Does a Home Warranty Cover Your HVAC Repair & Replacement?
Your HVAC system is subject to wear and tear even if you try to stay on top of your maintenance game. It is completely normal for an air conditioning unit to break down at some point. When an HVAC unit malfunctions, it means costly repairs or replacement, and your home insurance policy or an appliance manufacturer’s warranty might not cover the full cost. It leads to a situation that homeowners dread a lot. But don’t fret; there is a solution that can give you the protection you need.
Choose a home warranty plan that covers your HVAC! Let’s learn about it in detail below.
What Is HVAC Home Warranty?
A home warranty covers your home appliances against any wear and tear they might encounter over the course of their lives. It also protects when a device fails due to a defect in materials or accidental damage from handling.
Similarly, your home warranty also covers your HVAC unit, including repairing or replacing its major components. This is particularly helpful when the temperature gets to an extreme level in summers, and regulating your home climate without an HVAC unit becomes almost impossible. A home warranty prevents you from paying thousands of dollars for air conditioning problems, providing you with peace of mind all year round.
What’s Covered In Your HVAC Home Warranty?
Most home warranty plans include coverage of ducted air conditioning systems, mini-splits, geothermal systems, wall air conditioners, refrigerators, and water heaters. They also protect against any damage to your home’s plumbing or electrical system.
Your warranty plan will highlight any kind of exclusion, so it’s always best to read it in detail.
What’s Not Covered By Your HVAC Home Warranty Plan?
An HVAC home warranty plan is not completely inclusive. Depending on the type of plan, there are certain scenarios in which your unit won’t be covered.
- If your unit breaks down due to poor HVAC maintenance, your warranty plan will not cater to repairs or replacement in that case.
- Your HVAC home warranty plan will not cover any problems outside of normal wear and tear. For instance, if your HVAC system encounters any issue due to circuit overload or power failure, it won’t be included in your warranty plan.
- Home warranty providers don’t cover any issues caused by weather changes. Damage caused by floods, storms, heavy rainfall, and strong winds is usually not included. A home’s insurance policy can cover unexpected damages, so be sure to check that out.
- Home warranty plans also don’t cover any changes in your HVAC equipment. For instance, if your old HVAC system dies and needs a replacement, a new one might be of a different size and have other power requirements. This means that it might need electrical or structural modifications. In this case, the replacement cost will be covered but not the modification cost.
HVAC Maintenance & Home Warranty
Regular maintenance helps your HVAC unit run efficiently for longer periods. It extends the life of your unit and prevents premature breakdowns. Poor maintenance can lead to high utility bills and damage to the major parts of the unit. You should have regular AC tune-ups in spring and fall to check for refrigerant leakage and if any part requires extra lubrication.
Also, don’t forget to clean your air filters after 250 hours of usage and replace them every three to four months. You can use smart thermostats (for central) or smart AC controllers (for mini-splits, portable, or window AC) to set reminders for when the next filter cleanup is due.
HVAC maintenance is also crucial for your home warranty plan. Home air conditioner warranty coverage requires that you maintain HVAC equipment for due coverage under a warranty contract. The company can ask for documentation to check whether your system has been receiving annual maintenance services. Poor maintenance can void your warranty plan, and the home warranty provider will not cover any breakdown caused by the lack of care on your part.
5 Best Home Warranty Options for HVAC Systems
Some home warranty companies provide air conditioning repair and replacement as part of the basic plan, while others move AC units to their premium plan. You can also make your own plan, but it depends on whether the home warranty company provides this option.
Here is a list of the 5 best home warranty options for your HVAC to help you make the right selection:
1. American Home Shield
American Home Shield (AHS) provides coverage for more than 20 appliances and home systems. It offers three types of pricing plans with additional add-ons. AHS is famous for its ‘Build your own plan’ coverage, where you choose the appliance and systems you want to be covered under the warranty plan. It has a large network of more than 16,000 contractors, which helps it pay out more service requests. As far as your air conditioning unit is concerned, AHS provides repair or replacement of almost all components and the ductwork, with some exclusions.
2. Choice Home Warranty
Choice Home Warranty has handled more than 3 million service requests and offers two types of plans – Basic and Total. It guarantees a response within 48 hours to its customers. Choice Warranty does not have any restrictions regarding the age of your appliances and offers a 90-day repair guarantee. Their plans mostly cover air conditioning, heating, plumbing, electrical, and roof as well.
3. Select Home Warranty
It has been in the business for eight years and is one of the few home warranty providers that offer a no-exclusion feature on some appliances. Select Home Warranty is affordable than most options available in the market, averaging around $41–$47 per month, whereas the standard cost in the industry is $50 per month. When you first sign up for the Select Home Warranty plan, you get two months of coverage free of cost, which is rarely seen in the industry. Their plan includes the coverage for the heating and air conditioning system.
4. America’s First Choice (AFC) Home Club
This home warranty company provides four plans; a Systems plan, a Silver plan, a Gold plan, and a Platinum plan with optional add-ons. It provides customizable coverage, extensive plans, and a guarantee for parts and labor for the entire duration of the plan. AFC allows you to choose the technician of your choice, which is a plus point. Moreover, it offers emergency alert network services and 24/7 customer support service. Heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical are part of their major plans.
5. Amazon Home Warranty
Amazon Home Warranty provides one month of free coverage when you first sign up for its plan. They have a 10-year experience in the industry and have an extensive contractor network to meet the demand of their customers. Amazon Home Warranty covers major appliances regardless of their age, which can be really helpful. It offers three plans; Appliances plan, Systems plan, Combo plan with 23 additional add-ons. Most of their plans include coverage for central AC and heating systems.
How Much Does Home Warranty Cost
When you apply for a home warranty, you have to pay two types of costs.
- Monthly premium: You have to pay it every month or every year, depending on your plan type.
- Service Fee: You pay this fee to the technician that comes to diagnose the issue and repair the faulty equipment.
The average cost ranges from $25–$50 a month or $300–$600 a year. The standard service fee is between $75–$125.
Some home warranty companies give you the option of customizing your payment plan. You can choose to pay a higher service fee and lower monthly premium or vice versa.
Cost of Repair & Replacement of HVAC Without a Home Warranty
In the US, the national average to repair an air conditioning unit is $374. If you don’t have a warranty plan, here is the list of average charges you can expect to pay when going for AC repair:
|Troubleshooting service charges||$75 – $180|
|Blower repair cost||$250-800|
|Refrigerant leak repair||$225 – $1600|
|Compressor repair||$100 – $250|
|Capacitor/contactor replacement||$90 – $475|
|Evaporator coil replacement||$650 – $1,200|
|Compressor replacement||$1,350 – $2,300|
|Blower replacement cost||$250-800|
|Thermostat replacement||$115 – $470|
|AC Duct Replacement Cost||$462 – $1981|
What’s the Difference Between Home Insurance, Manufacturer’s Warranty, and Home Warranty?
Home insurance protects against losses in case of accidents or disasters. It covers any damage to your residence and assets within your home in catastrophic incidents such as fire or heavy storms and even theft.
A home warranty, on the other hand, covers only home systems and appliances. It provides you financial assistance when an appliance or a particular system breaks down unexpectedly – such as your HVAC.
If your home is hit by a heavy storm and major home appliances are damaged, your loss will be covered by your home insurance, not your warranty plan.
A manufacturer’s warranty also covers your appliances, but unlike a home warranty, it only protects against certain problems within a specified period. In the case of the HVAC unit, the manufacturers provide 5-10 years of warranty and cover limited parts and compressors; however, it varies by brand.
Why Should You Purchase a Home Warranty?
A home warranty is an affordable way to protect your appliances against any unpredictable breakdown, leaving your savings and emergency funds untouched.
For example, when you rely too much on your cooling and heating system in extreme weather conditions, a home warranty can make sure you don’t have to live without a properly functioning HVAC system.
Here are some more benefits of choosing a home warranty plan:
Hassle-Free Repair or Replacement
When important equipment such as your air conditioning unit stops working, the first issue is to find a reliable technician. With a home warranty, the company quickly provides you with a trusted professional, so you don’t have to go through any hassle at all.
If your old HVAC system has stopped working and needs to be replaced, it will typically cost around $5000, which is a lot! On the other hand, an average home warranty will cost you somewhere between $300 and $600 per year. This difference can give you an idea of how much you can save. You might end up recovering every dollar you paid for the home warranty with just one replacement call.
24/7 Customer Service
Consider this scenario; your air conditioner breaks down when it’s over 100F outside, and you don’t know how long it will take to find a technician and get your AC fixed.
Home warranty plans are perfect for such situations. Almost all the major home warranty companies offer 24-hour assistance, helping you to report a problem as it occurs and getting it resolved within a matter of days or even hours.
Is Having a Home Warranty for HVAC Worth It?
As explained above, an HVAC unit is one of the most essential and expensive equipment in your home. Their repair and maintenance can come with little notice and a heavy budget. Therefore, having a home warranty that covers your HVAC can leave you out of this untimely budget stress and is totally worth it.
Before buying a home warranty HVAC plan, be sure to do thorough research to get a sense of which parts will be repaired or replaced and what is excluded from the plan. After making a purchase, sit back and relax; you have just solved one of your main home maintenance concerns!