If you’ve had ever any repair or maintenance work done to your air conditioner, your technician probably presented you with the idea of an AC maintenance contract. Most local HVAC companies (ourselves included) offer these contracts. Kudos to you for doing your own research on the subject. After all, you deserve to know what a contract should include and what benefits you should expect to receive – before you sign on the dotted line. We’ll discuss this information in the following paragraphs.
Before we dive in, let’s look at some benefits of regular AC maintenance.
In a previous blog post, we underscored several benefits that come with keeping your air conditioner maintained. We won’t attempt to repeat everything we covered; instead we invite you to read that post for more comprehensive information. But here are some of the highlights:
- Lower heating & cooling costs: Cleaning and adjusting various parts of your air conditioner will ensure that it operates at top efficiency. This results in lower cooling and heating costs.
- Fewer breakdowns: Having your system regularly checked will allow your technician to spot and correct problems while they are still small and easy to fix. This means less inconvenience and expense down the road.
- Increased system lifespan: As is the case with most mechanical equipment (and even our own bodies!), proper upkeep will help your air conditioner live a long and healthy life.
As you can see, regular air conditioner maintenance is crucial to your system’s operation and longevity. But the real goal is maintaining your comfort and saving you money over the long term.
What is an AC Maintenance Contract?
A maintenance contract is also known as a Maintenance Agreement or Maintenance Program; the exact wording may vary. But whatever the name, it is essentially a contract between a homeowner and an HVAC contractor where the contractor agrees to perform a list of services to your air conditioner a certain number of times (usually once or twice) per year, for a set fee.
As you can imagine, the exact details and pricing vary from company to company. The services performed usually include checking, cleaning, adjusting and/or changing various parts of your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) equipment. Some contracts also entitle the homeowner to additional perks, which we will discuss later.
Benefits of an AC Maintenance Contract
Most companies don’t require you to sign up for a contract. In fact, many offer one-time maintenance (or “tune-up”) pricing. So, why not just pay for each tune-up separately? This can be fine – especially if you’re trying out a new HVAC company. But contracts offer some benefits that you won’t want to ignore.
You’ll be More Likely to Keep Your AC Maintained
It’s one thing to be convinced that air conditioning maintenance is important. It’s another thing to keep on a regular tune-up schedule.
We understand – your life is busy. You have so many responsibilities to manage that we’d be crazy to think your air conditioner is always priority number one. At least, not until it’s 95 degrees outside and your vents are blowing hot air. You meant to make that maintenance appointment, but somehow never got around to it. And now you’re stuck footing another repair bill, right in the heat of the summer.
It doesn’t have to be this way. You can enjoy the benefits of a well-kept air conditioner without the hassle of remembering to schedule your next tune-up.
You HVAC contractor will remind you when you’re due for a maintenance visit (either once or twice a year, depending on the contract). At Kobie Complete, we contact our maintenance program customers when it’s time to schedule their next appointment.
Sticking to a regular tune-up schedule is the key to unlocking all the benefits of a well-maintained air conditioner. These simple scheduling reminders can prove to be worth their weight in gold – or at least, worth the price of that maintenance contract.
But happily, this is not the only benefit you can expect to receive from a contract.
Some Contracts Include Extra Perks
As an added incentive, some companies go beyond including one or two tune-ups per annum and throw in some extra goodies. These typically include things like priority service and discounts on labor and materials.
For example, at Kobie Complete, our maintenance program includes:
- Priority service if you call for a repair
- Trip charge waived with any regular AC repair during normal working hours ($79 value)
- 10% Discount on labor charges
- 10% Discount on service work
- 10% Discount on materials and parts not covered by warranty
- 90 Day Guarantee from the date of repair on repairs ordered by the customer
You can think of these extra benefits as insurance should your air conditioner break down between tune-ups. A technician will respond to your call faster, even at busy times of the year, and you’ll receive special discounts. These are obvious advantages if your equipment is older and prone to failure.
What to Look for in an AC Maintenance Contract
The details of HVAC maintenance contracts vary from company to company. Here are some things to look for before you sign on the dotted line:
Look at the company.
The first step in choosing a contract is to check into the company itself. Whether a personal friend recommended the company or you found them in a Google search, you’ll do well to inform yourself about them. Here are some questions to ask:
- Is the company licensed, bonded and insured?
- Do they have any certifications?
- Are they members of any local chambers of commerce?
- Do they have a good rating with the BBB?
- Does the company consist of two guys and a truck? Or, do they have enough employees in place to meet the demands of a broader customer base?
- Do they offer 24/7 emergency AC repair service?
- Are they reasonably close to you? They don’t have to be right in your backyard, but if you need an emergency repair, hiring a local company will ensure faster service.
Look at the contract.
Ask for a copy of the contract and inspect the terms (including cancellation terms) before signing. Make sure the contract includes a detailed list what each inspection includes, how many inspections per year, any extra benefits, etc. If the contract makes only general claims, ask for more details.
Also, keep in mind that there is a limit to how specific the list of services can be. This is because maintenance requirements vary based on the equipment itself.
Look at the price.
Contract pricing can vary greatly from company to company. The more you understand the contract terms, the more clearly you’ll recognize whether you’re paying a fair price.
“Fair” is the key word here – notice I didn’t say “cheap”. You don’t want to pay too much for what your contract includes, but you also shouldn’t pay too little. You might be sacrificing quality of service for what sounds like a great deal.
Ask if your contract can be customized.
If you have particular needs or an unusual equipment configuration, ask to see if the contract can be customized. At Kobie Complete, we will customize your maintenance package upon request. It’s a good idea to be upfront about your specific needs so that there are no surprises down the road.
When a Maintenance Contract Isn’t for You
It might be tempting to forgo the whole contract idea. Let’s face it; no one likes being “locked in” to a contract. If your unit always functions perfectly and you keep up with regular maintenance like clockwork then you may not need a maintenance contract.
But for the other 99%, a maintenance contract makes a lot of sense. It’s insurance, if you will, that allows you to enjoy energy efficiency, system longevity and peace of mind, knowing that discounted priority service is a phone call away if a repair is needed.
Would you like to learn more about our AC Maintenance Contract?
We call our contract our Air Conditioning Maintenance Program. From our two locations in Englewood and Punta Gorda, we provide quality air conditioning service to the surrounding areas – including Port Charlotte, Venice, North Port and Sarasota.
Click the links below for more specific information on:
How to Sign Up
If you live in Sarasota County or Charlotte County, Florida, call (941) 474-3691 today to sign up for our Air Conditioning Maintenance Program.
Or, fill out the form below and our friendly staff will help you get signed up.