When it comes to choosing a new heating and cooling system for your home, there are many important factors to consider. The HVAC warranty is one such factor that is often overlooked and underappreciated. However, when comparing different HVAC systems it’s equally as important to check their warranties.
In the event that your system does break down or needs repairs, a good warranty can really make a big difference, saving you both time and money.
So what does an HVAC warranty to cover? And what does it not cover? In this article, we will answer some of the most common warranty questions.
Types of HVAC Warranty
There are three main kinds of warranties available, so it’s important to be aware of exactly what you are signing up for from the very beginning. This includes the installation or labor warranty, as well as the manufacturers or parts warranty and finally, the extended warranty.
This is the standard warranty that covers your HVAC systems parts. For example, if any part of your system breaks down, becomes faulty and needs replacing or repairing, the manufacturer will replace it free of charge.
Essentially, this means that if any parts that become defected or faulty when under normal use, the manufacturer will replace them for free. This warranty typically has a limited period, which for most brands is a 5-year warranty. However, it’s worth noting that many brands offer to extend this warranty if you register the product online (usually via the company’s website).
Also commonly referred to as the labor warranty, this is what covers you should something go wrong during the installation of your HVAC system. This is important since many manufacturer warranty claims are denied on the basis of a poor installation which caused a fault.
Therefore, ensure you always choose a supplier or a reliable HVAC technician to install your system and one that offers a lengthy warranty. Ideally, you want at least 12 months, but there are many companies that offer terms much longer than this.
Typically, the longer terms involve signing up for a service agreement, but it’s certainly worth it. This will ensure your system is well maintained and running efficiently for years to come.
An extended warranty allows you to get the same cover when your normal warranties have expired. For manufacturer’s parts, this is usually after 10 years and for installation, this can begin immediately after the cover has ended.
Many people like the idea of an extended warranty as it gives them peace of mind should their HVAC system suddenly break down or need repairs. However, Consumer Reports recommend them since they tend to be expensive and usually require you to sign up for a bi-annual service agreement.
Instead, it is usually advised that you begin saving for a new system before your regular warranty expires. That way, you will be able to install a brand new and much more reliable system, which will again be covered by both a manufacturer’s warranty and labor warranty.
Of course, this is largely dependent on your own personal financial situation and there are anecdotes of people having HVAC system lasting for decades. However, in general, older systems are more prone to breaking down and repairs.
So ultimately, you have two choices to make. Firstly, buy a brand new system, or continue to pay for servicing and an extended warranty for a system that has already seen its best days.
How to Void a Warranty
Once you have chosen the type of warranties you want for your HVAC system, it’s important to understand what your responsibilities are. Therefore, always ensure you take the time to read all of the information provided in the warranty. Failure to do so may result in your voiding your warranty, even if done so without intention.
Not Registering the Warranty
The majority of manufacturers do provide a standard warranty on parts for at least 5 years. However, some brands only offer this warranty on the condition that you register your appliance via by filling in paperwork. Although many do allow you to do this more conveniently via their official website.
Some brands even incentivize you to register your product by offering to double the warranty on registration, so it’s certainly worthwhile.
If you fail to register your warranty, you may not be able to claim for repairs or new parts in the event your HVAC system breaks down. Or it may just delay the entire repair process until you retrieve the required records. Either way, it’s certainly worth committing the short amount of time to register, as it can potentially save you a whole lot of inconvenience and stress in the future.
Having a service agreement or having your system checked by a professional has many practical benefits. Not only does it ensure that your HVAC system is running as efficiently as possible, but it allows any minor issues to be addressed before they worsen and become big problems.
It’s common for manufacturers warranties to require annual maintenance to remain valid. If you fail to have your HVAC system maintained and you do need repairs at a later date, it’s likely that the warranty will be void.
As mentioned previously, the installation warranty is just as important as the manufacturer’s warranty. If the system was installed improperly, then not only can the system work inefficiently, but it can lead to damaged parts.
For these reasons, the majority of manufacturers warranties are void if the installation was not been carried out correctly. As a result, always ensure you hire a professional HVAC technician to carry out the installation and one that offers an adequate labor warranty.
Unable to Provide Evidence of Regular Maintenance
Whenever you get your HVAC system serviced, whether that is part of an annual service agreement offered by a local company or HVAC technician make sure to keep the documentation for future reference.
In the event that something does go wrong with your system, it’s likely that the manufacturer will request evidence that you have been getting it annually serviced and maintained.
It’s quite amazing at how many people overlook this and there is always the chance that you could have genuinely lost the documentation. If this is the case, you can always try contacting the service person as they may still have records of the service on file and may be able to provide you with a copy.
Using Unapproved replacement parts
In the event that you need to replace a certain component of your HVAC system, don’t be tempted to use unapproved parts. You may well be able to find replacement parts cheaper than the manufacturers original, it isn’t advised.
They may be safe to use, but they haven’t been tested for their functionality. As a result, most HVAC manufacturers advise you to use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts in their systems. In fact, if you do not do this, it’s possible that the warranty will be void.
When choosing a new HVAC system or appliance make sure to check what warranties you are signing up for. In general, most appliance manufacturers offer the same terms for their warranty and it tends to be around 5 years and as much as 10 years for those that register their warranty.
The installation warranty is equally as important as without one it could potentially void your manufacturer’s warranty. A professional and competent HVAC technician should offer a relatively long installation warranty of at least 12 months, but ideally for many years. This may involve signing up for a service agreement, but it’s certainly worth it and is a requirement for most manufacturers warranties.
The good news is that todays appliances are very reliable and as long as they are well maintained they can last for many years.