There are certain items in your home that cause a sinking feeling in your gut when they show even the slightest glimmer that they may not be working properly. You know what they are, and you likely knock on wood at the thought of shelling out the cost to replace them. Today, Legacy Heating & Conditioning Services will share the why you should consider a home warranty and which appliances offer the best value to cover.
Mitigating Appliance Repair & Replacement Risk
The normal maintenance costs and tasks associated with your home’s appliances aren’t a major undertaking, nor do they break the bank; likewise, many destructive things are covered by your homeowner’s insurance, such as damages caused by fires or storms, making them easily dealt with. Unfortunately, major repairs and replacements for your appliances is rarely due to a homeowner’s insurance-covered issue, leaving you entirely liable for the cost of the fix – which can easily tally up to thousands of dollars.
There is almost no protection for your kitchen appliances from repair and replacement costs. To make matters worse, not only are you on the hook for nearly all repair costs, even for newer appliances, but these repairs can easily reach or exceed the cost of outright replacing the appliance itself. For instance, a simple motor replacement or repair in your refrigerator alone can easily cost upwards of 1,200 dollars; of course, you can’t just go on without a refrigerator for months at a time, so what choice do you have other than to repair or replace it?
Furnace, Air Conditioning & HVAC
HVAC repairs can get costly quickly, especially under the right circumstances. The unfortunate reality is that even if you are the first owner of your home, it is unlikely that you know exactly how your HVAC works – for most families, their family home was purchased long after being built, and they have little-to-no idea how the system was installed or maintained. This can lead to costly repairs or replacements soon after moving into your home, which is likely not something you have budgeted for. Considering that here in New Braunfels, air conditioning is almost a necessity to survive, you’ll need to have every component of your forced air system working whenever it is called upon.
Another great candidate for home warranty coverage is your pool. Not only are pools themselves dauntingly expensive to structurally repair, but even the few mechanical parts can break the bank if they need to be suddenly replaced. While not quite as vital as your HVAC or kitchen appliances, keeping your pool covered under a home warranty can be a great idea, especially if your pool equipment is older and passed its manufacturer’s warranty. We recommend you include your pool in any home warranty policy you look into, as the potential repairs on a pool can easily stretch into thousands of dollars or more, depending on the nature of the repair needed.
Who Benefits from Home Warranties?
To put it plainly, anyone that cannot afford for at least two major appliances to breakdown at a given time should strongly consider home warranty coverage. Primarily, we find that those who benefit most from a home warranty are families that have only just purchased their home, especially if they dumped most of their savings into the purchase price. By opting into a home mortgage, they get peace of mind while they work to build back the savings that they rolled into their home purchase. Other examples include people that believe their appliances, while working now, may begin to fail in the near future. This means that if your extended warranty has lapsed, and your appliances are approaching the end of their life cycle, that you should consider a home warranty to ensure that these products can be repaired and replaced for a whole lot less than it would cost you out of pocket.
How Do They Work?
A home warranty is basically like repair and maintenance insurance for your home’s major appliances. This insurance is designed to cover scenarios other than those covered by homeowner’s insurance policies without any overlap. This means that you’ll pay a somewhat substantial premium either monthly or annually (averaging about 25 to 50 dollars per month) to cover your appliances in the event of a breakdown. Often, just as with many insurances, home warranties come with a “call fee,” which is similar to a health insurance co-pay. These are often in the amount of 75 or 100 dollars, and cover a maintenance technician looking at the appliance, then ultimately repairing or replacing it. One major benefit of the home warranty is that these service charges are almost always the same on weekends or weekdays, and are usually backed by a 24 or 36 hour guarantee of initial service or inspection.
The Downsides of Home Warranties
While getting a new HVAC system for the price of a small monthly charge plus only a 75 dollar inspection fee may seem like an overwhelmingly great deal, remember that these companies have to turn a profit somehow. The downside of the home warranties, therefore, are the “risks” you incu with any insurance: That you won’t ever need it. While this sounds great initially, remember that if you go a year without ever using your home warranty, then you’ve paid for it for nothing (save peace of mind, perhaps). Another major downside to home warranties is that the warranty company itself, not the technician or the policyholder, determines when an appliance is repaired, replaced, or left entirely alone. In the latter scenario, this often occurs when the warranty company claims that the homeowner did not do their due diligence in maintaining the appliance, and thus they are void from service coverage. Many homeowners also do not like the lack of freedom in their decisions, beginning with who the technician or company is, to when they arrive, or even what the repair or replacement plan is. Granted, there are reputable and disreputable companies out there to work with, so it is left to the homeowner to carefully find a home warranty provider and carefully analyze their contract prior to signing.
Maintain Your HVAC
While maintenance for many appliances is considered unnecessary, your furnace and air conditioner certainly do require regular maintenance. Whether or not you have a home warranty, maintaining your home’s HVAC is necessary to ensuring that your family gets a steady flow of clean, temperate air year round. Find out whether or a home warranty is right for you by asking one of our technicians about the future life expectancy of your HVAC!