Looking for the best home warranty for HVAC coverage?
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In this ReviewHomeWarranties.com guide you’ll learn:
- Do you even need a home warranty for your HVAC system?
- What do home warranties for air conditioning and heating actually cover?
- Will a home warranty cover you for any pre-existing conditions your HVAC system might have?
- Which are the best home warranty service providers with HVAC coverage?
- And Much More!
We’ve reviewed 68 different home warranty companies, and below are our top picks for HVAC coverage specific to your state. Want to learn more about each? Continue reading!
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Our Top Picks Overview
An HVAC system is one of the most expensive things in your home. But, like all home systems, air conditioners, heating systems, and even ductwork can break without notice.
What's In This Guide?
In these situations, your homeowners insurance policy or an appliance manufacturer’s warranty might not cover repair cost. When this happens, you end up with a massive bill that you have to pay out of pocket.
Thankfully, there’s a way to avoid hefty repair bills should something malfunction in your house. The answer? A home warranty.
Plus, we’ll even give you some information on the best home warranty companies out there, so you can get the right coverage for your house’s heating and cooling systems.
Do Home Warranties Cover HVAC Replacement?
Many people get a warranty plan to cover their home appliances, like dishwashers, water heaters, and ice makers. However, most of the top home warranty providers, like Choice Home Warranty and American Home Shield, also include HVAC repairs and replacement as part of their covered systems.
That being said, every home warranty contract offers different plan options that include and exclude specific covered items. Some providers will include heating and air conditioning systems repair and replacement as part of their basic plan. Meanwhile, others will require you to pay an extra monthly payment for add-ons that include this additional coverage.
Top 5 Best Home Warranties For HVAC Coverage
Is A Home Warranty Worth It for HVAC?
HVAC systems are surprisingly complex. They have so many different parts, from air conditioners to ductwork, that can break with little notice.
In fact, HVAC systems, like plumbing systems, are some of the most expensive things in your home. Installing new heating and air conditioning systems in a home can cost upwards of $12,000. Ductwork replacements alone can cost up to $20 per foot and can easily rack up a bill worth thousands of dollars, depending on the size of your house.
Additionally, regular HVAC system maintenance can cost you a few hundreds of dollars every time a service contractor comes to your home. When you combine this with the cost of maintaining other parts of your house, like your electrical system, owning a home can get expensive quickly.
But, with the right home warranty contract, you can protect yourself against these unforeseen expenses. Most home warranty providers will offer coverage for heating and air conditioning in your home, so you won’t be liable to pay the full price of a costly repair.
Instead, when you are protected by a warranty, you’ll generally just have to pay a small service call fee whenever a repair professional comes to your home. Plus, warranty companies will arrange for a service provider to come directly to your home.
With a home warranty, you won’t have to frantically search around for a plumber or electrician when your air conditioning stops working in the middle of the summer. This is particularly advantageous for first-time home buyers who may not have enough experience to properly vet a contractor’s abilities in an emergency situation.
Ultimately, unless you have the cash on hand to pay for repairs that can cost thousands of dollars, a home warranty for HVAC is certainly worth it. These companies also offer plenty of support throughout the repair and replacement process, which offers homeowners great peace of mind during a potentially stressful time.
Would A Home Warranty For HVAC Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?
Even if you’ve just purchased a new home, at some point, you’ll have to deal with malfunctioning home systems and major appliances. Older air conditioning units and heating systems will naturally need repairs as they age, but will your home warranty cover these costs if they’re caused by pre-existing conditions?
Unfortunately, most home warranties won’t cover a pre-existing condition if it could’ve been detected by a professional conducting routine maintenance. So, if your air conditioner has been leaking freon for a while and you’ve waited until you had a home warranty to fix it, you’ll probably be liable for the costs.
This is why it’s generally best to arrange an inspection of your home before you purchase a warranty plan. While this is usually part of the real estate purchasing process, even if you’re not a new home buyer, it’s worth knowing what pre-existing your house’s systems have, if any. This will help prevent you from being surprised by any repair costs down the line.
How Soon Can You Use A Home Warranty For HVAC After Purchase?
The vast majority of home warranty companies will have a waiting period after enrollment before you can make your first service call, whether you’re having a problem with your sprinkler system or your garbage disposal.
This might seem a bit unfair, but warranty companies have waiting periods to prevent people from taking advantage of their services. If there were no waiting periods, a homeowner that knows they need a new hot water heater could simply sign up for a warranty plan and then get a replacement the next day.
Every home warranty company is different, so you’ll need to read the specifics in your service contract to see how long you have to wait after you enroll before making your first claim.
Just exactly how long is your average waiting period? Well, here are some examples:
- Choice Home Warranty: 30 days
- American Home Shield: 30 days
- Select Home Warranty: 30 days
- Total Home Protection: 30 days
- First American Home Warranty: 30 days
As you can see, pretty much all of the best home warranty companies in the industry have a 30 day waiting period before coverage kicks in.
However, most of the top service providers will waive this waiting period if you’re simply switching plans from one company to another. In these situations, if you can prove that you haven’t had any gaps in your warranty coverage, then you can make your first claim as soon as you enroll.
What To Look For When Picking the Best Home Warranty For HVAC?
There are dozens of different home warranty companies out there, so finding the best one for your HVAC system can be tricky. Here are some of the most important things to look for when shopping around:
Whenever you buy a home warranty, you’ll have to pay a premium. Your premium is the amount you owe each year in exchange for your coverage.
Premium costs vary quite widely from company to company. But, they’re also very dependent on the size of your home and what you choose to add to your coverage plan.
A home warranty company that doesn’t have great customer service isn’t much use to you as a homeowner when you’re dealing with a malfunctioning heating system in the middle of the winter.
So, when deciding on your next warranty policy, be sure to do some research into their customer service. Read up on their call center hours to see if they offer 24/7 support. Plus, don’t forget to read through their BBB page and social media profiles to read honest reviews of their customer service.
When you file a claim with a home warranty company, you generally need to pay a service fee if a repair technician is sent to your home – sort of like a co-payment on your health insurance plan. This fee varies from company to company and generally isn’t a huge sum of money.
But, you usually need to pay this every time a service provider comes to your home. So, a lower service fee is generally better for your wallet in the long run.
Before you sign a contract for a home warranty, it’s essential that you know what is and isn’t included in your policy. This is where reading the fine print is of the utmost importance.
For HVAC systems, you’ll need to know if your home’s heating method is covered by a specific plan. Some providers won’t provide coverage for non-traditional heating sources or for certain types of heat pumps.
Additionally, many companies won’t include air conditioning in their basic plans. So, you’ll have to get an add-on or a combo plan to ensure you have coverage for either your central A/C or wall-mounted units.
Finally, an HVAC system is useless without its ductwork. So, read through the fine print to ensure that your home’s ducts are covered under your warranty. Many companies will have limits on precisely how much they will pay for ductwork, which can be potentially problematic if you have a large home.
Plus, if you do need repairs on your ductwork, you’ll have to open up some walls to get the job done. Some warranty companies will not pay to return your walls to their original finished state, which means you’ll be left with sizable out-of-pocket costs.
Warranty Cost Coverage Limits
Warranty companies won’t necessarily cover all of your expenses if you need to make a claim. In fact, they’ll have coverage maximums clearly outlined in their terms of service.
When trying to decipher how much a company will actually pay, you’ll need to look at two things: the maximum cost and the per-item coverage.
Some providers will offer higher coverage maximums if you have their premium plans, while others have a single limit across all of their contracts. Additionally, companies will have a limit on how much they’ll pay to repair or replace a single item.
This can make a big difference when it comes to your out-of-pocket costs, especially for an expensive appliance like a heat pump. So, higher per-item and maximum coverage limits are ideal when it comes to home warranties.
Basic Plan vs. Add-Ons
As you start shopping for warranties for your HVAC system, you’ll notice that you can often choose between a basic plan and various add-ons. While some companies allow you to build your own warranty, others give you pre-set options that you can choose from.
The majority of companies will include heating and ductwork as part of a basic home warranty plan. However, coverage for air conditioning units often costs extra since not all homes have A/C installed.
What’s important is that you get enough coverage to adequately protect yourself in case your HVAC system malfunctions. If you’re going to pay a premium for a home warranty, it should fully cover your most expensive home systems. So, be sure to read the fine print and choose the plan that’s right for you.
Reviews For Home Warranties For HVAC Coverage
Choice Home Warranty
Choice Home Warranty offers full coverage for home HVAC systems as part of both their basic and total plans. Their heating systems and air conditioning coverage protects the main source of heat in a home up to a 5 ton capacity.
The company will provide up to $1,500 in protection for each covered item in an HVAC system. They will also provide up to $500 of coverage for any ductwork that connects the heating unit to the grills in your home. Notable exclusions from Choice Home Warranty’s coverage includes solar, geothermal, and water sourced heating, as well as gas air conditioning systems.
- Full coverage for home HVAC systems up to 5 ton capacity, including ductwork
- Upto $1,500 in coverage for heating/air conditioning and $500 for ductwork
- Does not cover non-traditional heat sources
- No coverage for refrigerant replacement
American Home Shield
American Home Shield offers comprehensive coverage for HVAC systems with their systems and combo plans. They offer coverage for traditional ducted central heating/cooling systems, as well as geothermal systems.
The company has no dollar limit on the covered components of air conditioning repairs (with the exception of geothermal units). Additionally, American Home Shield offers up to $10 per pound of coverage for refrigerant replacement.
Their HVAC coverage also protects all aspects of traditional heating systems and ductwork, excluding fuel storage tanks, wood, geothermal, or water-sourced units.
- No dollar limit on air conditioning repairs
- Up to $10 per pound coverage for refrigerant
- Coverage for traditional heating systems and ductwork
- HVAC coverage is not included in basic plan
- High service fee
Select Home Warranty
When you purchase coverage from Select Home Warranty’s platinum or gold care plans, you get comprehensive coverage of all parts and components necessary to the proper functioning of your home’s heating system, including ductwork. The only exclusions to this coverage are solar and geothermal heating units.
As far as air conditioning goes, Select Home Warranty covers only floor air conditioning units. They do not provide protection for wall or portable A/C units, nor do they provide coverage for refrigerant replacement. However, they do provide up to $2,000 in coverage for repairs and replacement of included heating and air conditioning systems in your home.
- Full coverage for heating systems (excluding solar and geothermal)
- Coverage for central air conditioning systems
- Up to $2,000 in repair and replacement coverage, including ductwork
- Excludes refrigerant replacement
- No coverage in basic bronze plan for HVAC
Total Home Protection
Total Home Protection’s platinum plan offers coverage for both air conditioning and heating systems with up to a 5 ton capacity. They will cover the mechanical parts and components of up to two ducted central air conditioning systems. Additionally, they provide up to $10 per pound of coverage for refrigerant replacement.
Their heating coverage covers centrally-ducted forced air heat, with the exception of wood and solar-powered systems. Total Home Protection also offers up to $500 of repairs and replacements for ductwork access, diagnosis, repair, and replacement.
- Some support for refrigerant replacement
- Will cover up to two central air conditioning systems
- No HVAC coverage in gold plan
- No coverage for solar or wood-powered heating systems
First American Home Warranty
With First American Home Warranty’s premier plan, you get up to $1,500 of protection per service call for HVAC repairs and replacement. Their heating coverage includes protection for all aspects of a central heating system, including heat pumps, furnaces, thermostats, and other heating elements. They also include heat pump refrigerant recharging and ductwork in their coverage.
Central air conditioning is an optional add-on to First American Home Warranty’s plans. They do not offer coverage for wall A/C units, but will pay up to $1,500 to repair or replace any aspect of a central system, including thermostats and refrigerant recharging. Notable exclusions include geothermal, water sourced, wood, and solar-powered heating and cooling systems.
- Coverage for heating and cooling available as an add-on
- Includes up to $500 for ductwork
- Will also cover refrigerant recharging for A/C and heat pumps
- $1,500 coverage limit is for the entire repair, not per item
- Does not cover refrigerant recapture, reclaim, and disposal
Our Top Pick For A Home Warranty On HVAC
There are a lot of great home warranties for HVAC systems out there. But, if we had to choose just one, Choice Home Warranty would be our top pick. Here’s why:
- Great Customer Support. Choice’s call center is available 24/7, every single day of the year to help you with any issues that arise in your home.
- Good Coverage. The company’s total plan offers good coverage of heating systems, air conditioning, and ductwork in your home.
- Reasonable Service Fee. When you make a claim with Choice Home Warranty, your service fee is just $85.
- Minimum Wait Period. With a waiting period of 30 days after enrollment before you can make your first claim, Choice Home Warranty is on-par with other leaders in the industry.
- Free Second Opinions. If you’d like a second opinion on any service done on your home, Choice will provide it for free.
- Free Reservice. Should there be an issue with any repairs completed on your house, Choice Home Warranty offers a 30 day free reservice period for labor and 90 days for parts.
Now that you’ve reached the end of this HVAC review, we encourage you to pick a company that covers this system in your hometown. We’ve reviewed several cities around the country that cover HVAC and other items, like Colorado Springs, San Antonio, Waco, Madison WI and Tulsa.
Want to learn more about home warranties for different systems? Check out our review on a home warranty for a well pump.