The Lifetime Value of Heating and Cooling Preventative Maintenance

By: Brian Schutt  |  October 12, 2012

It seems like clockwork

Every fall and spring we get calls from homeowners who’ve received something in the mail for a cheap maintenance appointment, and are curious about what these appointments are really about and if they have any value. First, let me address the cheap appointment – I’ve seen $45, $49, $50, etc. preventative maintenance plans advertised through direct mail and on the radio. Not all of these companies are trying to bait and switch you. But many of them are using this as a way to get into your home and sell homesenseyou equipment, not to actually perform maintenance on your system. At those prices, they don’t make any profit, so why would they do it otherwise?

Our prices are a bit higher and we’re fine with that…

because we’re going to make an effort to keep your system going longer, point out potential issues, and give advice on things you can do to improve your comfort.

Onto the lifetime value question. Customers rightly ask, if I’m spending $150 annually and my system is supposed to last 15 years, I’m essentially adding another $2,250 over the lifetime of that system to keep it going. A very fair point to bring up. Maintenance plans do have a cost to them.

Let’s look at the benefits. A preventative maintenance performed by a quality technician should, in fact, prevent issues from taking place during the winter.

  1. The first area of prevention is physical, relating to both your health and to your home. Health-wise, as systems age they are at an increased risk to develop cracks in the heat exchangers, which can bring carbon monoxide into your breathing air — we have already found a half dozen instances during maintenance appointments this fall.  The appointments can prevent needless impact to the health of your home which can happen if the heat goes out and water pipes freeze. Clearly, freezing water pipes can lead to a host of additional issues all of which you want to avoid.
  2. From a preventative perspective related to out of pocket costs, our average emergency service call is north of $300, and most of the time the issues could have been caught during a preventative maintenance appointment.  If you factor in the actual dollars plus the hours of being without heat, that cost gets severe pretty quickly.
  3. So to the lifetime value, we’ve seen that the maintenance reduces risk and can save actual dollars and headaches, but the larger benefit is that it can lengthen the life of your furnace and air conditioner and average of 5 years. That’s a huge benefit, that can save you from purchasing multiple new systems over your lifetime as a homeowner.


It’s Your Move.

If you’d like to talk specifics about your home, give us a call at 317.670.0171, we would love to help you out.


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