One thing that all Florida residents can do to keep their homes suitably warm (in winters) and cool (in summers) is to get regular maintenance done of their HVAC units. In an ideal scenario, it should be done every 6 months, so twice a year. The most appropriate time is just before the start of summers and winters, respectively. To save some work for yourself, what you can do is find a local HVAC company and sign an HVAC preventive maintenance contract with them. An annual contract is best as it will give you a chance to access the company and judge whether you are satisfied with their service delivery or not. If you are happy, you can go for an extended contract or look for another more suitable option.
What Is HVAC Preventive maintenance?
HVAC preventive maintenance is the top to bottom and inside out maintenance of your HVAC unit or air conditioner to ensure peak performance and trouble-free operations. It entails superficial functions like cleaning the unit and tightening nuts and bolts. It also includes duct cleaning, topping the refrigerant to the appropriate level, cleaning the coils, changing the filters, etc. In a few words, HVAC preventive maintenance is all about thorough servicing of your heating and cooling unit along with its ventilation. Some services are free as part of the contract, and for others, you pay an additional amount.
Are HVAC Preventive Maintenance Contracts Worthwhile?
Usually, homeowners are a little skeptical about purchasing an HVAC preventive maintenance contract. The primary reason for their concern is: Cost. An HVAC service contract can value anywhere between $150 to $500 annually.
If your HVAC unit is still new and under the manufacturer’s warranty, this additional expense does not seem worthwhile. Be that as it may, the manufacturer still demands routine maintenance for the warranty to remain in effect. It is quite possible that the service contract may cost more than the cost of repairs and service put together. Regardless of any repairs not done, you will still have to pay the contract price each year. An ideal solution would be to purchase a service only contract and pay for repairs additionally as and when they arise.
Benefits Of HVAC Preventive Maintenance Contract
The key benefits of HVAC preventive maintenance can be summarized in the following points –
1) Extends The Life Of Your HVAC Unit – Your HVAC unit gets dirty and repeated use results in wear and tear of various components. When you fail to address these concerns, the unit operates under tremendous pressure. As a result, it will malfunction quite often, and in the end, give up altogether. If you take good care of your HVAC unit through regular maintenance, the likelihood of any such occurrence diminishes considerably. Periodic maintenance will give the unit a new lease of life so you can enjoy its usefulness for a more extended period.
2) Keeps Warranty Intact – The warranty of your HVAC unit remain intact only if you take the trouble to get it serviced periodically. Failing to do so will revoke the warranty. Manufacturers insist on getting the maintenance of each unit done so that they perform better and give as little problem as possible. In the absence of maintenance, the problems will just multiply for which the manufacturer will not take any responsibility. If you did not get your HVAC unit serviced, you propagated the problem. In this case, the manufacturer cannot be blamed and held liable for repairs.
3) Safety Of Your Home – Especially in winters, you do not want the disaster of burst pipes to cause water damage in your home. If the heating is proper, you will never have to lose sleep on such trivial matters even when you are away on vacation. In your absence, your HVAC unit will see to the safety of your home. In the same manner, any loose wiring will be caught during maintenance and tightened. This will remove fire threat due to short circuit. The HVAC also improves the air quality inside the home and gives you lesser cause for concern from a health perspective. Its periodic maintenance also does away with the fear of carbon monoxide poisoning.
4) Ensures Best Performance – Maintenance sees to it that your HVAC works to the best of its capability at all times. During maintenance, it is tuned, tightened, and cleaned to make sure nothing causes hindrance in its optimal working. It translates to smooth operations, lesser power consumption, lesser electricity bill, and comfortable temperature inside the home always.
5) Lesser Repairs – A well-maintained HVAC unit will give less trouble as compared to one in which maintenance is completely overlooked. The reason being, maintenance forces the homeowner to take care of the issues at the earliest before they become significant problems. For a far lesser cost, a small problem can be resolved before it escalates into an expensive repair or replacement.
Research HVAC Contracts Before Buying
First and foremost, validate whether there is any saving in signing the HVAC preventive maintenance contract. It is quite possible that the cheaper option is to pay for routine maintenance from your pocket without any contract. If you do decide that the better option is an HVAC maintenance contract, see to it whether it includes emergency repairs. Also, read the fine print for additional terms and conditions which could have an impact on the contract.
Food For Thought
No matter what course of action you decide upon, make sure that the company who handles your HVAC is reliable and trustworthy. Your service contract is as good as the company that backs it. On the same note, an independent contractor is also as good as the number of satisfied customers he has. Consider the financial benefits of the two and choose the one which gives you the best value for money. HVAC preventive maintenance contract may be the answer to all your recent HVAC woes. Don’t just rule it out because it is a little costly.