To say residents in Calgary experience cold winters would be an understatement. From November through March, average temperatures in Calgary fall way below freezing, sometimes even hitting -30c to -40c with windchill!
No one wants to deal with a furnace breakdown when it’s that cold! Without routine furnace maintenance, you risk service issues during the cold winter months.
Have you considered a furnace maintenance plan? Today, we’re sharing our thoughts on furnace service contracts. A service plan comes with several advantages. It’s already time to make the switch from using the AC to using the furnace, so let’s look at this issue before you deal with a breakdown.
What Does an HVAC Service Plan Include?
While each HVAC service provider designs its own unique plan, typically, annual maintenance plans include the following:
- Furnace Tune-Up
- Preventative Maintenance
- Diagnostic Checks
- Safety Tests
Some maintenance plans allow customers to pay the annual fee in installments. The installments are often included in the customer’s monthly energy bill.
A plan may also offer 24-hour emergency service, which feels comforting as homeowners in Calgary feel winter’s rapid approach. It’s always nice to know you’re covered when you wake up on a frigid morning with no heat.
Most plans also include a few extra perks like discounts on repairs. In general, you’ll pay between $98 and $120 per year.
Do I Need a Furnace Maintenance Plan?
In short, if you own a furnace, the answer is yes. Your furnace is your home’s biggest appliance, in terms of both use and investment.
When you live in a cold climate, like Calgary, you can’t get away with a furnace that doesn’t work efficiently, or even worse, stops working at all. Although you might not invest as much in a furnace as you do when you buy a new car, it is a significant investment in your home.
Heading out for a long winter road trip, would you get routine maintenance on your car, or do you leave things to chance and wait for the engine light to come on? (You don’t have to answer that!)
Your heating system requires regular attention beyond raising and lowering the thermostat. A maintenance plan helps ensure the furnace receives the attention it needs—before it starts acting up on a cold winter’s night.
When you pay for a maintenance plan, you know you’ll go out of your way to keep your appointment for the annual furnace check.
The Long Answer to the Previous Question
Do you really need a maintenance plan? You definitely want to schedule regular, and by regular, we mean at least yearly, maintenance for your furnace. Since most plans include a yearly tune-up, diagnostic and safety checks, it’s a good idea if you can fit a plan into your budget.
A plan is especially advantageous if you’re heating system is over 10 years old, has had previous repair issues or would like the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have a dependable HVAC company should something go wrong.
You can expect your modern furnace to give you an average of 20-30 years of service. That’s with regular maintenance, by the way. If your furnace is close to that milestone, consider purchasing a yearly plan.
If you’ve recently installed a new furnace, check your warranty. If you fail to provide annual maintenance on your new equipment, you may void your warranty if annual maintenance is not done. Many furnace companies offer some of the same perks you’ll get with a separate maintenance plan. In that case, you probably don’t need an additional plan right now.
Let’s talk about a few specific advantages of investing in an annual plan.
Taking Preventative Action Is Smart
If you live in a climate with harsh winters, like Calgary, you should take preventative action to reduce your chances of waking up to icicles in your bedroom. Furnaces never quit working at a convenient time—it’s usually in the middle of the coldest night of the year.
Furnace breakdowns in cold weather are dangerous for you, your family and your home. Not only that, the repairs are often costly.
Part of your annual maintenance plan should include a performance check. The check ensures the unit and its parts are working properly. Your technician should also alert you to any wear and tear that could result in future heating equipment failure.
Maintenance Plans and Safety
Since annual furnace tune-ups can reveal gas leaks, or a cracked heat exchanger (if you have an older unit), a plan could save your family from potentially serious safety hazards.
A cracked heat exchanger can increase the risk of carbon monoxide exposure. It can also allow other products of combustion to enter your home and affect your indoor air quality. Carbon monoxide exposure is a dangerous hazard and not something to take lightly.
Routine maintenance plans can help prevent a safety issue from harming the people who live in and visit your home.
Protecting Your Investment
We’ve already mentioned the fact that your furnace is a major investment. You depend on it to keep your home comfortable, safe and warm during the winter.
A few simple maintenance steps can ensure you get your money’s worth from your investment in your HVAC system.
We’ve also talked about a few advantages of using a yearly maintenance plan. Taking care of annual tune-ups and performing system checks does help keep your furnace in tip-top shape. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in a reasonably priced service plan for your furnace.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
Before we talk about any disadvantages associated with an annual maintenance plan, let’s review what the plan normally covers.
Most plans include the yearly tune-up, diagnostics to ensure all the parts are doing their job, and safety checks to detect potential safety hazards.
What you’ll notice is maintenance plans don’t guarantee your furnace won’t break down on the coldest night of the year. Your favorite HVAC technician can fix your furnace today, but cannot guarantee it won’t rebel over freezing temperatures.
You also likely noticed that maintenance plans don’t cover replacement parts or labor. Fair enough, right? You can’t pay only a little over $100 annually and expect the plan to cover major parts or replacement of the entire system.
Need Help Preparing Your Furnace for Winter?
Hopefully, our information helped you unravel some of the mystery surrounding maintenance plans. As you can see, furnace maintenance plans come with certain advantages you can’t ignore.
We can’t argue with the ability to turn on the furnace and enjoy the consistency of a warm home on every cold night of the year. We’re also behind the idea of protecting the people who live with you. And of course, we want to help you protect your investment.
If you have more questions about annual maintenance plans or want to schedule a pre-winter furnace tune-up, give us a call at (403) 862-4822, or book online here.