Maintenance Agreements cost money. Are they worth the investment?
I hope you are reading this as you are contemplating whether to sign up for a service maintenance contract rather than finding this note when you already have a problem and the home is dreadfully hot, or way too cold.
We do not fully engage mentally with how hot Texas is until we have lost our cool refuge and are in a quest to restore cool. Cold is a little different. We can bundle up, but you will be miserable until you get your heat source restored. North Texas can get quite cold in weather. I have broken several inches of ice on a horse tank before, at least a couple inches. That is cold enough.
We are hoping that we are saving someone from a traumatic experience by helping them decide an HVAC maintenance agreement is a good investment, up front.
Here are a number of reasons why an HVAC Maintenance Plan is good for you.
Regular HVAC maintenance gives you peace of mind.
You don’t have to worry about all the details, you already have enough things on your plate to worry about. Your service company calls you twice a year, before the cooling season and before the heating season, and makes sure your system is in tip top condition for hard work.
You are a priority customer, when something happens- if your A/C leaves you at 2AM, you are no longer someone desperately trying to locate help, you know whom to call, and you are a priority customer.
You are not paying through the nose for repairs, you are paying as per your agreement, which is something like a discount for parts and labor and no overtime charges, except maybe for Sunday…. like I said, know the details.
Regular maintenance keeps your mechanical systems tuned and operating efficiently.
This saves you money on your electric bill. It also better insures you are comfortable.
As soon as your HVAC system is losing its edge, the system is working harder to produce the results as per your thermostat. Working hard for mechanical devices means more wear, more tear, and you are moving up the date for repairs.
HVAC systems have been in service for decades. The HVAC service industry has developed expertise in testing for, and recognizing the signs of failure. They have developed procedures for preventing as many problems as possible. By finding the symptoms of a problem early, they can prevent a failure which can be traumatic and unnerving and expensive. Certified techs learn elaborate testing procedures, taking temps at various ports to determine delta temps and current measurements. The types of issues that create inefficiencies and possible failure modes give off hints that the conscientious tech can find and adjust or head off a breakdown.
It is sad but true that a majority of service calls can be prevented through proper maintenance. It is not in the interest of HVAC Service companies to have their customers having catastrophic breakdowns, at least not their service maintenance customers.
There are plenty of people out there who are not proactive, to keep HVAC companies quite busy is the heating and cooling system. We will cover why HVAC maintenance agreements- and well cared for units, are good for HVAC service companies in a bit.
The aviation industry is a great example of the importance of regular maintenance.
Airplanes do really well with regular maintenance. Every part of an airplane has a date stamp on it and has a known replacement date. With airplanes, you cannot go until it breaks because airplanes have this nasty tendency to crash when something breaks. The same principles relate to HVAC maintenance with not quite the same level of intensity. Although, a failed HVAC might feel life threatening.
Service agreements are a win-win for service companies and homeowners.
Service companies are in business because hot weather comes or cold weather arrives, and a whole bunch of overworked and tired HVAC equipment breaks down. But it is good business for them to try and smooth out these two huge bulge of work, where people hot under the collar or in the shivering cold are sitting up at 1:00 in the morning waiting for their HVAC technician to show up and make things work.
There are all kinds of ways HVAC breakdowns can be a bummer.
While an HVAC breakdown during extreme weather feels life threatening for the homeowner, it is havoc also for the responsible HVAC service company. HVAC service people are working long hours at all hours, and customers can be quite demanding about how long they should have to wait for repairs. Ah, HVACs are complex, HVAC technicians are people too.
And there are not long lists of certified and conscientious techs which can be added at a whim. The HVAC service companies that you want to find and hire, depend on great techs to take care of you and have systems to bring people on board and inculcating them heart of the company caring for customers. It also takes time to earn trust. A big bunch of new calls for HVAC help makes it hard, but responsible companies will not try to speed service delivery by adding untested talent at a whim. It just will not and can not happen. Servicing unique HVAC systems differentiated by each home and each manufacturer is nothing like fixing an Iphone.
So getting a long list of people to become regular customers who create work outside the big bubbles of effort are good for the HVAC service company and all those folks who become steady customers. It is a win-win, and, as the service company, most of the emergency calls coming in are your next opportunity to win over a new customer and meet a new candidate for a service maintenance contract.
It is also a blessing for an HVAC company to have as much work as possible spread over the entire year. They would never say this, but I will. When HVAC technicians are well rested and relaxed and not being run ragged, they have more energy and vitality to treat customers better and more thoughtfully. Just makes sense doesn’t it? We are all human. This is another win win for everybody.
In fact, you as a homeowner need to be proactive and deal with your strategic Heating and Cooling Issues in the off season. And this is just one of those reasons. More on this thinking here.
Steady work helps pay the bills and keep people busy. When busy times come, there is not a huge pile of HVAC techs waiting to be hired. Good techs want steady income, and have hours of special training and expertise, and not just any warm body will do, or can be trusted with that most precious commodity, a loyal and trusting customer. So you don’t let great techs go until the next heating or cooling season, you want to keep them busy and productive the whole year.
We just talked about the challenge of onboarding talent. HVAC service company owners will not hire inexperienced people on the spur of the moment and send they out to service an emergency. They will actually listen to people complaining about a lack of service people, and some might actually try and explain the problem, but he or she is OK with this, because their customers on maintenance contracts get priority and the rest can wait because there are bigger problems to be created than just complaints from non established customers.
So it is a real win for the HVAC company to have you on a service contract. They can come out on a regular scheduled call and clean and service your equipment- helping it last longer and perform properly- in the off season when the phones are not ringing off the hook and everyone is overworked and staying up too late at night.
And therefore it is good for customers, because the service is planned, not an emergency. You get to make rational choices without the heat making you stressed out and insane, and if there is a problem during the hottest period of the year, you get a special price and top priority for a repair and you get a good reason as to why this happened and why it occurred with your properly maintained equipment.
So that was a fairly long-winded way to say that you might like a service contract for maintenance from a company you trust. We talk about evaluating technicians and HVAC service companies elsewhere, but it is your choice to determine whether regular maintenance is good for you.
Any questions? Any comments? Feel free to add them below. And another reminder.