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Do Home Warranties Save You Money?

Is A Home Warranty Worth It In Fort Worth, TX? Read On To Find Out!

For most of us, our home is our biggest investment. That being the case, it’s easy to understand people having the expectation that things in their home should just work, especially after spending that much money on them. But time has its way with everything, and eventually even the most high-quality components of our home will start to break down or fail outright. If a lot of those happen at once, your big investment can turn into a bottomless pit, devouring your resources just to get things working correctly again. 

That’s why many people see a home warranty as an attractive, and affordable, option. However, home warranties have their limitations, and it’s important to be aware of them before signing up for one of these plans. Here at Comfort Experts, one of our main goals is to educate our customers so they can get the most out of their homes, so this blog is going to dig in to the details of home warranties, and how they can be part of a comprehensive home protection plan for you and yours.

What Is A Home Warranty?

First things first, let’s understand what we’re talking about. When we say “home warranty,” we’re talking about an extra service plan you purchase through a company like American Home Shield or Liberty Home Guard - not the warranty that comes with your home if it was built new or any warranties provided by manufacturers for any of your home’s components. They are also not the same as homeowner’s insurance. They typically cover everything from complex systems like your HVAC to simple appliances like a microwave. 

Here’s how they generally work:

  1. You purchase the home warranty plan and pay a monthly fee.
  2. An appliance or system in your home breaks down through normal wear and tear.
  3. You submit a claim with your home warranty company.
  4. The home warranty company contacts you regarding your claim and schedules service.
  5. A technician will come to your home to investigate what’s happening and decide whether repair or replacement is needed.
  6. The home warranty company pays the technician a pre-negotiated flat rate for the work - whether it’s a quick fix or a major replacement.
  7. You pay a service fee (similar to a deductible) for the claim.
  8. The technician will either repair or replace your component.

Sounds great, right? Rather than paying the full cost of a repair or expensive replacement, you pay a much smaller amount and the home warranty takes care of the rest. It definitely sounds enticing - but there’s more to it than that.

What Are The Pros & Cons Of Home Warranties?

Let’s make this very clear - we are not suggesting at all that a home warranty isn’t a good option for you and your home. However, what we are suggesting is that while they have their uses, they aren’t the best for every situation.

Here’s an example. It’s the middle of a Fort Worth summer, temperatures are hitting triple digits, and your air conditioner goes out. You call your home warranty company. They set up your claim, and tell you a local technician will be in touch - but it takes more than two weeks for them to call and set up an appointment. All that time, you’re melting inside your home. Then when the technician does finally arrive, he performs a quick repair that winds up being only a temporary fix - and within no time, your AC is out again and you’re right back where you started.

Now, if your toaster or oven go out, you can afford to wait a couple of weeks for a replacement. But your air conditioning? Your hot water heater? These things require a higher level of care than a home warranty can comfortably provide. 

Let’s break down some other advantages and disadvantages of home warranties:

Advantages

  • Good for homes that are 15-20 years old or older to protect certain components that are likely on the verge of failure.
  • Best for smaller systems and appliances, like your washer and dryer, stove, or refrigerator.
  • Allows repairs or replacements to be performed for a low-cost, flat fee.
  • Sometimes offer “handyman” services for small fixes or projects.

Disadvantages

  • Not ideal for larger components like HVAC, electrical, whole home generators, or major plumbing systems.
  • Flat fees encourage quick, potentially subpar work on major systems.
  • May take significant time to schedule or perform repairs and replacements.
  • Different companies or technicians every time - no familiarity with your home, or continuity with previous work.
  • Labor and replaced parts won’t be further warrantied.

Home Warranties Versus Maintenance Plans

So if a home warranty isn’t the best way to take care of your heating, air conditioning, electrical or plumbing systems, what is? That’s where a maintenance plan, like our Home & Budget Protection Club, can come in. A maintenance plan may not save you as much money on repairs or replacements, but it will save you money, and will guarantee that you get quality work that results in a lasting fix. When you sign up for a maintenance plan with a local home services contractor, you’ll enjoy advantages such as:

  • Prevention: Regular maintenance can help prevent you from needing major repairs or replacements by caring for your systems and catching small problems early.
  • Priority Service: You don’t want an AC to be fixed two weeks from now. You want someone out today. Maintenance plans often come with priority service that bumps you to the top of the list.
  • Discounts: While a maintenance plan won’t cover the cost of a repair or replacement, it will provide steep discounts so you get high-quality work along with significant savings.
  • Maintain Manufacturer’s Warranty: Most manufacturer’s warranties require proof of regular maintenance to remain valid. A maintenance plan assures you’ll have this proof.
  • Parts & Labor Warranty: Most HVAC contractors will provide further warranty on the parts & labor used to fix your issue.
  • Work With One Company: No more wondering who’s going to do your work. You’ll work with one company - sometimes with the same technician! - and they’ll know the ins and outs of your home so they can always provide the right solution.

Which One Should I Choose?

The honest answer? Both.

A maintenance plan will help to take care of your home’s major systems - HVAC, plumbing, electrical - so you won’t need repairs or replacements as often and your components will stay in good shape. Meanwhile, a home warranty can cover your appliances, technology, and more minor systems so you have an affordable, straightforward way to get them fixed or replaced when the time comes. Working hand in hand, these plans can cover almost every facet of your home.

Of course, no two homes are the same, and as a result there’s no perfect one-size-fits-all solution. Ultimately any decision you make should come down to doing what you think is best for your home and your family. But if you have further questions about home warranties, contact a few and do your due diligence to find out if they’re right for you. And if you’ve got questions about a comprehensive maintenance plan, then your friends here at Comfort Experts are always happy to chat with you about the benefits it can bring. Just give us a call at 817-341-5149 anytime!

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