Let’s uncomplicate the complicated. When it comes to HVAC warranties many people believe they are too confusing and complex, and some people ignore them all together. However, if you want to make the most out of your HVAC system and your budget, you should understand a little bit about the warranties and what they can and cannot cover.
Not knowing the basics could cause you to void your warranty, not understand what comes with your warranty, or even choose the wrong warranty for your needs. We would hate for you to be one of those people. For that reason, and because we truly just like helping people, our team at Santa Fe Air has created a HVAC warranty guide to help you out! Just keep reading to learn more.
What is an HVAC warranty?
An HVAC warranty is basically a written agreement a manufacturer or other entity makes about the quality and condition of their equipment and/or service. There are usually stipulations on when the warranty covers any kind of repairs or replacements. For example, if there was a manufacturing error that affected your furnace, a warranty may cover that. However, if a technician drops the furnace and breaks parts inside, then your warranty may not cover that.
So why are warranties important?
First, an HVAC warranty is a legal document, meaning whatever it says will be covered has to be covered by law. As a homeowner, that gives you peace knowing that if your HVAC damage should be covered by whatever warranty you have, you will be fine.
HVAC warranties also help you save money. If your system were to break down and you didn’t have a warranty, you would have to pay the full cost of the repair, regardless if it was your fault or not. Imagine how frustrating it would be to get a spanking new system, find out the parts are messed up, and have to pay out of your own pocket to get those parts replaced. Nobody wants to go through that… hence the warranty. The bonus is that a lot of warranties can transfer owners depending on who leaves and moves into a home.
One thing to keep in mind is that not all HVAC warranties are created equal.
There are different warranties that serve different purposes and last different lengths of time. So, let’s go into which types of HVAC warranties are out there.
Manufacturer warranties are warranties provided by the company (i.e. manufacturer) that makes HVAC equipment. While warranties can vary depending on the manufacturer, most warranties cover defects and workmanship errors. Here, the company will replace equipment parts if they determine the damage came from their end.
You can register your equipment for additional warranty benefits (if you don’t by a certain time you stick with the limited warranty). To maintain your warranty, most manufacturers require yearly maintenance like tune-ups to ensure you are taking care of the system.
An extended warranty is something you probably hear about all the time. As the name says, extended warranties extend your current warranty so you receive coverage for longer. However, an extended warranty may not be for everyone. While they can help you with long-term repairs and part replacements, they are often expensive. Sometimes, it may be easier to save for a system replacement down the road. If you want that extra cushion of an extended warranty, though, go for it! Just make sure you understand the stipulations, term, and cost.
On top of a manufacturer warranty, you could also get a labor warranty. This is beneficial because most manufacturer warranties don’t cover poor installation (we’ll talk about this more later). Trustworthy HVAC installers will offer a warranty to cover any mistakes in their work. So before you call up any technician, ask them about the warranties. If they don’t have one, we’d recommend choosing someone else.
What is covered and not covered in a manufacturer warranty?
Arguably the most important aspect to understand about your warranty is what it does and does not cover. You don’t want to simply assume your warranty will take care of you when it actually won’t do as much as you hoped.
What’s not covered under a manufacturer warranty
Make sure you read your warranty because different HVAC warranties may cover different things. We can cover some of the basics and give you a generalization, but by all means, get more specifics on the equipment you choose.
Typically, manufacturer warranties won’t cover:
Installation errors: If the HVAC equipment came to your house in top-notch shape but doesn’t work because a technician installed it incorrectly, the manufacturer will not pay for new parts. In this case, they have upheld their end and provided a system in good condition. After that, the ball is no longer in their field. That’s why it’s important you get an installer/labor warranty to fill in the gaps.
Poor maintenance: You have to take care of your heating and cooling systems to maintain your warranty. If your systems break down or go out of whack because you’ve neglected them, don’t call your manufacturer to complain. It’s honestly not their fault. That means you always need to be able to show that you’ve gotten yearly maintenance work, so that if someone goes wrong, the manufacturer knows you were taking care of your equipment.
Certain parts: In many cases, not all parts of an HVAC system will be covered under warranty. We know, it’s a bummer. But it’s best you figure that out now rather than being disappointed later. Make sure you look at the fine print. Replacement filters and refrigerants are often not covered, and you’ll have to take care of that yourself.
Mismatched replacement parts: If you or your installer uses parts that aren’t compatible with your original equipment, your warranty isn’t going to cover any damage they cause. This may include:
- Parts that are the wrong size
- Off-brand parts
- Unauthorized parts
- Parts that don’t fit your system’s capacity
It’s best to stick with replacement parts that are specifically manufactured for your equipment (yes, even if they cost more money). Even though saving money in the short term sounds great, if it ends up breaking your equipment and voiding your warranty, how much are you really saving? You might even end up paying more than you would have if you bought a part made for your HVAC equipment.
Moving the equipment: Once your technician installs your equipment, try not to move it around later. Many warranties won’t cover equipment if it has been moved from its original place. We understand there are times when you may have to move things around, but when you do, be mindful of whether there are consequences.
Shipping: One thing some people overlook is shipping costs. Most times, a warranty will cover the cost of parts, but you may have to pay for shipping. Always talk to your manufacturer before assuming they will cover shipping and handling.
What’s covered by a manufacturer warranty
Okay, so you’re probably thinking, “if all of those things aren’t covered, then what is covered?” There are really only two main things a warranty will cover (again, this will vary from warranty to warranty). Regardless, this is the reason why understanding a warranty is fairly simple if you don’t overthink it. Here’s what you should remember:
(1) A HVAC warranty will cover bad parts. As long as you haven’t done any of the above, your warranty will typically pay for parts that have failed during its term.
(2) A HVAC warranty will cover workmanship errors. The manufacturer is held to a certain standard when building equipment. If something happens during production that messes with the equipment quality, they’re liable for that.
Outside of these two coverages, the rest is specific to your warranty. In some cases, a warranty may cover labor costs, but in some cases they won’t.
Learn more about your HVAC warranty from our technicians at Santa Fe Air
If you’re confused about the details of your HVAC warranty or want to learn more about our labor warranty, we’ve definitely got you covered! At Santa Fe Air, we pride ourselves on knowing all things heating, cooling, and electrical. We’re the best HVAC company in Kansas City, and we help people in the KC and Johnson County areas get the most out of their heating and cooling systems.
No matter what, our customers receive pristine service each and every time. Through our dedication and care, we ensure we get the job done right the first time—no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Since 1987 (yep, you read that correctly!) we’ve provided the best service by treating our customers like family, keeping our word, and avoiding upselling just to catch an extra buck. In the end, you get to make the final decision about what’s best for our home to maximize your family’s comfort; we’re just here to help you get there!
Get started today with a free online quote.