• Howard Gallagher

Do Home Warranties Cover HVAC?

Your typical HVAC system although often located on the exterior of your home, is still considered an essential part of your home's system.

In charge of regulating heating and cooling, HVAC systems are pivotal to providing you and your family comfort during the harsh seasonal months.

It goes without saying that once your HVAC system is acting haywire it’s already too late.

When it comes to taking care of your HVAC system routine maintenance and inspections go a long way in terms of saving money down the road.

Improper maintenance and handling of a system can cause major damage. Replacing just a few key parts of your system puts you in a better position to enjoy the quality of your HVAC system for years to come.

Here at Global Home Protection our comprehensive service policies cover the repair and replacement of most HVAC systems within your home.

Should I replace my HVAC?

How to tell?

If you want your HVAC in working condition year round, understanding your HVAC system is a must. Understanding the components of how your system works is the first step to knowing how to better maintain your HVAC. The Department of Energy recommends homeowners to replace HVAC systems every 10 to 15 years, but there are simple steps to take before it gets to that point.

An easy fix for the homeowner is to check your filters. The cleaner the filter - the better the airflow. Changing your furnace filter is one of the least expensive maintenance items for your home with one of the greatest benefits. and whether it is time for an upgrade.

If you still are trying to decide whether it is time to replace your old system another indicator is the price of replacing the system costs more than half the cost of a new system itself. Oftentimes A/C units will need minor repairs but once the costs or repair exceed a certain point, it becomes less stressful to simply replace it.

Granted that every season will require different energy outputs from your system resulting in average seasonal energy costs, however, when you start to notice spikes in your energy bill be aware.

Servicing your system at least once or twice a year can save you the hassle of poor quality circulation and uncomfortable temperature fluctuations. Temperature inconsistencies typically mean that your air conditioning system is not powerful enough to supply air throughout your home, or that the ductwork is not properly installed.

A few other tell tale signs that it’s time to replace your HVAC system with a newer model can be seen in the air quality in your home. A system that is not efficiently filtering out dust will constantly let in dust particles affecting the quality of the air you and your family breathe in. This can be especially dangerous to individuals in the home who suffer from severe seasonal allergies, asthma, and other sensitive respiratory conditions.

Lastly, if you come across unusual sounds, smells, and or worsening air quality (i.e mildew, mold, or unusual humidity levels) it is crucial that you seek out professional assistance.

Understanding Your HVAC System

First it is important to identify the heat source. There are several types to pick: the furnace, the heat pump, or boiler. Namely, these are the sources of warm air and heat that circulates throughout your nice and cozy home.

Next up is the heat distribution system which is responsible for moving the air, steam, and hot water throughout the various areas of your home: bathroom, kitchen, and common areas. This is also known as a radiator or forced air system.

The last component that makes up your control system, this is the thermostat within your system that regulates the amount of heat that is distributed at any given time.

Furnaces typically depend on the source of fuel that is readily available in your area, when possible ask to opt for propane or natural gas.

Boilers are another common heat source but differ from other types based on its efficiency at boiling water for heat. When deciding on a new furnace there are several key criteria to consider: size, efficiency, and venting. Each criteria should be carefully selected, ideally, having excellent ventilation and efficiency are top criteria to focus on when making a purchase.

Heat pumps utilize outdoor air to both heat and cool a home, this is done by transferring heat from one source to another. There are three main types of heat pumps namely, ground source, air source, and water source. Homeowners prefer these appliances because a single unit can be more than enough to warm their entire house.

Your typical A/C consists of two main components:

  1. The condenser unit -found outdoors

  2. The evaporator unit - mounted on the air handler or furnace

On the contrary there are many options when it comes to choosing a unit.

One type of unit is a central air conditioning unit, known for circulating cool air through a system of supply and return ducts. On average these units are said to last for 15-20 years.

Window and Room units are the most common form of A/C typically mounted into a window and are the most efficient at saving energy. These units cool one room at a time but last 12-15 years making it a very regularly used A/C unit.

Mini-Split Systems are great for homeowners who have boiler systems. By providing zoned cooling without the need for duct work. This is an alternate form of heating and air conditioning that you can install in a new home or retro fit into an older home.

Will Home Warranty Replace HVAC

Reasons Why You Wouldn’t Be Covered

Getting your HVAC system replaced is usually a last resort. With careful maintenance your system should last you up to 10 years. After 10 years it is time to have a look at new options.

However, there are a few reasons why your home warranty does not cover an HVAC system.

One major reason you wouldn’t receive coverage is due to the fact that your system may already be broken. Systems that are already damaged are not qualified to be covered under a home warranty, only if the plan were bought prior could the home warranty company resolve your claim.

Second, if the HVAC system was damaged due to a prior technician having attempted to repair. It warrants being mentioned that attempting to repair or replace the defective unit by using a home warranty company isn’t possible. The damage done by a technician prior to your home warranty company issuing an inspection is deemed as a pre-existing condition.

One other condition is whether or not the manufacturing warranty is still active. An appliance or system in the home can not be covered by two warranties at the same time. This is a violation in the service agreement made between the homeowner and the home warranty provider.

Lastly, if the item is mismanaged and handled improperly according to guidelines to the service agreement.

What to Know About HVAC Systems

Hvac units that go through regular HVAC maintenance tend to last 40 percent longer. Only 42 percent of homeowners call a professional to perform routine maintenance on their air conditioner. Nearly 90 percent of all the homes in the United States have some kind of air conditioning system. In fact, the United States uses more air conditioning than all other nations combined.

Average costs for a new HVAC system can vary depending on the type of materials you are using, the indoor air quality that you desire, and ultimately the size of your house along with the placement of the ducts around your house.

These factors can add up greatly and incur large labor costs for the installation of the system.

Depending on what exactly is wrong with your system can also affect the labor costs for repair.

Problem areas such as electrical repair components, piper repair areas, and energy efficiency maintenance determine the estimate that some contractors give to their clients.

This is why it is critical to maintain the integrity of your heating and cooling systems. There are many ways to ensure your systems are running as smoothly and efficiently as they should.

Maintenance Checklist:

  1. Replace the filter

  2. Once a month clear any leaves

  3. Clean the condenser fan blades

  4. Inspect the fan blades

  5. Maintain 2 foot clearance

  6. Lubricate the condenser fan motor

  7. Shade the compressor unit

  8. Have a form-fitting cover for the winter months

  9. Clean the indoor evaporator coil

  10. Clean the drain pipe and evaporator trap

Do You Need a Home Warranty for Your HVAC System?

When you buy your system it is common for the manufacturer to issue a warranty for the system. Normally you are given 1 to 2 months to register and receive the benefits of your warranty.

What isn't covered is replacing parts that are specifically designed to work with an older, no-longer-allowed refrigerant. As of January 2010, for example, federal regulation banned R-22 refrigerants. Parts that are not compatible with R-410A refrigerant are not covered under warranty for replacement.

Always cover your bases when it comes to matters with you home.

Ultimately, a home warranty plan is similar to a manufacturer since they both cover the repair and replacement of an item. A key difference is that with a home warranty policy you can cover more than one item and save more money.