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|
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
First American Home Warranty
First American Home Warranty has two easy-to-understand plans along with a list of add-ons, including the unique First Class Upgrade that covers improperly installed or maintained items, permit fees, and other areas of your home.
First American Home Warranty HVAC Coverage
First American doesn’t cap coverage on heating and cooling systems, so you can trust that your repairs will be covered no matter how much they cost. Plus, there’s no dollar limit on refrigerant replacement, and if you purchase the First Class Upgrade for an additional monthly cost, refrigerant recapture, reclaim, and disposal will be covered as well.
Although First American provides impressive coverage for HVAC systems without any per-item coverage limits, it doesn’t offer air conditioning coverage in either of its standard plans. Air conditioning coverage can only be added to your plan as an add-on for an additional $9 per month. This could be beneficial for homeowners who need their appliances and AC unit covered at a low cost.
First American Home Warranty Plans and Pricing
The Basic Plan only covers appliances, but the Premier Plan covers both appliances and systems, including heating and cooling. You’ll also pay an $85 service fee each time you use your plan.
First American 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 is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers, and we aim to provide transparency in our review standards and research process.
Our research process includes speaking with representatives from more than 40 home warranty providers, requesting quotes, and asking clarifying questions to gain insight into each provider’s benefits and downsides. We also analyze sample contracts from each company to understand specific coverage terms.
To rate companies, we apply the data we have gathered to our review standards. These standards are on a 100-point scoring system, which is detailed below:
- Coverage (35 points): Providers are scored based on breadth and depth of coverage. We focused on key home systems (HVAC, plumbing, and electrical), essential appliances (refrigerator, ovens, and laundry machines), and unique coverage items (such as roof-leak coverage and code violation allowances). Coverage scores are weighted by taking into account coverage caps and other limiting factors, meaning providers with greater range of coverage and higher coverage caps score the highest.
- Value (30 points): A company’s plan value is a reflection of how well it serves the customer in comparison to what the customer pays for the policy. We accounted for monthly costs, service call fees, and cost flexibility (such as customizable service call fees, discounts, and multi-year policies).
- Trustworthiness and Transparency (21 points): Trustworthiness and transparency are a reflection of how well the provider considers the customer’s interests. We scored items such as the length of workmanship guarantees, online availability of a sample contract, policy change flexibility, and ease of cancellation. Additionally, we scored items that reflect industry reputation and customer satisfaction, including analyzing brand reputation across the Better Business Bureau and third-party customer review aggregators.
- Availability and Service (14 points): Quality of customer service is key to customer satisfaction. We dug into each provider’s guaranteed response times, claims processes, service flexibility, emergency availability, and more.
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