What Does an HVAC Maintenance Agreement Include?

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC maintenance agreementYour HVAC system is what heats your home in the winter and cools your home in the summer.  This system provides both comfort and safety.  Making sure that the HVAC system in your home is operating correctly and efficiently is important, that is why many people opt to get an HVAC maintenance agreement.  These agreements help to keep your system running.  Here is what you need to know.

Read Before You Sign

The number one thing that you need to know is to read the agreement before you sign it.  Make sure you thoroughly understand what is and is not included.  Are the cost of parts included? Labor? Is the work guaranteed?

Remember that with almost all contracts, once you sign it, it is yours.   Often the word contract is left out, but you are signing a binding deal.  These contracts may be called any of the following:

  • Service Agreements
  • Service plans
  • Comfort Plans
  • HVAC Maintenance Agreement
  • Maintenance Agreement

Basic HVAC Maintenance Plans

A basic HVAC maintenance agreement is very simple.  It covers the regular checks of your HVAC unit.  That is a start because you need the system to run.  They will also often cover the swapping out of filters and other regular service.

With a basic plan you might pay $200 and a lot of the basic service you can do for yourself such as replacing the filter.  If you use your HVAC a lot you probably will need to replace that filter more than once a season anyways.

Mid-Level Service Plans

There are plans that fall into the middle of HVAC maintenance service plans.  These cover the basics, just like the basic plan.  They will also cover the cost of the parts that are replaced with the regular service that happens every year.

In addition to that, you will find that most mid-level plans start to offer priority service.  That means if something goes wrong, they will come to work on your HVAC system before some others.  This can help, especially if you need service during the busy times of the year.

High Level Maintenance Contract Plans

High level service contracts allow you to call in help whenever you need it.  That includes emergency service at no fee.  For many people that is a huge benefit, especially if they are concerned about their system going down.

Remember that the more wear and tear that you put on your HVAC system, the more likely that your HVAC will go down.  If it goes down in the winter it can leave you and your family without the heat that keeps them safe.  The highest level of HVAC maintenance agreement includes parts on top of everything else that we have already talked about.

With parts included you will be able to get your system repaired no matter what when it goes down.  That is, as long as you aren’t the one fiddling with it.

The one problem that you will encounter is that these highest of level service plans only come with brand new units.  They can cost upwards of $600 but when you factor in maintenance and parts to the cost of a repair, it will still end up saving you money.

Do It Yourself

Some people think that they can do all of the HVAC maintenance that is needed by themselves.  While there are some people that can do that, others can’t.  You need to keep in mind that when you work on your own HVAC you are liable for any damage that you might accidently do to it.  Working on the system yourself might also void the warranty if your system is still protected by one.

Getting an HVAC maintenance agreement can help save you a lot of money.  It also helps to make sure your system is always working when you need it.  While the plans cost money upfront, they can quickly pay for themselves.  You just need to decide which one is right for you.

For more information, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

 

Spring Tips for Your Home from Your HVAC Professionals

Winter faded away very quickly this year, and summer is fast approaching, already many people have cranked up their A/C to deal with the oncoming season.  Here are some friendly tips and reminders to help you navigate the season within your home!
Spring-Home-Maintenance-Tips

Outside your house

  1. Check your roofs and gutters- the summer heat can really damage shingles, so it’s always a good idea to have a professional inspect your roof every couple of yours. Make sure the gutters are clean and ready for the spring showers, and ensure that the spouts that direct the water face away from your house’s foundations- wouldn’t want a flood in the basement.
  2. Seal your deck- if you have a deck, make sure to inspect the wood for stains, discoloration or warping, finding those signs may mean it’s time to reseal your deck. To see if your old application still works, pour water on to your deck and check for beading. We know your sealer said that it must be applied annually, but if there are no immediate problems, skipping a year shouldn’t cause a huge issue. This is also a good time to check and see if the wood is splintering, rotting, or has any sharp edges. During your inspection, look closely for rusted nails or nails that are coming out of the wood. Also make sure to check the railings and the stairs to make sure everything is stable and secure and nothing wobbles.
  3. Ready Your Soil- it’s time for new growth in our gardens. Make sure all the winter debris and leaves is gone from the plant beds. Mix up and loosen the soil and add a little compost for nutrients. If you’re growing veggies or herbs, they need soil that drains well and has a high level of nitrogen, so make sure to find compost or plant food that has plenty of that nitrogen.
  4. Check your foundation- those midsummer basement floods are a huge pain. Make sure to check the foundation before the rains start. Look for cracks and other imperfections and make sure to seal them (or call a contractor, if necessary).  Look for dips and hills in your foundation and yard and fill them in with some compacted soil. These areas collect standing water and can be a breeding ground for nasty mosquitos and other bugs.
  5. Check you’re A/C- call a qualified, certified HVAC contractor to come out and tune up your air conditioning unit. Doing this annually will help you lower your energy costs and keep everything running efficiently. Ask your HVAC specialist to inspect your system’s condensate drain hose, especially if it’s humid where you live. This hose becomes clogged with algae and other sediment.

Inside your house

  1. Spring HVAC Maintenance TipsDemustify your basement and attic- hate that musty smell that collects in your basement and attic? Check to make sure that your roof is free of leaks and the insulation isn’t discolored, or deteriorated. In the basement, make sure the walls, floor and trim are all free of water stains and other signs of seepage.
  2. Check your water heater- look around and ensure that there is no leaks. The average life span of a water heater is 8-12 years but if it’s over 5, checking monthly for signs of a leak is a great idea. Any evidence of water leaking or if any rust is found denotes that it’s time to get that water heater replaced. If you live in an area with hard water, you may need to drain your water heater because of sediment build up in the tank.
  3. Change those air filters- when you invite your HVAC professional to look at your A/C, ask him to check and change your filters too. Dirty filters make your unit work harder thus increasing your energy costs and maybe even damaging your equipment.
  4. Recaulk those cracks- seeing cracks around your doors or windows that are wider than a nickel? Get some exterior caulk and seal them in to prevent cold air escaping and making your A/C work twice as hard. You’ll save money on A/C during the summer and heating during the winter!
  5. Install a programmable thermostat for your HVAC system- If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you could be losing money big time. Your HVAC specialist can install one for you- it’ll pay for itself quickly. The perks of having a programmable thermostat is that you can control your HVAC around your schedule. That means that it changes the settings for you and maintains a more balanced temperature. You can program your A/C to kick in an hour before you get home from work, so it’s not cooling the whole house while you are gone- it’s also great for when you’re on vacation! Program it to lower the temperature the day you get home so your house is comfortable when you arrive but hasn’t been cooling unnecessarily while you’ve been gone!

If you follow these HVAC tips you can easily maintain your property and run at an efficient, comfortable pace. Your house is the most expensive thing you own (unless you have kids)- so make sure to take care of it. Preventative maintenance always saves you from expensive, surprise repairs and going without A/C in the hottest months of the year! As your HVAC professionals, we would be glad to answer any questions you have about maintaining your units. Call us to schedule your spring appointment and get your questions answered before the heat is really upon us.

We hope you have a beautiful spring and summer and enjoy the sun and the warmth.