Five Most Important Things to Check Before Signing an HVAC Annual Maintenance Contract

When installing an HVAC system in your home, or having an older one repaired, most companies will offer an HVAC service contract for repairs and regular maintenance. This contract typically lasts for a few years, but ties you into mandatory payments after signing. These contracts are often helpful for maintaining your HVAC system, but they can become expensive and a waste of money if the terms are not beneficial. Here are some things you should look for in any HVAC annual maintenance contract.

Benefits of the Agreement:

It is important to request a lengthy explanation of the benefits associated with this agreement. Is it possible to get repairs done? Or is the agreement only applicable for the annual HVAC maintenance? If issues with the system are discovered during annual maintenance, will the company charge extra for repairing the damage? These questions are important before agreeing to any long-term maintenance contract. These agreements are only beneficial if they save you money and offer you appropriate protection from issues to the HVAC system.

Other agreements also include emergency services and priority for customers who experience any problems. In this case, the agreement can help a great deal. If the heating system fails in the middle of a freezing winter, the agreement may allow for immediate and free (or discounted) repairs.

Length of the Agreement:

Is the agreement for one or two years, or does it stretch to four or five years? Agreements that only last for a couple of years are better, because you are locked into fewer mandatory payments. Anything can happen in a few years. You might have to move homes, downsize, or install an entirely new HVAC system. It is unwise to be stuck with a long-term maintenance contract you may not need.

saving on energy and heatingHow Many Repairs and Maintenance Calls in the Contract?

Ask the company how many repairs and maintenance calls are allowed within this contract. Some contracts may only include one annual or bi-annual maintenance call, while other contracts include repair calls and emergency services.

Does the Service Agreement Cost More than Potential Repairs?

When choosing whether to sign a maintenance agreement, take the time to understand the repair costs associated with HVAC systems. Talk to an independent repair man who has experience dealing with HVAC systems. They can tell you how much the parts cost to fix old or broken items, and the cost of labor. If it is less expensive to have someone look through your system a few times a year and fix the issues, it might be unwise to sign the maintenance agreement.

Is it Cost-Effective to Buy a New System Instead?

In some cases, it may even make sense to keep your current system for five to ten years and then get a new one. Reducing the shelf life of the current system may entail up-front costs every few years, but you could save money when compared to the annual maintenance agreement.

If you need to add a new HVAC system, or need assistance with your current system, visit for more information.