How long does your HVAC warranty last? What’s not included in your warranty terms? Make sure you’re covered.
When you’re shopping for a heating or cooling system for your home, don’t forget to research warranties. An HVAC unit is a major home investment, and if something goes wrong, you want to be sure you’re protected.
Whether you’re purchasing a furnace, a new air conditioning unit or a whole-house system, check the warranty, and talk to your contractor or vendor about what you can expect in the HVAC terms of service. Make sure you go with a provider whose coverage supports the level of investment you’re making.
When reviewing warranties keep the following in mind:
The Warranty Duration
These units can be costly to repair, so you’ll probably want to find the longest-term warranty available. Keep in mind that many HVAC service agreements have varying time frames for different parts. For example, 10 years for parts and 20 years for a heat exchanger is good.
Conditions for Use
All warranties have conditions under which they are valid, which often relate back to who bought the unit. Some are void once the home changes ownership.
Many warranties also require the unit to be registered within 90 days of installation to be valid.
Things That Might Invalidate Your Warranty
Even a lifetime warranty can be voided if you don’t follow the rules. Many HVAC warranties require proof that the unit has been properly maintained with routine annual maintenance — so make sure to schedule checkups and keep the paperwork somewhere safe.
Other warranties may be invalidated on day one if a certified contractor does not install the unit. Before you plan to install it yourself, make sure you read the fine print.
Even if you have a lifetime warranty, you may still get stuck with labor costs. Most warranties only cover labor for the first year, though some brands allow you to purchase extended HVAC labor warranties.
Protect yourself: The Sears Home Services Home Warranty Plan includes two free heating and cooling maintenance checks every year.