Most companies that manufacturer HVAC equipment provide warranties that span 10 to 20 years. Purchasing such equipment is a major investment, and consumers want peace of mind that they are not left out to dry should there be a mechanical defect undetected by quality assurance. The good news for consumers is that industry data shows that the major carriers do stand behind their products. The independent assessment firm HVAC Investigators, or HVACi, estimates that nearly nine out of 10 claims resulted in the system being returned to pre-loss condition. In fact, HVACi is concerned that HVAC manufacturers may be experiencing too much leakage. Nevertheless, at least 10% of all claims are denied, and that is usually the point at which the homeowner learns they made a mistake that voided the coverage.
Failure to Validate the Warranty
The number one issue that occurs with HVAC warranties is when homeowners don’t validate their warranties. A major portion of the denied claims mentioned above involves a customer making a claim only to learn that the unit is not registered and that there is nothing the company can do. It is worth mentioning that in some cases, there is a standard warranty that does not require registration but is expanded if the unit is registered within a short period of it being sold and installed. With a company like ours, we will provide the customer all the paperwork he or she needs and provide guidance on what needs to be done next. In most cases, registration can be done online and in just a short period.
Failure to Keep and Organize Required Documentation
HVAC warranties have requirements, and when it comes time to accept or reject a claim, the manufacturer can request all pertinent documentation and reject you if you are not able to provide it. To be on the safe side, the experts recommend setting up a folder in your filing cabinet at the time of the installation. File every document and receipt you receive concerning installation, maintenance, repairs, and any purchases that you make yourself.
Skipping Annual Maintenance or Doing it Yourself
The biggest requirement among those mentioned in the previous section—and the one most likely to prove a stumbling block—is annual maintenance. Almost all HVAC warranties require annual maintenance performed by a licensed technician. If you had an air conditioner and a furnace installed, for instance, you need to schedule air conditioner maintenance each spring and furnace maintenance each fall. Your technician will provide documentation of the inspection and any maintenance, and these are the documents you will want to store in your filing cabinet. Note that most warranties do not allow do-it-yourself repairs, and even a minor DIY fix has the potential to void your entire warranty. Annual maintenance is a good idea in general because it allows you to get more life out of your HVAC system and help to prevent problems during extreme weather that keep you and your family without heating or cooling due to a poorly maintained system.
Improper Installation by a Non-Approved Installer
The company you choose is an important part of the process, and a poor choice absolutely could result in you losing the coverage you deserve. There are a number of different factors to consider when it comes to HVAC installation. One is local building codes. After your system is installed, a local building inspector will come out and sign off on the install. But it is worth mentioning that HVAC manufacturers often have standards that go above and beyond local building codes. If an installer does not meet the standard of the particular manufacturer, it could put your warranty coverage in jeopardy. The benefits of choosing an authorized dealer include an assured skill level and experience, and the manufacturer will stand behind the coverage even if that installer made a mistake.
Using Unapproved Parts as Opposed to OEM Products
Some parts may be covered by your HVAC warranty. More expansive coverage can often be acquired by paying for an extended warranty, which may or may not be worth it, depending on the many factors involved. If a repair is covered, then the manufacturer will work with the technician to ensure that the appropriate part is being installed. What if a repair is uncovered and you have to foot the bill? You are still required to adhere to the requirements of the warranty, and most warranties require that any repairs be done with OEM—original equipment manufacturer—parts. Aftermarket parts can often save you some money, but if you opt for them, there is a chance it voids your warranty.
Upgrades and/or Moving the Unit
Although relocating an HVAC unit is not common, it is almost guaranteed to void your warranty. Upgrades are another aspect to consider. What if you want to add a humidifier to your furnace? Would that void your warranty? It could. Ideally, you are working with the same company that installed the equipment, and they can communicate with the manufacturer to ensure everything is done as required. As with OEM replacement parts, you can likely expect the manufacturer to limit your options.
Damage to the Unit
Be mindful that HVAC warranties generally only cover equipment defects. They do not cover wear and tear, and they do not cover damage—accidental or otherwise. When damage to HVAC equipment occurs, it is generally a homeowner expense unless some specialized form of coverage was purchased. Homeowner insurance generally does not cover damage to HVAC equipment. Two notable exceptions include when damage is due to vandalism or a fallen tree.
Not Transferring the Warranty if Eligible
This advice is provided for the person who is purchasing an existing home and may be covered by the existing warranty that currently protects the seller. Most major HVAC manufacturers do allow warranties to be transferred but require that the policy be transferred actively. In other words, it is not an automatic process. Often, this is negotiated as part of the sales agreement. There is usually a transfer fee involved, and whether this expense falls on the seller or the buyer depends on the circumstances.
Your HVAC Warranty Experts in El Cajon
SDAC Heating & Air Conditioning is a highly experienced HVAC company that takes great pride in serving homeowners in El Cajon and throughout the surrounding areas. Our approach to customer service has earned us BBB accreditation with an A+ rating and excellent review scores on Facebook, Google, and Yelp. Much of the HVAC equipment we sell and install comes with a manufacturer-backed warranty, and we have the experience you can rely on to know that you will be covered if it comes to that. Our services include installation, maintenance, and repair of both heating and cooling equipment. We also specialize in indoor air quality and provide services related to ventilation, filters, air purifiers, and UV lights. Call today or contact us online for more details about our services or to schedule an appointment!