New heating and air conditioning equipment typically comes with a limited warranty. After that, you have the additional option of purchasing an extended warranty from the contractor. Learn why HVAC warranties are important, what might void them and the role of preventative maintenance.
Why Are HVAC Warranties Important?
Every manufacturer establishes a slightly different warranty for its equipment. In general, though, all warranties share certain characteristics:
- Manufacturer warranties only cover parts, and this is only honored if a licensed HVAC contractor declares that manufacturer defect is the cause of the problem.
- Parts warranties only cover large system components, not air filters, fan belts, electrical wiring or lubrication. You are expected to maintain these parts with the help of a qualified HVAC contractor.
- You never see combined parts and labor warranties from manufacturers because they can’t control how the equipment is installed and maintained.
- You can purchase extended parts and labor warranties from the contractor that installed your system. When combined with the original manufacturer warranty, you’ll enjoy the greatest long-term protection and savings if something goes wrong with the system.
Why is a Maintenance Plan Important?
You may wonder why signing up for a planned maintenance agreement is necessary if you have extended HVAC warranties to draw from. The truth is that, because most warranties only remain valid if your system is serviced by a certified HVAC contractor, warranties and maintenance agreements go hand in hand.
In addition, scheduled annual tune-ups help you avoid the hassle associated with unexpected breakdowns. They also pay for themselves by catching problems early, thus helping to avoid unnecessary repairs, and keeping efficiency high so your energy bills remain low.
What Can Void HVAC Warranties?
Whether you pay for an extended parts and labor warranty from your contractor or you stick with the basic limited manufacturer’s warranty, be careful that you don’t make the wrong move and accidentally void it. When you sign up for a warranty, read it carefully to make sure you adhere to the terms required by the manufacture for that specific guarantee. In the meantime, here are five things that will almost certainly void HVAC warranties:
- Failing to go through the registration process: Many manufactures require that you register the warranty before it takes effect. You usually have a limited window of time to get this done. Registering is usually as easy as going to the manufacturer’s website and filling out a form. It’s definitely worth your time to enjoy a limited warranty from the manufacturer.
- Getting replacement parts from another company: The company that manufactured your HVAC equipment can’t risk guaranteeing another company’s products. When it comes time to repairing your system with replacement parts, make sure you opt for parts made by the same company. It may be cheaper initially to choose an off-brand part, but it’s not worth it if this action voids your warranty.
- Installing the equipment improperly: A DIY or uncertified installation leads to poor equipment operation, comfort problems and higher energy bills. It may also void your HVAC warranties. That’s why you should only rely on expert installation from an experienced HVAC contractor. You know a contractor is qualified for the job if the company is licensed, bonded and insured, and only hires technicians certified by the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification program.
- Neglecting annual maintenance: Here’s where maintenance agreements affect HVAC warranties, many of which state you must have your equipment tuned up once a year to keep the warranty valid. Manufacturers can’t very well guarantee the performance of neglected equipment. After all, no matter how high-end your heating and cooling system is, it’s a machine and requires maintenance and periodic repairs to remain in good working condition for years to come.
- Not keeping proper records: If you ever claim coverage from your warranty, the manufacturer will undoubtedly ask for proof of installation and maintenance from a credible contractor. Keep the receipts from these visits so you can show the manufacturer you only hired trusted professionals to tune up or repair the equipment.
Whether you’re shopping for new HVAC equipment with a comprehensive warranty or you need to schedule an installation, repair or maintenance visit to keep your current warranty valid, Brennan’s Heating & Air is the right place to look. Our technicians are highly trained and NATE certified, making them more than capable of getting the job done. Contact us today at Brennan’s to schedule a visit. We have provided our Fairfax area customers with high quality, dependable service for over 30 years.