If you live in the continental United States, you know just how serious our winters can be. Even Southerners aren’t safe from Old Man Winter’s wrath: temperatures in southern Texas dropped as low as 5°F in February of 2021, causing a devastating series of blackouts and closures statewide.
The best defense against the Big Chill is to ensure your home’s essential systems and appliances are functioning properly before the temperature starts to dip. This is where a home warranty comes into play. Designed to cover repair and replacement costs for systems and appliances that break down, a home warranty can help homeowners approach the next polar vortex with peace of mind.
In this article, we’re going to cover three essential systems and appliances that every homeowner should have protected by a home warranty this winter, as colder temperatures make them especially likely to break down.
Winter’s Most Important Appliance Is at Risk: the Furnace
It almost needs no explanation just how important your HVAC system is during the winter months. AC may be nice in the summer, but heat is an absolute necessity in the winter—so much so that technicians consider it an emergency when a resident’s furnace breaks down during colder temperatures.
Vulnerability: It may sound ironic, but it’s true: snow, ice, and debris buildup can damage your furnace when you need it most. A furnace relies on a series of outdoor vents to release extraneous air from your home. Clog one too many of these vents up with snow and you might have an emergency on your hands.
Home warranty companies typically prioritize emergencies. If your HVAC system is covered and goes down in the middle of winter, you could have a technician sent your way the very same day.
Your Interior Electrical System Might Freeze Up
The interior electrical system may be your home’s second most important cold-fighting feature. Just as it sounds, an interior electrical system is defined as all of the wiring, receptors, switches, lights, and connected appliances that power your home.
Everybody needs their creature comforts when it’s chilly: a warm cup of coffee right out of the electric brewer, the extra space heater in the basement, even a heated blanket to stay toasty through the night. These appliances (and countless others) only function if your interior electrical system is in good and working order—as you may have guessed, the winter can disrupt your home’s electrical system and leave you feeling cold.
Vulnerability: Interior electrical systems are extremely vulnerable to overuse in the wintertime. The strain of running your favorite wintertime appliances can disrupt your electrical system. Run too many appliances at once, and your overloaded system could hitch, trigger the circuit breaker, or cease entirely. On a municipal scale, power lines can shut down from community strain, leaving everyone in the dark.
A standard home warranty plan can cover your interior electrical system, as well as essential appliances within your home that rely on this electrical system. Most commonly, home warranty plans will offer coverage for refrigerators, in-unit microwaves, and external AC units. Some plans will offer a la carte coverage for electronics such as TVs, video game consoles, and laptops.
The Sump Pump Will Need Some Serious Support
You might not think much about your home’s sump pump, but this humble little appliance can save you thousands of dollars in water damage every year.
Your sump pump is a series of pipes and pumps set in the lowest level of your home, usually in a kind of hole dug into a basement cellar. The majority of the time, your sump pump sits idle, waiting for groundwater saturation. When groundwater becomes heavily saturated from snowmelt or rain, the sump pump kicks on and redistributes flooding waters into local storm drains.
Vulnerability: Unlike the other systems in this list, your sump pump is not vulnerable when the winter is at its coldest; instead, it’s extremely vulnerable as the winter turns to spring. Before the first spring shower even sets in, the winter’s snow cover begins to melt, sending a months-long deluge of meltwater into the ground around your home.
The extreme volume of late-winter snowmelt can be too much for sump pumps to handle, resulting in costly basement flooding. Home warranty plans can provide coverage for your sump pump, ensuring everything is in working order long before the great melt.
Don’t Get Left Out in the Cold: Find a Home Warranty
There’s nothing better than cozying up to watch a winter snowstorm in the comfort of your heated home.
To keep your winter experience toasty, you’ll want to make sure your home’s most vital systems and appliances are in tip-top shape. The easiest and cheapest way to protect your home from wear and tear is with a home warranty. If an appliance or system malfunctions, home warranties cover the cost of repairs and replacements, saving you thousands of dollars when the going gets tough.
Check out our list of the best home warranty companies in the United States. We did all the research work for you: our site lists pricing, special features, sign-up links, and unique deals on the top-rated home warranty companies in the country.
No matter the temperature, we hope your winter is full of warm cookies, hot baths, and steaming tea.