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Home Preventative Maintenance Agreement

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Similar to a home warranty, a home preventative maintenance agreement protects major systems, such as heating and cooling, in your home. The difference is that a preventative maintenance agreement provides maintenance to impede system breakdowns, while a home warranty (also known as home protection plan) replaces or repairs systems already broken.

What are the specifics of a home preventative maintenance agreement?

A home preventative maintenance agreement is a yearly contract providing for seasonal checks by a professional on a variety of mechanical home systems, but mainly heating (including boilers) and cooling, but some companies also offer generator maintenance. Specifics depend on company chosen for the agreement, but can include:

Heating

  • changing filter
  • calibrating thermostat
  • checking proper function on flue, belts, pilot light, gas pressure and controls
  • testing for leaks
  • assessing intake and exhaust pipes

Air Conditioning

  • inspecting compressor, discharge, suction, electrical connections, contractor, bearings and condensate pump
  • testing fan motor
  • checking refrigerant
  • cleaning indoor and outdoor coils
  • replacing disposable filter

How does it work?

A preventative maintenance agreement can be purchased alone or in addition to a home warranty plan to bolster coverage on any newly purchased home with ailing mechanical systems, but newer homes can benefit as much as older homes. A trained professional will come and inspect systems semi-annually in spring and fall. Repairs needed, based on the maintenance inspection, will be at a lower price than without the maintenance agreement. Plus, priority service is often an added bonus to many agreements.

Where can this agreement be purchased?

Several big-name home warranty companies have preventative maintenance agreements, such as American Home Shield or Liberty. Speak to a local representative, as prices vary per plan and company. Local heating and cooling companies also have maintenance agreements. Ask a favorite heating/cooling company in your area of Massachusetts if they have a preventative maintenance agreement, its costs and what the agreement includes.

What's the benefit of this agreement?

Not only can a home maintenance agreement save money in the long run on costly repair bills, but maintenance coverage helps improve a system's function and lowers utility bills. Proper maintenance increases the life span of a system, too.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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