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My System is Only One-Year-Old, Why Should I Worry About a Tune-up?

In this article, we discuss why locking in a maintenance agreement for your new furnace and air conditioner are important as well as aspects of an agreement that are beneficial.

My System is Only One-Year-Old, Why Should I Worry About a Tune-up?

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Olivia Minnier


August 1st, 2022

Have you recently replaced your HVAC system in the last year? If you’re already thinking about maintenance on your system, that is great. If not, it is never too early to start thinking about how to maintain the health of your furnace and air conditioner for years to come. One of the best ways to be proactive is by signing up for a maintenance agreement with your HVAC company.

At Fire & Ice, we typically recommend our customers sign up for maintenance agreements after the first year of their system being installed. We’ve sold thousands of these agreements to clients and can express how helpful they’ve been with ensuring system quality as the years go on.

First, we will explore what a maintenance agreement even is.

What is a Maintenance Agreement?

A maintenance agreement is very simply an agreement to maintain a product. For HVAC, this means you will be paying a certain amount for the expectation that your machine will be serviced and provided for.

At Fire & Ice, we offer three different service levels for our maintenance agreements. All include a warranty period of one year for the better level, two years for the best, and three years for the fantastic level.

We also offer priority service for all three levels with hour time limits for each. For better, we offer a 36-hour priority service, 24-hour priority service for best, and same-day service for our fantastic members. Discounts are also included with the plan on equipment repairs and accessories. They are offered at 10% for the better level for equipment repairs, 5% for accessories, 20% for best for equipment repairs, 10% for accessories, 30% for fantastic for equipment repairs, and 15% off accessories.

All plans also include money off equipment replacements. Better members get a $50 replacement credit, best gets $75, and fantastic gets $125.

Why Should I Worry About Maintenance for My New Furnace or Air Conditioner?

It is essential to start thinking about maintenance because HVAC systems eventually break down. Even the best ones. Maintenance can prevent that. That’s the obvious side. Even when your system is working at its absolute best, it still needs maintenance.

If we use your air conditioner as an example, the outdoor condenser will get dirty. This is an inevitable aspect of having a conventional A/C unit with an outdoor unit. Therefore, it needs to be cleaned professionally to ensure proper operation.

The fear is that it seems to be working fine, so maybe you skip this cleaning for a year or two. Once you start to ignore this responsibility, the efficiency of the air conditioner will drop by approximately 10% each year.

Furnace maintenance is no different. You likely already know that your filter needs to be changed regularly, but other items must be performed periodically to keep it running well over time.

Remember that most homeowners only purchase one or two HVAC systems in their lifetimes, so it’s essential to maintain the investment. Additionally, manufacturers only honor their warranties for up to ten years. The other decade of your HVAC system? That is on you.

Additionally, for a manufacturer warranty to be valid, most manufacturers require that regular maintenance be performed on your system and that there is a record of it; otherwise, you can run the risk of voiding your warranty.

That leads us to the importance of getting regular inspections and check-ups on your system.

Importance of Getting Regular Inspections on your HVAC

While several everyday tasks are performed during a maintenance visit or diagnostic, we will cater some of them to the customer and their experience with the system.

Do they hear any noises? Adjustments can usually be made to make the system run more quietly. Is part of the filter not capturing particles at the same rate? Some adjustments can make replacing the filter easier or better position it to promote airflow while catching particulates consistently. Is a particular area of the house more consistently hot or cold? Again, there are a variety of adjustments that could ensure a more even distribution of conditioned air in the home.

These things could be considered routine but won’t always be necessary. However, they’re also things that can be useful when a system is operating well otherwise.

The other side of an inspection requires long-term thinking. We talked about how the long-term effects of a dirty condenser coil could ruin a system. Maintenance is about looking for things that could be problems a year from now. Or five years from now.

By comparison, a diagnostic analysis of a system can sometimes be easier. That’s about getting it up and running with proper pressure and airflow. Of course, there’s plenty of complexity there, too, but it can sometimes ignore the finer details of long-term operation.

For example, an outdoor fan could be running a touch inefficiently. While likely not a short-term problem, what’s causing the issue could be a huge long-term problem. The operation might be traced to a capacitor (a small component), but that, in turn, can cause issues for the outdoor motor (a much larger component).

How Much Does a Maintenance Agreement Cost and What Does it Include?

Maintenance agreements cost different prices depending on the level you choose. And different companies offer other packages. For more information about the maintenance plans at Fire & Ice, visit our maintenance plan page. Certain perks come with each particular level.

With best and fantastic, members get access to 5% and 10% off an additional system and a choice of the technician. In addition, gold level members get the diagnostic fee waived and a selection of a Saturday call.

And all get access to priority emergency service

What Services Can be Performed During a Visit?

All three levels get twice-yearly tune-ups for air conditioners and fall for furnaces during the spring. Maintenance agreements can also be used for diagnostic and emergency services, repairs, and money off of new installations.

However, there are other benefits to a maintenance plan.

Benefits of a Maintenance Agreement

For a complete list of services in our available maintenance agreements, check out our Services Page.

Rather than exhaustively re-list examples from the link above, below, we talk about a few critical aspects of the plans, and why they exemplify the desirable traits you want in a maintenance plan.

Priority Service

All of our maintenance agreement customers get access to priority service when placing a call for tune-ups or service. Depending on the level you choose, you can even select which technician you have or pick a time on a Saturday.

Repair Warranty

Repair warranties for replacement parts sometimes last as little as 60 days from the manufacturer. With our three maintenance agreements extending this warranty to, respectively, one, two, and three years, there’s peace of mind knowing that a repair wasn’t done just to collect a paycheck and get it running for a short while. If we aren’t confident the repair will last for years, we won’t do it, and you’re covered either way.

Lifetime Workmanship Guarantee

Guarantees like this are rare in the industry. Ours states the following:

“We guarantee the following items for the lifetime of the equipment against defects in materials or workmanship from the date the system is installed:

  • All ductwork we install
  • All ductwork insulation we install
  • Other items we install, include sheet metal straps, clamps, fasteners, hangers, locks, drivers, drain piping, and fittings
  • All high-voltage electrical wiring, wire nuts, straps, ties, and connectors we install
  • All refrigerant piping we install (does not include the cost to gain access to underground or other inaccessible piping)
  • Refrigerant insulation we install
  • All equipment pads, stands, jacks, and vibration elimination devices we install

Proper maintenance is what allows us to offer this unique guarantee. The only requirement to keep this protection in force for the lifetime of the equipment is to renew your annual maintenance program when due.”

And if you think that these are empty words, I can again promise you that we’ve honored this agreement on those rare occasions when the work is done improperly. We pride ourselves on attention to detail, but no HVAC contractor is beyond fault. Having a guarantee like this is a protection for the customer.

No Overtime Fees

If a contractor is paid by the job, you risk them doing a quick, poor job simply to rush to the next one. But if they’re paid hourly, a homeowner might worry about extended time. Protections like this are designed to hold a repair technician accountable, hold a company accountable, and standardize costs for customers.

Collective Energy Savings

Things like equipment tune-ups, free filter replacements, and evaporator or blower cleanings add up. All the reasons we discussed earlier apply to these common tasks, and guaranteeing that you’re having them done when they’re needed (often at a reduced cost) is going to benefit you over the life of your system.

Not to mention how this translates to your overall comfort.

Don’t Wait To Secure an Agreement on Your New Furnace and Air Conditioner

At Fire & Ice, We understand that deciding when and how to get maintenance on your system can be confusing. Give us a call if you have any additional questions. If you live in the Columbus Ohio area, check to see if you are in our service area by using the zip code map below.

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