While you might be like most people and trying to cut corners by using less energy, you might also need to install new systems from time to time. This is a huge hit to anyone’s budget but with a few elements of good decisionmaking, you can ensure you get the most out of your system. Your HVAC warranty is one of the most treacherous places where buyers struggle but it’s the cornerstone of a good future with your system.
Here are four warranty must-haves for when you make your purchase.
1. A Strong Understanding of Terms
A warranty’s term is very important to consider when you’re buying a new HVAC system. It shows you how strongly the manufacturer stands behind its system as well as how much maintenance the contractor is promising to handle.
With most HVACs being built to last at least 20 years, you want to ensure that your system makes it through that first couple of decades. If your system is only covered for the first couple of years and then falls apart, you’re going to feel ripped off. Search for warranties that have the longest term if you want to avoid paying for costly HVAC repairs.
A unit with a lifetime warranty may only be covered in terms of the actual components of the HVAC unit. When it comes to labor-related expenses, you might be on your own. In some cases, manufacturers will cover labor for the first year or two but will then leave you on your own after that.
Calculate the cost of upkeep and maintenance along with the overall cost of your system. If you’re going to be saddled with high bills because of a shoddy warranty, you might want a different system.
2. Solid Part Warranties
Just like a home or a vehicle, different components of your HVAC system will have different lifespans. This depends on the wear and tear that your system suffers, your climate, and the size of your home.
Your warranty might cover one part for just a few years while another part will be covered for its complete life. Your air conditioning compressor or your furnace heat exchanger may be especially subject to these particularities. They are some of the components that often incur the highest costs of parts and labor.
A heat exchanger might have a 20-year warranty while another component has just 10 years or less. When hiring a contractor to set up your system, get to know their own fees. Some contractors will charge their own warranty processing fees.
These fees are charged to handle the related paperwork. This can be a bit of a surprise charge when you expect that the replacement part has been covered. Ask the right questions so that you know exactly what you should expect when it comes to replacing components on your HVAC system.
3. Extended Warranties
With extended warranties, you get a few extra years to the coverage of parts and labor. This is a deal sometimes offered by either manufacturers or dealers, coming often in 5-year to 10-year increments.
If you feel that this comes to you in a sales-y type of pitch, take a step back. The quality of the system can be quickly ascertained with how hard the warranty is pushed. A shoddy system will be buttressed by all kinds of extended warranties and offers.
Make sure you know the details of the warranty starting with when it’s available. You might have to buy it in the first 90 days or its unavailable. It might also not be able to be used until a certain amount of time has passed.
Extended warranties won’t guarantee that service comes quickly. If you need service done during the busiest part of the year or during the holidays, you might end up at the back of the line. You shouldn’t be less of a priority for buying this warranty.
You should also take a look at how long the contractor has been in business. Buying a 10-year warranty from a contractor in business for just one can be a risky proposition. They might not be around to honor your warranty when it comes time to use it.
4. Knowing the Traps of Voiding Your Warranty
While buying a warranty can feel like a very responsible decision, it’s easy to void your warranty. You might also think it’s a responsible move to take a look at the unit yourself before calling a specialist. However, this simple choice can turn your warranty null and void.
Even if you hire a contractor to look at your system, you could make the wrong choice. If you don’t hire a certified licensed contractor to install the unit and repair it, you might be in trouble. Make sure you take a look at the paperwork and see proof of the installation service so that you stay on the up and up.
Then, the HVAC system needs to be registered. There might be a limited window of time for the unit to be registered and the warranty to be applied for. If you fail to meet this window, you might not be able to get a warranty at all.
When you need your system maintained, you need to use approved parts. You also need to have it looked at on a seasonal or annual basis to ensure that it’s in good and working order. Every time you have it maintained, you’ll have to save the invoices to ensure that you don’t void your warranty.
Make sure you have an installation warranty as well.
Your HVAC Warranty is Vital
Not only will your home or office be more safe and comfortable with a good HVAC system, but your HVAC warranty will keep it that way. Make the right decision to avoid later headaches.
If you want to extend the lifespan of your system, follow our guide for tips.