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Is it worth the money to buy a heating protection plan to cover an existing or recently out of warranty furnace? My gas utility company which provides the hot water boiler keeps offering to cover the furnace in order to:

  • provide an annual yearly maintenance check
  • warranty any parts within the furnace that could break
  • provide 7/24 service for emergencies
  • Thanks everyone for the responses. I actually I paid $17/mo through the gas company and within a few weeks I had an outage. They came and replaced the blower motor and the thermostat. The price they claimed this would cost was over $1000. All this before the maintenance check. – Zephyr Apr 29 '10 at 3:17
  • The answers you got were great, BUT don't ever buy a service protection plan/warranty thing for TECH GADGETS you buy at bestbuy or other places like that (this includes your phone, tv, etc). Also furniture service plans (where they replace scratches, etc) are a waste of money. – Michael Pryor Aug 4 '10 at 19:53
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Think of it, at least in part, like an insurance plan. You pay some (smaller) amount of money just in case something big(er) happens.

Some companies also put their prepaid/insurance customers to the head of the line when it comes time for service, so on a -40 degree day (when F and C match!) you might get service sooner.

Personally I do have such a plan for my furnace. Living in Canada, the furnace is an important item for me and my family.

Alternately, if you live in an area where a lack of furnace is more like to be uncomfortable instead of potentially catastrophic (frozen pipes and the like), then the money might not be worth it.

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This definitely depends on your situation.

If your furnace is relatively young it's probably not going to require major service anytime soon so you may not need it.

As @sdg said, if you can tolerate a couple of days with no heat, you may not need it.

If you have access to trusted HVAC repairman, you may not need it.

Mind if I ask how much they're charging? There's definitely a pain threshold that will vary based on your needs.

For example, I'd be willing to pay up to $10. But that's mostly because of the annual maintenance check. If I had an older system or depended on it more, my pain threshold would be higher.

My local gas company offers this service for around $20/month. That's not worth it to me because I'm estimating (i.e. guessing) that any repairs I need to do in the next 5 years will cost less than 5*12*20 = $1200.

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Consider this before you buy one: I spent 1900 dollars for a car warranty years back when I bought a car. 9 months after I bought the car it broke down and it was covered by the warranty. Without the warranty the fix would have cost me 3400 dollars. This is a huge savings except for one thing... The warranty company went bankrupt so I spent 1900 + 3400 for a grand total of 5300 :) As you can imagine, I wasn't smiling at the time. Contrast that with my second warranty (I know, I know, don't put your hand in a fire twice) where I spent 2400 for the warranty and then got my transmission fixed for 4000 dollars, and it cost me 100 dollars (deductible).

In summary: It's hit and miss, but make sure you don't pay more than 10-15% of the product price for the warranty.

  • I, too, had an experience where I purchased an extended warranty for my car, and then the company that sold it went bust. :-( I didn't do enough homework on that purchase! – Chris W. Rea Apr 5 '10 at 15:13

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