It’s every homeowner’s nightmare—an unseasonably warm or cold spell hits, and your HVAC system sputters to a halt just when it’s needed most. These repairs and replacements can be expensive, and homeowners insurance won’t cover them outside of a natural disaster or another catastrophic event.
While home warranties offer coverage for more than just HVAC systems, heating and cooling systems are often a homeowner’s primary concern. To learn how a home warranty can offset some or all repair or replacement costs, read our review on the best home warranties for HVAC systems.
Top 5 Home Warranty Companies for HVAC Systems
After comparing national home warranty providers, here are the companies that came out on top in terms of HVAC coverage:
Liberty Home Guard
A newcomer to the industry, Liberty Home Guard boasts an impressive Better Business Bureau rating and positive customer reviews. It’s available in 48 states and offers a low service fee.
Liberty Home Guard HVAC Coverage
Liberty Home Guard’s air conditioning coverage applies to ducted central and wall units up to a five-ton capacity. Window units and wall units without ducts aren’t covered. Traditional heating systems, excluding solar and geothermal units, as well as leaks or breaks in ductwork are covered. The coverage cap per covered item is $2,000, which is a bit more than the industry average of $1,500.
However, the cap will be lower for the first four months of your home warranty. During that period, if a covered item needs to be replaced, coverage will be limited to 60% of that item’s depreciated value. After 120 days, this becomes 100% of the depreciated value, but this time limit resets every year of your contract.
Liberty Home Guard Plans and Pricing
Liberty Home Guard’s service call fee falls between $65 and $125. The company will assign a service call fee to your account based on your plan, add-ons, and location. Note that you’ll need either the System Guard or Total Guard plan if you want HVAC coverage
Liberty Home Guard Plan Prices
American Home Shield
American Home Shield is a well-established company with half a century of experience and availability in 49 states. You also get to customize how much you pay with the provider’s choose-your-own service fee policy.
American Home Shield HVAC Coverage
American Home Shield doesn’t have a dollar limit on the covered components of air conditioners, minus geothermal units, which have a $1,500 limit. Ducted central air conditioners, wall units, and mini-splits are all covered as well as plenums, dampers, and leaks or breaks in ductwork. American Home Shield will also pay up to $10 per pound per occurrence for refrigerant.
When it comes to heating systems and ductwork, American Home Shield has a coverage limit of $1,500 per covered item instead of for the whole system. The company also covers damage that other providers don’t, including damage from rust, corrosion, or sediment.
American Home Shield Plans and Pricing
American Home Shield does have a systems-only plan, but you can purchase ShieldGold™ or ShieldPlatinum™ to receive more coverage and additional benefits. You can choose a $75, $100, or $125 service fee, with a higher service fee resulting in a lower monthly premium.
American Home Shield Plan Prices
|Plan||$75 Service Fee||$100 Service Fee||$125 Service Fee|
First American Home Warranty
First American Home Warranty is another reputable provider that offers comprehensive HVAC coverage. First American doesn’t limit heating and cooling system coverage caps, meaning it will pay for a covered repair fully. It also grants access to an easy-to-understand sample contract that lists its coverage options and exclusions clearly.
First American Home Warranty HVAC Coverage
Although First American provides impressive coverage for HVAC systems without any per-item coverage limits, it doesn’t offer air conditioning coverage in its Starter Plan. You can purchase air conditioning coverage an add-on for an additional $9 per month. Note that First American includes air conditioning coverage in its Essential and Premium plans.
First American Home Warranty Plans and Pricing
First American’s Starter Plan and Essential Plan cover a mix of appliances and home systems. The Premium Plan includes everything listed in the Starter and Essential plans, plus coverage for luxury appliances, hot water dispensers, and more. First American allows you to choose from a $75, $100, and $125 service call fee.
First American Home Warranty Plan Prices
Select Home Warranty
Select Home Warranty doesn’t offer the most comprehensive coverage, but its prices are low and its HVAC coverage is good for the price. If you only need basic heating and cooling coverage, this might be the provider for you.
Select Home Warranty HVAC Coverage
Select Home Warranty offers full coverage for traditional heating systems. Central air conditioners with a capacity under five tons and ductwork are also covered, with the limit for all HVAC repairs and replacements being $2,000 per contract term.
The drawback is that wall, window, and portable AC units aren’t covered nor are solar or geothermal heating systems or refrigerant recapture and disposal. Additionally, the $2,000 limit applies to an entire year’s worth of HVAC repair, not individual items within the system. However, considering Select Home Warranty’s prices, the coverage you’re receiving is of excellent value.
Select Home Warranty Plans and Pricing
The Bronze Care plan covers appliances only, the Gold Care plan covers systems only, and the Platinum Care plan covers both, so you’ll need to purchase Gold or Platinum if you want HVAC coverage. Additionally, service fees range from $60-$75.
Select Home Warranty Plan Prices
America’s 1st Choice Home Club
America’s 1st Choice Home Club (AFC Home Club) earns its spot on this list due to its plan-length workmanship guarantee, which means it will send a technician to your home at no additional charge if an item malfunctions again after being repaired. AFC Home Club also offers a variety of plans and the flexibility to customize your service call fee.
AFC Home Club HVAC Coverage
According to its sample contract, AFC Home Club’s air conditioning and heating coverage is limited to two units up to a 5-ton capacity. It covers the following items:
- Blower motor
- Condenser coil
- Defrost heating element
- Drain cock
- Dual capacitor
- Electronic circuits
- Evaporator coil
- Fan control
- Flame spreader
- Fluid pump
- Heat coil/element
- Independent solenoid
- Junction box
- Limit control
- Low water cut off
- Main control board
- Pilot and thermocouple
- Power pack
- Power switch
- Thermostat control
- Time-fan control
- Wire terminal
It will also cover up to $25 per pound of refrigerant and up to 10 pounds per occurrence. If your system is more than 5 years old, AFC Home Club will cover up to the prorated value of the system based on comparable HVAC units of the same age. Ductwork is covered up to $250 per plan term.
AFC Home Club Plans and Pricing
AFC Home Club offers four plan options, three of which cover built-in systems, including your heating, cooling, and ductwork. The Silver Plan covers appliances only. Like AHS, you can choose a $75, $100, or $125 service call fee.
AFC Home Club Plan Prices
You can compare prices in the table below.
|Plan||$75 Service Fee||$100 Service Fee||$125 Service Fee|
Benefits of an HVAC Home Warranty
According to Home Guide, the average cost of an air conditioner repair is between $125 and $459. The actual price will depend on your specific problem as well as the cost of living in your location. If the solution is something as simple as replacing a capacitor or unclogging a drain line, the cost will be on the lower end of that range. However, replacing a compressor or condenser coil can cost thousands of dollars.
Similarly, furnace repairs cost between $131 and $477. Electric furnace repairs will be on the lower end of the scale, but gas furnaces are more complex, costing more to fix.
Additionally, HVAC technicians often charge between $50 and $150 per hour for labor. You can also expect to pay about $4,000 for a new furnace and $4,575 for a new central air conditioner.
Although home warranties don’t cover every type of breakdown, they do cover simple wear-and-tear damage that builds up over an HVAC system’s lifetime. Most home warranty providers don’t put age limits on items they cover either, so as long as you’ve done basic maintenance on your older system, it will still be eligible for coverage. A home warranty also covers other systems and appliances around your home, giving you more than just HVAC protection.
If you’re looking for HVAC coverage, one of our top recommendations is American Home Shield. This provider’s lack of dollar cap on covered air conditioner repairs combined with its high limit for heating systems gives you the most comprehensive HVAC coverage available.
However, we recognize that American Home Shield may not be right for every home or every budget, which is why we also included Select Home Warranty, Liberty Home Guard, and First American Home Warranty in this review. We recommend getting quotes from several of these companies before making a purchasing decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team backs up our home warranty ratings and recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to objectively score each provider. We conduct research by speaking with company representatives, requesting quotes, analyzing sample contracts from each company, and conducting focus groups and consumer surveys. We then score each provider against our review standards for coverage, value, trustworthiness and transparency, availability, and customer service to arrive at a final score out of 100.
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