Do Home Warranties Cover HVAC System Repairs?

Do Home Warranties Cover HVAC System Repairs?

When things break down in your Sacramento, CA home, paying out of pocket for repairs can create hardship. This is especially true when it comes to major appliances and essential home systems. The good news is that there may be a way to sidestep this spending entirely. Home warranties or home service agreements cover the costs of replacing or repairing non-functioning equipment that has succumbed to age-related wear. These agreements help homeowners avoid the financial stress of keeping their refrigerators, washing machines, and dishwashers working. In some instances, home warranties even cover the costs of replacements or repairs for HVAC systems.

Different Home Warranty Types

Not all home warranties are created equally. Some provide a far greater range of protections than others. Many low-cost warranties only cover home appliances such as built-in microwaves, garbage disposals, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, and washing machines. Although heaters and air conditioners are often referred to as appliances, some home warranty companies recognize them as home systems. To ensure that your HVAC system is fully covered by your service agreement, you must choose a warranty that covers both home appliances and home systems. A home systems warranty will cover your HVAC system, electrical system, and plumbing system or essentially, fixtures that are considered inherent parts of your home.

When warranties recognize furnaces, heat pumps, and air conditioners as home appliances, there may be certain components left unprotected. These include features that are hard-wired into the building or considered part of the building structure such as smart thermostats, HVAC air ducts, and any connected pipes, discharge lines, and refrigerant tubes.

Home appliance and home systems warranties can be purchased separately or as part of combination home warranty agreements. Thus, if you already have a home appliance warranty that provides limited protection for your HVAC system or none at all, you can always supplement this policy with a home systems warranty. Combination policies always provide the most comprehensive range of HVAC protections.

Not All HVAC Repair Issues Are Wear-Related

Even if your HVAC system is fully covered by your home warranty, this doesn’t mean that your warranty will cover all HVAC repairs. Home warranties only cover age and wear-related damages like worn bearings, belts, capacitors, thermocouples, and fans. They do not cover the repair or replacement costs caused by perils like fires, floods, leaks, or the structural collapse of building materials. Events like these are covered by home insurance policies instead, and only when the perils in question are recognized as covered perils.

Some HVAC problems arise as a result of assembly-related errors or defective components. For instance, if your furnace manufacturer designed your heater with a defective intake valve, you’ll need to submit a claim with the manufacturer directly. All new heating and cooling equipment is covered by manufacturer warranties for a period of three to 20 years. This dramatic difference in the duration of coverage reflects different equipment types and component-specific protections. For instance, while your furnace might have a five- or 10-year limited parts warranty from its manufacturer, its heat exchanger could have full coverage from this same entity that lasts up to 20 years.

Before submitting a home warranty claim for HVAC problems, it’s important to determine the ultimate source of these issues. If repairs are wear-related and your warranty covers the affected portion of your heating and cooling equipment, you should submit your appeal for payment or reimbursement to your home warranty provider rather than your home insurance company or your equipment manufacturer.

Home Warranties Are Mutually Binding Agreements

One major caveat of home warranties is that they only work when homeowners do their part too. Like all warranties and insurance policies, home service agreements are mutually binding. When you read your policy documents, you’ll find that your warranty issuer has clearly defined the provisions it’s willing to make along with the requirements you must adhere to. Failing to comply with the terms of your home warranty could result in delayed claims, claim denials, or the outright voidance of all relevant protections.

Required Maintenance

Routine maintenance is a common requirement of home warranties, manufacturer warranties, and home insurance policies. Most warranty and policy issuers require professional maintenance service at least once annually for both heaters and air conditioners. These agreements might additionally stipulate the need for regular HVAC air duct inspections or cleanings, routine filter changes, and other mandatory forms of upkeep.

Timely Reporting

HVAC problems are rarely static. They tend to worsen the longer they’re left unchecked, especially when homeowners continue using their heating and cooling equipment. If your air conditioner starts making strange noises, emitting odd smells, or failing to do its job correctly, waiting to schedule service could make the necessary repairs more costly. With time, small and isolated problems eventually impact other functions and components. Home service agreements require timely reporting of HVAC issues as a means of limiting their own spending.

Proof of Maintenance

When submitting home warranty claims, you may be asked to provide proof of maintenance. Having a way to verify routine HVAC service can expedite claims approvals. However, even when proof of maintenance isn’t required, home warranty companies have ways of determining whether it’s been skipped. For instance, you might be limited to only working with HVAC companies that have partnered with your home warranty company. These entities will report all evidence of neglect after completing their inspections and before beginning claims-related replacements or repairs. Thus, if your air conditioner, heat pump, or heater ever fails due to built-up debris, your warranty provider will know.

Incorrect Equipment Sizing and Home Warranty Protections

Another important stipulation of home service agreements is proper sizing and installation. This is one of many solid reasons to never purchase a heater or air conditioner at a big box store and install it on your own. Heaters and air conditioners that are too large or small for their service areas experience rapid wear and develop multiple stress-related problems throughout their lifetimes.

Beware of Mandatory Waiting Periods

The primary benefit of having a home warranty is being able to repair or replace aging appliances and systems without radically tweaking your budget or forgoing other essentials. If you notice that your HVAC system is wearing down, you should purchase a home warranty as soon as possible. In most cases, these warranties come with mandatory waiting periods. Waiting periods typically last just 30 days, but throughout this time, any breakdowns that occur must be paid for out of pocket.

Deductibles and Service Fees

It’s also important to note that repairing or replacing covered equipment isn’t always totally free of charge. Some home warranties come with deductibles and service fees. If your plan has a deductible, you may be required to pay several hundred dollars or more out of pocket before your warranty protections kick in.

Service fees are charged per service call. The average service fee for a combination home warranty is $75. However, some lower-priced home service agreements could charge as much as $150.

The Importance of Reading Your Policy Documents

Long before submitting your very first claim, it’s important to read your policy in its entirety. If necessary, you can use a digital tool to help you better understand the legal jargon it contains. This will give you a clear understanding of your rights, protections, and requirements. It will also limit the risk of unfortunate surprises and keep you from unintentionally voiding your coverage.

We’ve been serving Sacramento, CA, since 1976. We offer outstanding heating, cooling, plumbing, and air quality services. We also provide zone control systems, drain cleaning, and preventative maintenance plans. If you need HVAC maintenance or repairs, call Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air today!

Top 14 Benefits of a High-Efficiency Furnace

Top 14 Benefits of a High-Efficiency Furnace

Do you keep noticing your energy bills getting higher each winter? If so, there’s a good chance the furnace is the culprit of the problem. This is especially true for older furnaces. In most homes, furnaces will last roughly 15 to 20 years before they need to be replaced. Frequent repairs and maintenance are other telltale signs that it’s time to replace the furnace with a more energy-efficient model. If you’re contemplating replacing your furnace with a new one, keep the following 14 advantages in mind when making your decision.

1. Greater Energy Efficiency

One of the easiest ways to optimize household energy consumption and help the environment in the long run is to have a more energy-efficient furnace. To reduce energy usage and utility costs, modern furnaces use cutting-edge technology to get more heat out of the same quantity of fuel. As a result, homeowners enjoy greater heating performance, more comfort and less environmental impact with higher efficiency.

2. Save Money

You can save a significant amount of money over time by investing in an energy-efficient furnace. These furnaces use the latest innovations to reduce energy use and enhance heat output, which means cheaper fuel costs. In many cases, the substantial savings in the long run more than cover the original investment.

3. Positive Environmental Impact

Because it reduces total energy usage, installing an energy-efficient furnace has good implications for the environment. Modern technology allows these furnaces to reduce carbon emissions while increasing heat extraction from fuel. This means that homeowners who install energy-efficient furnaces help preserve and support the environment by making their homes more efficient. Switching to more energy-efficient furnaces is a conscientious move that helps slow global warming and pave the way for a cleaner, greener future since it reduces the use of fossil fuels, which is in line with eco-friendly practices.

4. Consistent Heating

Having uniform heating throughout a house is possible with the installation of an energy-efficient furnace. By reducing temperature gradients and hot and cold areas, the state-of-the-art technologies in the furnace improve heat distribution. This allows homeowners to precisely control the temperature in their homes and improve circulation. Homeowners looking for effective and reliable heating solutions will find installing an energy-efficient furnace a sensible option that enhances a home’s comfort level by creating a comfortable ambiance.

5. Quiet Operation

Because it runs more quietly when compared to older furnaces, an energy-efficient furnace is a great way to make a home more comfortable. During heating cycles, these furnaces produce less noise thanks to their advanced engineering. The reduced noise level improves your quality of life by making the house a more relaxing and pleasant place to spend time.

6. Programmable Features

Modern, energy-efficient furnaces have programmed functions that improve efficiency and comfort simultaneously. Some of these features include programmable thermostats that let users set certain temperatures for certain times of the day or week. A whole range of interior temperature control capabilities, including humidity regulation and air filtration, may also be available with more sophisticated controls. Homeowners can customize their heating systems to suit their unique requirements and tastes with these programmable features, making their homes more comfortable and energy efficient.

7. Zoning Capabilities

The installation of a more energy-efficient furnace paves the way for zoned heating, which gives homeowners more control over the temperature in their homes. By targeting heating to specified zones, zoning reduces wasteful heating of unoccupied areas and maximizes energy efficiency. Better comfort and less energy use are the results of individual temperature settings for each dwelling. Larger houses or sections with different heating needs tend to benefit greatly from zoned heating.

8. Improve Indoor Air Quality

Advanced ventilation systems and improved air filtering not only produce greater heating efficiency but also enhance the quality of the air within a home. To promote healthier air circulation, these furnaces filter out impurities, allergies and toxins. By maintaining a steady flow of fresh air, improved ventilation helps keep interior contaminants at bay as well, which results in a healthier living environment and lessens the likelihood of respiratory disorders and allergies.

9. Longer Life Span

An energy-efficient furnace has a longer lifetime since it doesn’t wear out as quickly. Because of their improved design, modern systems run more smoothly, with less wear and tear and fewer maintenance demands. Maintaining and optimizing the performance of energy-efficient furnaces is key to extending their operating life.

10. Smart Technology Integration

Some of the best ways to improve a home’s energy efficiency and comfort are by using smart technology. However, not all furnaces work with smart technology devices. With a new furnace, you can use smart thermostats, which enable remote temperature control and programming and allow you to optimize heating schedules. By integrating the furnace with home automation systems, additional smart gadgets may work in tandem with ease, making it simple to modify their settings in response to factors like occupancy and weather. Also, you can use it in hands-free mode thanks to its interoperability with voice-activated assistants.

11. Government Incentives

To incentivize the purchase of energy-saving appliances, several governments provide rebates, tax credits or subsidies. Homeowners can achieve both financial success and meaningful progress toward national energy efficiency targets by making the switch to a high-efficiency furnace and taking advantage of the associated incentives.

12. Better Home Resale Value

A smaller carbon footprint and cheaper power expenses are two things that potential homeowners look for when buying a home. Installing an energy-efficient furnace will help attract environmentally conscious purchasers. It also demonstrates a dedication to energy conservation, meaning that installing an energy-efficient furnace can boost your home’s market value. It’s a great way to stand out from the competition in the real estate market.

13. Less Maintenance

You won’t have to do as much maintenance when you install a new, energy-efficient furnace. Thanks to their forward-thinking technological design, these contemporary systems have components that endure little wear and strain. Homeowners who install new furnaces tend to save time and money on upkeep since there are fewer failures and concerns.

14. Better Indoor Comfort

Installing a new, energy-efficient furnace improves a home’s indoor comfort in many ways. It helps maintain a constant and exact temperature by distributing heat evenly, meaning your home won’t have cold patches or temperature swings. Newer furnaces also do a better job of filtering airborne pollutants when compared to older systems, meaning your home will have healthier air quality. This is paramount to reducing allergy and asthma symptoms.

If you’re wondering whether your home could benefit from a new furnace, Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating & Air is here to answer all of your questions. We also help Loomis homeowners with a variety of cooling and plumbing services, including drain cleaning, AC installation, water filtration and more. Our primary goal is to help homeowners improve the efficiency and comfort of their homes all year. Give us a call today to learn all about the advantages of installing an energy-efficient furnace. We have financing options available on approved credit for new installs.