We get many questions about home warranties and whether their unit is covered under their warranty plan. Home warranties for your HVAC are either included when homes are purchases, or sold to give a homeowner the 'sense' that their unit is fully covered in case of breakdown of the unit. Home warranties have a mixed reputation, sometimes it may save the homeowner some money, but others many home warranties are the equivalent of a discount plan and not akin to an insurance plan. We highly recommend that you always read the Fine Print when it comes to any warranty work, so you have a better understanding of what is and is not covered.
Often, when you have an equipment malfunction and equipment repairs, the home warranty company will dictate which contractors are allowed to repair it. What they won’t tell you is that they often contract with technicians that are new to the business and less experienced because their reimbursable rates for labor are lower than the market average. This means you won’t have choices about who to work with and you are likely not getting someone who has lots of experience.
If you have a home warranty contract and are seeking a replacement, you may not get to make that decision. To save money, very often it is the home warranty providers that frequently elect to repair rather than replace. They are betting it is cheaper to do several repairs, rather than replace a system like it should be done. The might save them money, but it can be a hassle and more expensive to the homeowner in the long-run. And when home warranties do replace equipment, they will pick the cheapest, least energy efficient equipment, which can be less reliable. It is an unfortunate truth that you get what you pay for.
As with anything, we recommend that you always read the fine print so you know what you are buying, and ask a lot of questions. If your home is new, your home builder may offer coverage. In addition, purchases of appliances may have their own specified warranty. And many credit cards offer extended or special warranties for purchases. Large unexpected repairs might also be covered by your home owner’s insurance. If you purchase a new heater or air conditioning system, ask about the manufacturer’s warranty and see if your HVAC company offers a craftsmanship warranty as well.
People often expect a home warranty to cover *everything*, but in reality, they just often do not. Homeowners are often liable for a co-pay, diagnostic service fee, a service call fee to properly maintain equipment, or sometimes just a portion of repair or replacement. And just imagine, in the summer when it's hot and all the hvac companies are busy, it may take a home warranty longer than usual to locate a contractor willing to come out to make the repair (because the reimbursement rates they receive are low, so there is less incentive to act quickly when they are swamped already.) In the meantime, a home warranty company might make you a cash payout, only paying one-third or less to close-out the claim. This frees you up to negotiate your own fix, but less than the contracted amount you might have originally received. That scenario can and does cause hard feelings.
If you are debating the merits of a home warranty, weigh the pros and cons so you better understand what a home warranty really
In terms of air conditioning and heating (hvac) equipment, you might be better off with an HVAC-specific service plan, like our maintenance plans, combined with your HVAC’s equipment warranty. An experienced Carrier Factory-Authorized dealer, Mr Cool HVAC can help you with an expert repair or installation, and we warranty our craftsmanship, too. Call us at (512) 445-0412 to get on our schedule in the Austin area. We look forward to hearing from you.