Many contractors will promote service contracts that come with a hefty price tag. While your initial reaction may be to decline in order to save money now, it is actually worth researching the plan because it can end up significantly benefitting you in the long run for a variety of reasons.

Keeping Up with System Maintenance

The most obvious reason to sign up for a service contract is to keep your equipment in tip-top shape. By choosing a service agreement, you are ensuring that your system is serviced regularly and will not go long periods of time between maintenance checks. Routine maintenance will help keep your equipment running smoothly, and it gives technicians a chance to catch issues before they become large and costly. Additionally, if your system is maintained well, it is likely to last longer and will need to be replaced less frequently.

Improving the Energy Efficiency of Equipment

If you are getting your equipment maintained regularly with a service contract, it has a much better chance of running efficiently. For instance, many leaks can go undetected for long periods of time, but if you had a plumbing service agreement, your technician may be able to discover and correct the issue before it becomes severe. Similarly, heating and air equipment can contribute to very costly energy bills. Signing up for an HVAC service contract will reduce your chances of having an ongoing issue that causes your system to work harder and cost you more in bills. While service contracts can be expensive, you have a very good chance of recouping the costs through lower energy bills and fewer repairs and replacements.

Building Familiarity with Your Technician

One of the best parts of signing up for a service contract is establishing rapport with a company over time. Often, the same technician will service your system each time, which allows him or her to get to know you, your home, and your equipment. When a technician is especially familiar with your situation, he or she is more likely to do a thorough job. Working with just one company will also make it easier to deal with special circumstances such as pets, kids, or disabled family members. If specific precautions need to be taken in your home, you will only need to explain this to the company up front rather than having to detail the issue again and again to a different company every time work needs to be done. If a company builds a relationship with you, the people there will be better able to recommend products and services that are a good fit for you and your home.

Having Help in Case of Emergency

Many service agreements offer 24/7 emergency service. If you live in an area prone to many storms or severe weather, it may come in handy to be able to have someone come out to service your equipment immediately following an issue. Additionally, a lot of companies give priority to homeowners who are part of their service contract program. If many homeowners are in need of the same service at the same time, companies can easily get booked up, but you will have a better chance of being given priority if you are part of a company’s service contract or loyalty program.

Comparing Individual Costs with Service Plans

If you are still unsure whether a service contract is worth the annual investment, do some research. Figure out what is covered under the service contracts you are considering, and then look up the individual cost of each service being offered in the plans. If the plans are much more expensive than getting each service individually, it may not warrant signing up. However, if it is only slightly more expensive, it may be worth it to pay that extra bit in order to save you from having to remember to get your system tuned up regularly.

Something else to consider is how old your system is and whether or not it is still under warranty. If your equipment is still under warranty, you can most likely choose a minimal maintenance plan because costlier repairs or replacements may be covered under the warranty. Familiarize yourself with the details of any warranties you have before signing a service contract. A smaller plan would also be a better choice for very old systems. If you anticipate having to replace older equipment soon, there is no need to sign up for an extensive plan when that money could be used to buy a new system that will most likely last longer and need less work done in the coming years.

If you do not sign up for a service contract for any of your home systems, it is of the utmost importance that you still perform regular maintenance. Because system upkeep can be so costly and time consuming, the right service contract can alleviate the stress and uncertainty involved with home repairs. Just make sure to sign up with a company that you feel comfortable with and have thoroughly researched.

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Sources: ACCA; Carrier; R.S. Andrews; Trane.

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