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Is an HVAC Service Agreement a Good Deal?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Now joining us from Hometalk, we’ve got Cass in Georgia on the line with a furnace question.

    CASS: I live in a townhome in Georgia and it’s about six years old now. And I was talking with my HVAC guys and they recommended that I do a service agreement. And what that service agreement was is that they come out twice a year just to check over the system.

    TOM: OK.

    CASS: Is it really worth it?

    TOM: Now, when they check over the system, do they actually service the heating system and service the air-conditioning system when they do that?

    CASS: Well, I guess that would be according to the definition of service. I don’t know what kind of service it really is.

    TOM: And that’s the question, Cass. Yes, if they’re going to come out and clean the furnace once a year and if they’re going to come out and check the function of the air-conditioning system – make sure it doesn’t need to have refrigerant added, that sort of thing where they’re really doing an evaluation, not just sort of a look-see but they’re actually doing some service work to the system – I think it’s fine, you know, assuming it’s reasonably priced.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Maintenance.

    TOM: Typically, if you need parts or bigger things, then that’s not covered. But your system does need to be inspected, in fact, serviced twice a year. In the wintertime, it needs to be cleaned.

    Now, is this a – let me just clarify – is this a gas-fired system or oil-fired system or is it electric?

    CASS: Well, let’s see. I get a gas bill and an electric bill.

    TOM: OK. I’m sure it’s gas then. And yeah, see, gas runs – when gas burns, it burns dirty. It produces …

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And can really muck up the whole system.

    TOM: Yeah. It produces a carbon deposit on the burners that makes it inefficient. And that has to be cleaned. So, that’s something you would do in the fall: September, October timeframe. And then in the spring – May-ish, maybe even a little bit earlier in Georgia – you have them come back and check the function of the air-conditioning system. So, those two services do need to be done and if they can cover them in a reasonably-priced agreement, I think it’s a good idea.

    LESLIE: And you want to make sure that that eliminates the need for service-call charges. It should eliminate the need for materials. It should also give you priority should you have a heating or cooling situation that needs to be addressed. It’s not “oh, we can’t get around to you until four weeks.”

    Because we have a service agreement with our heating system and it has proven to pay for itself over the years.

    TOM: Well, alright, Cass. I’m glad we gave you some direction, some tips on how to successfully invest in a service agreement for your HVAC system. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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