combined experience maintaining, repairing, and installing residential HVAC systems. We install and service furnaces, central AC units, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits. If you’re looking to ensure that your HVAC system continues to function efficiently and effectively for years to come, our comprehensive maintenance plan can do just that. For more information or to schedule a service appointment, give us a call today.