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A malfunctioning air conditioner or heater can do more than just ruin a good night’s sleep; it can compromise the safety of children, pets, and elderly residents. Unfortunately, HVAC breakdowns are all too common.
That’s where a home warranty comes in. A home warranty is a home service contract that allows you to pay a small monthly fee to access high-quality service technicians when your home systems or appliances break down unexpectedly. With a home warranty plan, you can have peace of mind that your HVAC system is protected should it break down due to normal wear.
Our team has researched and ranked dozens of home warranty providers and arrived at the four best home warranty companies for HVAC systems based on coverage caps, plan coverage, available plans, and more.
The Top 4 Home Warranty Companies
- American Home Shield : Best for Comprehensive Coverage
- Liberty Home Guard : Best Add-on Variety
- America’s 1st Choice Home Club : Best Membership Perks
- HomeServe : Best for Specific Needs
All the pricing information used in this article is based on quotes for the same single-family home in Austin, Texas. We recommend requesting a personalized quote for any service provider that interests you because plan options and pricing can vary from home to home, even within the same ZIP code.
HVAC units are among the most essential components of your home to provide thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality. The three major functions of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are interrelated, but not all home warranty plans cover all three, so it’s important that you are aware how much coverage each policy offers.
We recommend American Home Shield because its ShieldSilver plan addresses all three HVAC functions, and the company doesn’t place a dollar limit on repairs and replacements of these crucial components.
All of the providers featured in this article have met our review team’s standards due to their high-quality service, industry expertise, quick claim response time, and the comprehensive nature of their policies. We recommend that you request a quote from at least three providers, take your time to carefully review the terms and conditions, and speak to customer service representatives before making your final decision.
How to Choose a Home Warranty
Follow the below steps to make sure you’re selecting the right home warranty for your needs.
- Start your research. Not all home warranty providers are available in every state, so it’s important to find out what companies service your area. You can do this by requesting a quote from all of the above providers or asking for a referral from nearby friends, family and neighbors who work with a home warranty company they love.
- Compare plan options. Home warranty companies will generally cover a similar suite of items, including built-in systems and appliances, but not all plans are created equal. Most quote forms will display the covered items to you in a table format so that it’s easy to confirm your desired items are included.
- Consider the service fee. In addition to monthly costs, each policy will come with a service call fee. Some companies offer a flexible service call fee model, which will allow you to customize your monthly fees, while other companies assign the service call fee to your account. In either case, you’ll want to make sure that you are comfortable with the fee before moving forward with a provider. Typically, this fee will be outlined during the quote process.
- Thoroughly review the fine print. After you’ve determined that a plan covers your desired items, it’s essential that you review a sample contract to understand coverage caps, limitations, and exclusions outlined in the policy. All reputable companies will make this easy to find on their websites.
- Make your selection. Once you’ve narrowed down your options to your top choice, you can enroll in your plan. If you’d like to take a hands-off approach, you can often pay for your entire plan as a lump sum; but if you’d rather spread the fees across the year, you can choose to pay monthly as well.
Is a Home Warranty Worth It?
In our survey of 1,000 homeowners, we learned that nearly 70% of respondents would repair or replace their AC units immediately after noticing signs of trouble. Similarly, 55% of homeowners would rush to repair or replace their heating system once they noticed it was damaged.
With a home warranty, you can file a service request as soon as you notice damage without having to spend hours first researching or scheduling a specialty service contractor. Home warranty coverage builds on a manufacturer’s warranty, providing additional coverage for a range of major systems and appliances for as long as you choose to keep your policy active.
An HVAC home warranty has one more benefit: workmanship guarantees. All of the providers in this home warranty review guarantee their repairs for anywhere between 30 days and the life of your home warranty. This means that if an item that has been serviced malfunctions again during the guarantee window, the provider will make good on the repairs without charging an extra service fee.
Do Home Warranty Companies Have Coverage Limits?
Similar to homeowners insurance policies, every home warranty contract will outline coverage limits for the items it covers. Some home warranty providers will place a coverage cap on a selection of covered items, such as all built-in systems, whereas other providers will break it down by placing a coverage cap on each covered item specifically.
Before enrolling in a plan, it’s important to do your due diligence by making sure you are aware of the specific coverage caps outlined in your policy agreement.
Do Home Warranties Cover Old HVAC Systems?
Home warranties will generally cover old HVAC systems, but homeowners are responsible for paying the difference if the replacement or repair costs exceed the coverage limit.
While home warranties don’t typically exclude HVAC systems based on their age, the depreciated value of the system may be taken into consideration when determining the repair or replacement cost a provider is willing to offer. Similarly, home warranty providers reserve the right to request the maintenance history for any covered items and exclude any pre-existing conditions from coverage.
How We Chose the Top Home Warranty Providers
Our team reviewed and researched dozens of home warranty providers, thoroughly analyzed sample agreements, and identified customer pain points based on our analysis of customer reviews and interviews with industry experts. Our in-depth methodology outlines our review process to provide transparent information about the companies we review.
We determined that the following factors are the most important when comparing home warranty companies: available plans, plan coverage, price range, industry reputation, customer support, and additional features. Our research supported that plan coverage, customer service, and industry reputation should carry the most weight. While important, the other factors should not have as much influence when choosing a home warranty provider.