Much like your car or your body, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to your HVAC systems.
Read on to find out why affordable preventive maintenance programs often turn out to be “worth their weight in gold!”
Question for our experts:
“Is preventive maintenance really worth the money? I have been thinking about a preventive maintenance contract for my HVAC equipment at home. But I have a friend who tells me that it’s not really worth the money. Is he right? If it is worth the money, what is generally covered in a PM agreement and how often is maintenance service rendered? Is there any situation in which a PM is not worth the money?”
Our experts’ answer:
Yes, preventive maintenance really is worth the money. Think of your HVAC equipment like you think of your car – if it gets regular tune-ups, emergency breakdowns are avoided and the life of the equipment is extended, saving you lots of money in the long-run. What’s more, preventive maintenance programs often provide additional benefits for customers, such as waived show-up fees for visits, discounted pricing on parts, and priority scheduling for all service calls. PM’s truly do make good sense!
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The question of whether preventive maintenance plans for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment is really worth the money is one that we often hear from those wishing to save money on their home or office mechanical systems. We strongly advise our customers to sign-up for preventive maintenance plans because, in the long run, it is less expensive to maintain your mechanical equipment on a consistent basis than to wait until it breaks down and be stuck with a large repair bill.
An analogy is appropriate in this regard: you should treat your HVAC equipment like your automobile, not like your refrigerator. What do we mean by this? Well, most people buy a refrigerator, operate it for many years until it breaks, and then buy a new refrigerator. This plan typically works well because refrigerators are fairly simple systems and their replacement cost is relatively inexpensive (especially if the refrigerator lasts many, many years).
Compare this with the way you approach your automobile: most people do not purchase a car, operate it for many years with no maintenance (no oil change, tire rotation, filter change, etc.) until it breaks, and they buy a brand new car. This doesn’t make sense because a car’s internal workings are relatively complicated and require consistent maintenance in order to last longer and perform well over the car’s entire lifespan.
Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment is like your car. Its inner workings are relatively complicated. These parts need to be taken care of (inspected, lubricated, replaced, tuned-up) on a regular basis in order to avoid sudden breakdown and to make sure that the equipment lasts as long as it possibly can. In the long-run, it is much less expensive to maintain your automobile and HVAC equipment on a regular basis than to wait until they break down and purchase a new automobile or HVAC system more frequently than you’d like!
Finally, let’s discuss what a preventive maintenance program typically looks like. First, the price and frequency of maintenance visits will depend upon the type of HVAC equipment you have in your home or office. Preventive maintenance programs are generally available for the following types of equipment: air conditioners, heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, hot water boilers (gas or oil), steam boilers (gas or oil), hot air furnaces (gas or oil), hot water heaters, electronic air cleaners and humidifiers.
Services may be performed once or twice a year (if twice, typically once in the spring and once in the fall). Pricing is subject to change, especially in today’s volatile market, but will generally be in the $100 to $300 price range, per visit per unit (depending on type of equipment being maintained). Compare this cost to the very high cost of emergency repairs for a broken unit or replacement costs for a new unit, either of which can be thousands of dollars.
In addition to equipment preventive maintenance contracts, the Tuckey Companies offer complete home maintenance programs, which may include gutters and spouting maintenance, duct cleaning, general maintenance and repairs, and much more in addition to HVAC preventive maintenance as described above. These programs are customized and priced to each customer’s unique needs.
In the long run, it pays to have a preventive maintenance or whole-home maintenance program in place with a reputable contractor. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Disclaimer: This article is provided as a reference guide only. Information presented here is of a general nature that may not be applicable in all situations. Tips, articles, and accompanying information do not represent an official recommendation of the Tuckey Companies.