Warranties are one of the main causes of customer frustration in the residential A/C industry. It is important to understand just because your air conditioning and heating system has a warranty, it does not mean that warranty will cover the cost to repair your system if it breaks down. HVAC warranties are called “limited warranties” because they do not cover everything that can go wrong with equipment at any time for any reason.
There are really only 2 problems that the manufacturer's warranty will cover:
- Defects in materials that appear under normal use and maintenance.
- Workmanship defects that appear under normal use and maintenance.
What is not covered? Everything else.
If a part used to build your new A/C system fails during the coverage period, the part will be covered. Also, if a manufacturer's workmanship or assembly issue led to failure, the part will be covered. Please understand, this covers only the part itself. The cost of the labor it takes to replace that part is not covered under a limited parts warranty.
Filters, belts, replacement refrigerant, outdoor pads, drain lines, damage due to pests or rodents, weather-related damages/failures are examples of non-covered items. The cost to diagnose the problem, driving to the parts warehouse for an exact replacement part of the same brand, shipping costs, returning to install the bad part, the cost of needing a second service man to help with the replacement of larger parts are also not covered by a manufacturer's limited parts warranty.
Most manufacturers offer an “extended parts warranty" to the Original Installing Homeowner for years 6-10 providing a Product Warranty Registration is completed within the required amount of time. This special “extended” warranty does not transfer to any new homeowner. However, if the Original Installing Homeowner decides to sell their home within 5 years of purchasing a new A/C system, a typical 5-year base warranty should transfer. Please note: there are a few specific manufacturer exceptions to this at which there is zero coverage to any subsequent owner. If you have questions about this, please contact our warranty department.
Some manufacturers offer an equipment replacement guarantee if the equipment has an extreme failure. In this instance, instead of replacing just one part, they will replace the entire condenser or air handler. It is important to know if equipment is replaced in year 8 of a 10-year warranty, for example, that new piece of equipment will be covered under warranty for the remaining 2 years of the original warranty. It does not begin with a new coverage term, even though it is a new system.
Lastly, it is important to ask questions about your warranty and to read the fine print. There might be varying coverage terms for different parts of your HVAC equipment. For instance, compressor coverage might be 10 years where a heat exchanger might have a 20-year warranty period. Even parts for units with “lifetime” warranties do not cover the cost of labor to complete repairs. Also, it is likely your manufacturer will require proof of yearly maintenance completed by a reputable company. There are many factors that go in to your limited parts warranty and it is important to fully understand the terms and limitations.
We are always here for you if you have any questions regarding your warranty! If you are shopping for a new A/C system, our Comfort Advisors would be happy to provide you with warranty information for the brands you're interested in purchasing. If you have questions about your current warranty coverage, our warranty department would be happy to provide you with some answers.