5 Ways to Accidentally Void Your AC’s Warranty
July 24, 2015
“What do you mean that’s not covered under warranty?”
Let’s face it: Manufacturer warranties can be confusing.
And if you’re looking to add a new cooling system to your home, it’s extremely important to understand 2 things:
- The fine print of your manufacturer’s warranty
- The role professional maintenance plays in that warranty
Typically, your system’s manufacturer will offer warranties that only cover the system’s parts. But here’s the kicker, that warranty is only honored if a licensed HVAC contractor can confirm the system’s problem was caused by the manufacturer and not you.
Although warranties differ between brands, systems and what their offerings, here are 5 basic mistakes that can lead to an accidental void.
#1) Improper installation
Most manufacturer warranties require a professional HVAC company to install your system–this means a tech that is licensed, insured and bonded. This not only guarantees proper installation and prevents the hassle of unexpected breakdowns or repairs down the road, it will also provide proof to the manufacturer that the system’s problem was not caused by improper installation.
Tip: Sure, everyone has “a guy” that will do a cheap job. But installing an AC system is not an area you want an unlicensed tech messing with.Always have a trusted HVAC professional install your system.
#2) Forgetting to register your warranty
Whether it’s online or by mail, many manufacturers require you register your warranty in a certain amount of time. If you fail to send this in, it could void or reduce in the lifespan of your warranty.
Tip: Read the fine print and don’t procrastinate on following the proper guidelines for registering your warranty.
#3) Using off-brand replacement parts
When it comes to replacing a part in your cooling system, finding a cheaper version of that part (or what a manufacturer calls an “off-brand” replacement part) can usually void your warranty.
The manufacturer can only vouch for original equipment manufacturer (or what they call OEM) parts in their system because they have been tested and approved by the manufacturer for compatibility and functionality.
Tip: Make sure the part being replaced is OEM approved or ask the trusted professional installing the part to help you make sure.
#4) Avoiding regular upkeep and annual maintenance
Warranties typically only cover major components of the system’s equipment. So, if your system’s issue was caused by lack of care/regular maintenance on the homeowner's part (i.e. changing air filters, fan belt issues, dirty evaporator coils, etc…) it can result in a voided warranty.
Additionally, warranties require annual professional maintenance on your system in order to limit repairs or replacements that could easily have been avoided with a professional tune-up.
Tip: Change your air filter, don’t ignore signs of system problems and schedule regular maintenance.
#5) Failing to keep record of maintenance
When you find yourself in need of your manufacturer warranty, you'll most likely need documentation of all services previously performed on the system. This will prove that you've been following the guidelines of your warranty. This can be something as simple as keeping the receipt of an air filter purchase or documentation of professional maintenance.
Tip: Keep all proof of proper system upkeep necessary to your warranties rules.
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- Posted in:
- Preventative Maintenance