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 Review (Best Overall Home Warranty)
Why Do We Like Choice?
Out of all the home warranty companies we reviewed, Choice Home Warranty has the most comprehensive plans, good payout limits, minimal number exclusions, quality customer service, and affordable cost.
Choice has two main home warranty plans. The “Basic Plan” and the more comprehensive “Total Plan” covering 15 home appliances (dishwasher, etc) and systems (duct work, water heater, etc). They also have “Optional Coverage” for add on items most homeowners don’t usually have, which include pools and spas, well pump, sump pump, roof leaks, other extraneous items.
Based on our review, Choice’s “Total” plan covers these items at a more affordable price point than its competitors although has a few more exclusions, which is how they can justify charging a lower monthly payment.
The thing about home warranties is that they are a bit complicated with a lot of moving parts that may confuse most homeowners on what’s covered versus what’s not covered.
A key deciding factor in our review looking for the best home warranty company is finding one with top quality customer service to help customers like you walk through the claims process so you don’t have to worry about nasty surprises when you need service.
That said, Choice has 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year availability and a 48 hour response time to get a contractor out to your home. Other providers tend to have slower response times and are less communicative about when technicians are assigned to your claim.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Choice covers appliances regardless of age or existing wear and tear, so you don’t need to worry about signing up and not getting covered due to age assuming you’ve properly maintained the item over it’s life.
What’s not covered is if you or someone else breaks the unit regardless of when it happens. All home warranties, regardless of company, won’t cover a unit you break through negligence or misuse (i.e., baby sticks chocolate bar into VCR).
- Good Limits (up to $1,500)
- Minimal Exclusions
- More Affordable
- Only 15 Home Appliances & Systems Covered
American Home Shield Review (Editor’s Choice)
Why Do We Like American Home Shield?
Far and away the most thorough and transparent home warranty company we reviewed is American Home Shield. They are the gold standard. If you spend any amount of time on their website, it’s clear that they are very upfront about what they do cover and don’t cover when compared to their competitors.
In fact, they go out of their way to tell you they cover things their competitors don’t like rust or plumbing stoppages.
They also have the best home warranty coverage with an astounding 21 systems and major appliances including trash compactor, smoke detectors, and clothes washer. They also have the fewest number of exclusions with the highest dollar limit payout amounts ranging from $1,000 – $3,000 per claim.
Think of American Home Shield as the “BMW” or “Mercedes” of home warranty companies. More expensive than Choice, but with better coverage and limits.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Very similar to Choice, American Home Shield covers old systems and appliances that break down due to wear and tear, but they do not cover pre-existing issues or negligence related to the misuse of your appliance or system!
- Highest Payout Limits (up to $3,000)
- Widest Coverage (21 systems and appliances)
- Fewest Exclusions
- Most Expensive
Select Home Warranty Review (Most Affordable)
Why Do We Like Select Home Warranty?
Select Home Warranty made our list as a best budget friendly home warranty option. They have lower limits ranging from $500 – $2,000 per claim but also lower service fee costs and potentially reduced annual premiums as low $325 per year if you opt into multiple year contracts, far below other competitors.
If you opt for their “Platinum Care” they are on-par with other providers in terms of what they actually cover.
Overall, a great budget option for people who want a home warranty but can’t afford Choice or American Home Shield.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Very similar to Choice and American Home Shield, Select covers old systems and appliances that break down due to wear and tear, but they do not cover pre-existing issues or negligence related to the misuse of your appliance or system!
- Most Affordable Service Contracts
- Roof leaks Are Covered In Their Platinum Plan
- Ultra Pushy Sales
- 3 Days To Submit Claim
- Weaker Network Of Contractors
Total Home Protect Review (Best For Larger Systems)
Why Do We Like Total Home Protect?
Total Home Warranty made our list as a home warranty with above average protection on more robust systems like septic systems and roof coverage.
Their monthly cost comes out to around ~$45 per month for their basic “Gold” plan, which puts them on the more expensive side of the scale when compared to other top home warranties on our list with better coverage.
Most home warranties do not cover anything related to your roof but Total Home Protect does, which we found to be unique to their offering helping them crack our top list.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Very similar to Choice and AHS, Total Home Protect covers old systems and appliances that break down due to wear and tear, but they do not cover pre-existing issues or negligence related to the misuse of your appliance or system!
- You Can Choose Your Own Technicians
- Roof Coverage
- More Exclusions Than Most Competitors
- The Worst BBB score
- Low Payout Limits ($500)
First American Home Warranty Review (Best Customer Service)
Why Do We Like First American Home Warranty?
First American Home Warranty made our list as a home warranty with above average customer service mixed with in with a decent price point.
The only drawback was that they aren’t nationwide lacking coverage in the following states: ND, MN, WI, IL, NY, VT, NH, ME, MA, CT , RI , DE, AL, HI, LA.
Their plan options include a “Basic“ plan, which only covers appliances and will run you about $28 per month. Their combo plan, which covers major systems and appliances branded the “Premier” plan costs around to ~$43 per month.
Overall a good home warranty provider, but just lacking the coverage, which would have helped make a better case for “best overall home warranty company”.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Again, all of the home warranty providers seem to have adopted a similar policy in that they cover “old” appliances and systems that break down due to wear and tear, but they do not cover pre-existing issues or negligence related to the misuse of your appliance or system!
- Great Customer Service (B+ BBB Score)
- Online Chat Support
- Not Available In 15 States
- Can’t Choose Your Own Contractor
FAQs for HVAC Home Warranties
Do home warranties cover HVAC systems?
Does American Home Shield cover HVAC systems?
Who offers the best HVAC coverage?
Home Warranty Provider
Choice Home Warranty
American Home Shield
Select Home Warranty
Liberty Home Guard
Cinch Home Services
What does a home warranty cover?
- HVAC, including ductwork
- Plumbing, including stoppages
- Water heater
- Whirlpool bathtubs
- Ceiling and exhaust fans
- Built-in microwave oven
- Range / Stove / Oven
- Clothes Washer
- Clothes Dryer
- Garage door opener
- Pool / Spa
- Sump pump
- Well pump
- Limited Roof leaks
Is a home warranty for HVAC systems worth it?
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.