Should You Cancel Your Furnace Maintenance Plan?
Filed under: House & Home
A recent Moneyville article questions the notion that a furnace maintenance plan is a necessity, especially if the furnace is less than ten years old.
So, should you cancel your furnace maintenance plan? After I knew all the facts, I did. Read on to find out if you should, too.
Since a one-time furnace maintenance with Direct Energy costs $139 plus tax and a yearly plan, paid monthly, costs $119.88 before taxes, it works out cheaper to have the maintenance plan, plus it's less painful to pay for it over the course of the year.
But the article argues that, with proper care on your part, like changing the filter regularly and understanding what your furnace warranty covers and for what length of time, you shouldn't need a maintenance plan on a furnace that's under ten years old and that got me thinking.
. ....... In May of 2009, my husband and I had our ancient furnace replaced with an energy efficient model. That makes it less than three years old at this writing. On top of the monthly maintenance plan of $9.99 per month, we also pay $21.99 per month for a heating protection plan that covers parts and labor should it stop working. That's an additional $263.88 a year not including the taxes. Do we really need these "insurance policies" on a new furnace?
Replacing a furnace motor, as the Moneyville article found in one instance, can cost over $600 before taxes for the parts and labor. I don't know about you, but to me, that's a lot of money to have to shell out all at once and well worth the $263.88 for the protection plan. Still, unless you have a very old furnace, how often is it likely to need repair? It would probably be better to just have an emergency fund in reserve for the odd time your furnace quits on you.
When the new furnace was installed, I wasn't given a copy of the warranty, so I called Direct Energy to see what it covered and if it was still in effect. It was good to find that it covers parts and labor on anything that could go wrong with a furnace and that it was in effect until May of 2014. Then I realized that we'd been paying for a heating protection plan we didn't need for nearly three years! Needless to say, I canceled it and was told there would be an adjustment.
I temporarily kept the maintenance plan and made an appointment to have the furnace checked and cleaned. The service man was here for a grand total of ten minutes. He told me it was "as clean as a whistle" and so didn't need cleaning and everything else was working at better than peak efficiency. I asked him if we needed a furnace maintenance plan. "In my opinion, no," was his answer. Scratch one maintenance plan.
As for the heating protection plan, if the furnace is relatively new and still under warranty, it's definitely an expense you can do without.
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Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and Dollar Store Diva. Visit her website to find tips and ideas for decorating, entertaining and gift-giving using items from the dollar store.