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Question DetailsAsked on 8/18/2015

looking for a water heater and house heater service plan. Natural gas powered.

I have a gas heater and water heater. 4 zones hot water heat. Looking for a service plan that will cover 4 zones because the one offered by Homeserve only supports 3 zones. Homeserve seems to have some link with our natural gas utility Nation Grid. I live in West Islip, south western Suffolk county, NY

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Before you buy,check all the details of some National Warranty Company. If you do ,you'll find that a local Heating and Plumbing Company is likely a better deal. Plus they can be found on Angie's List!!!

Source: www.bayareacool.com

Answered 4 years ago by BayAreaAC

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I am with BayAreaAC on this - a "nationwide" home maintenance plan means dealing with a call center that might have very short hours in a foreign company and with call center reps with zero home repair knowledge (may maybe not even understandable), convincing a phone rep they should cover your claim when they are inventivized to deny claims, then dealing with a contractor who accepted their very low reimbursement fee schedule (and common a flat rate reimbursement to him regardless of the complexity of the job). Therefore, not only are you likely dealing with a vendor who is at the bottom of the pack (top-name companies don't have to go with home warranty companies and low reimbursement rates to fill out their service schedule and generally won't because of the damage it does to their reputations) so his work quality might well be bottom of the line, and he also has a high inventive to try to sell-up the job or charge additional for things that should have been covered - and don't think he will stick up for you with the plan people, because if he does so they can cut off his contract with them. Generally they will refuse to talk with the plan reps.


If you have to have a plan, find a local top-name HVAC company that has been around decades and go with them on an annual service contract/product warranty plan.


Personally, I think you are better off just putting money every month into a house savings account to cover major house/appliance repairs and replacements - and I mean serious money like at least $250-500/month - and buy appliances and such with good manufacturer warranties. Also - get regular servicing, usually leading into the heating (or cooling for A/C) season. Does expose you to the risk of a major failure in the early years when you have not accumulated many funds yet, but also gives you a lot more bang for the buck because insurance/warranty plans commonly charge about twice what they expect to actually pay out in benefits.


Most people will say $250-500/month "house reserve" - crazy - but conservatively figure roof and HVAC and siding system replacement every 20 years or so at $20-30,000 (combined) or so, exterior painting every 5 years or so at about $3000 (ior equivalent higher cost ofr "permanent" non-paint siding), major sewer/water/septic line repairs for maybe $5-15,000 every 30 years, major kitchen/cleaning appliances and flooring/ interior painting at maybe $8-15,000 for a set every 10 years or so, normal household emergency repairs at maybe $500-1000/year - that works out to a ballpark $250-425/month using those numbers and does NOT include high end replacements, unusually largae house, window replacements or any upgrades or additions to the house, nor any catastrophic losses from flooding or storm or frozen pipes or such. You can play with the numbers yourself, but most people have no idea how much maintenance cost is included in a house long-term. Many advice sites and insurance companies recommend a maintenance/routine replacement/emergency repair fund of 20-30% of your combined monthly mortgage/insurance payment, so again typically works out to $250-500 range.


And of course, if things go better than planned or you can do a lot of it yourself or shop around for better deals, you ultimately end up with the excess to put toward a new house or upgrades or whatever - whereas with insurance, while it protects you against losses early in the process, typically costs about twice what it will pay out on the average, and any payments not consumed in claims are lost. Does take deliberation and dedication to not "raiding" the fund for things it was not intended for, and in the current low interest rate environment you can not count on interest earned to even keep up with inflation so you need to be liberal with the amount saved, and make of point of finding the best yielding accounts while still leaving the funds available whenn needed. As the amount grows to a subtantial amount (more than short-term needs and emergency repairs are likely to cost) laddering the money in CD's is a good idea, especially the ones that only charge a fewmonth interest penalty for early withdrawal if you need to.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD




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