Are Home Warranty Programs Worth the Cost?

Editorial by Ricky Graham

There are many home warranty programs out there and I am sure they are beneficial in some ways but this particular post is my personal experience with one and why I consider them a temporary solution that should be used carefully.  

Up to now, I have had the home warranty service for a couple years.  I had gotten it because my AC system at home was aging and I was concerned about a huge cost if something major should break.  I have been working with Majestic AC for many years as their online marketing consultant and in hindsight should probably have talked to them about my decision.  Within a few months of getting my home warranty which costs $80 per month, my condenser fan went out.  I called the home warranty service, they sent a HVAC company out and they changed the fan.  Total cost for me $125 deductible.  A few months later, the coil in the attic went out.  No moving parts so they replaced the coil.  Cost for me?  The same $125.  I thought: “Wow, Rick, you are a genius!”

Then the issues started mounting.  Outside fan went out three more times.  The last time, a different AC guy told me that the other AC guys were replacing the fan motor with a cheap version that barely had the power to run my 5 ton unit.  He assured me that he put in the right motor.  But now my outside condenser unit was making a loud noise and it sits just outside the master bedroom so it was not ideal.  I asked him about that and he said my compressor was about to kick the bucket.   Of course I asked him if I could get that replaced.  He said that the home warranty service would not cover the cost because it was  technically still working.

Lo and behold, a few days later the compressor died.  For those of you that might not know, the compressor is the heart of the outside condenser unit and the majority of the cost.  But instead of replacing the entire condenser, the home warranty service approved replacing the compressor.  Being a 14 year old unit, the replacement part is not readily available and would take 2-3 weeks to get a new one in.  That is a long time in the hot Houston weather and a long time to stay in a hotel.

Needless to say, I paid to replace the entire condenser unit since my upstairs coil was only a year old.  So to shorten a long story, three years of paying $80 per month and having to pay a $125 deductible multiple times for mostly shoddy repairs, in my case just using a reputable HVAC company and replacing my HVAC system would have saved me out of pocket money and the money saved from lower electricity bills.

Of course, this time I did consult with Majestic AC and they gave me a great deal on a Trane unit to replace my aging outdoor 5 ton unit.  I am very happy and it was never so quiet as now.  When it comes to home warranties, they do have a place in the world but if your HVAC equipment is aging, call your own AC company like Majestic AC and have a professional give you the whole picture on what your situation entails.  Instead of just putting a bunch of bandages, it may be time to get it fixed right.