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Decoding Heating and Air Conditioning Warranties.

Please keep in mind, this article is focused on residential warranties only. Commercial and industrial warranties are COMPLETELY different. Warranties can also vary from brand to brand, but for the most part there are many similarities. Also, please understand this article is written and intended for consumers in the southern part of the United States.

Quick Definitions:

Manufacturer: The company that makes HVAC equipment.

Dealer: The company who installs and services HVAC equipment. These are the people you are dealing with 99.9% of the time. These are the air conditioning and heating contractors, like us Wolverton Air.

Warranties for each component should be as follows when registered (we will talk about registration in a bit), these warranties are called “Extended Warranties”:

  • Condensers (Outside unit):
  • Manufacturer: 10 Year Parts, 10 Year Compressor
  • Evaporator Coils (Inside AC Unit, no blower):
  • Manufacturer: 10 Year Parts
  • Gas Furnaces (Inside Heat Unit, and blower):
  • Manufacturer:20 Year Heat Exchanger, 10 Year Parts
  • Air Handlers (Inside AC/Heat unit and blower):
  • Manufacturer: 10 Year Parts

What each means:

Parts: Parts includes everything that the manufacturer assembled or made on the piece of equipment itself and is affixed to the unit. In other words, the parts warranty covers almost everything that comes in the box. There are a few exceptions to this:

  • Refrigerant is never covered. This is one of the few things that is universal across all HVAC manufacturers. Sometimes even if the unit is dead on arrival (DOA) the manufacturer may not cover refrigerant.
  • Parts that come in the box but are “loose” and not factory affixed to the unit. These are usually minor in nature or rarely fail inside the warranty period. These parts usually have their own warranties which are typically 1 Year.
  • Parts that are external to the unit. While these parts may be purchased at the same place as your equipment these parts are typically chosen by your dealer and have their own warranties provided by their own manufacturer. For example: You may purchase a Carrier Air Conditioning System but have a Honeywell thermostat on the wall. Even though that thermostat was purchased (perhaps) from Carrier it is Honeywell that services the warranty for that part. So that Honeywell thermostat has a separate warranty and is not covered under Carrier’s Parts Warranty.

Compressor: The compressor is the “beating heart” of the air conditioning system. Without it the air conditioning will not work. Most of the time the compressor is manufactured by a separate company. To use a car analogy, think of the compressor as the engine. Sometimes GM or Ford will purchase engines from someone else and put those engines in their vehicles. Same thing here. The only difference is that for most of the HVAC industry this practice is standard. Makers of compressors provide their own warranties, and thus the warranty is often listed separately. However, please keep in mind that the warranty is serviced by whoever assembled the unit. So, if you purchased a Carrier outside unit, and the Emerson Copeland compressor failed Carrier will take care of the compressor warranty.

Heat Exchanger: The Heat Exchanger for a Gas Furnace is the most important part of the heating system. It has the longest warranty out of everything mostly because it is so simple, and nowadays extremely well built. Out of everything this is most likely to last beyond the date of the warranty. At least in the south.

What’s not listed:

You will notice that Labor is not listed at all. This is because the manufacturer expects the dealer to cover the labor warranty. Keep in mind a few things:

  • All manufacturers do not require dealers in any meaningful way to have a labor warranty.
  • Industry standard for labor warranties is usually 1 Year from date of installation.
  • As of this date of writing no HVAC manufacturer has true manufacturer labor warranties. All are through a third party.
What is registration?

Registration is where either you or I lock in the serial number of the equipment installed to two things:

  1. You the homeowner.
  2. The address.

The dealer can register the equipment, or you the customer can register the equipment. If the installed equipment is not registered within 90 days of installation (or within 90 days of the “ship” date, the date in which the dealer picked up the equipment from the manufacturer) the manufacturer warranties of all equipment installed is lowered to HALF of what is above. All HVAC manufacturer consider these warranties “Standard Warranties”.

For example:

Non-Registered Equipment:

Compressor: 5 Years

Parts: 5 Years

Heat Exchanger: 10 Years

Labor warranty is usually not affected.


Ask your dealer if they are going to register or not. Some larger dealers take care of this aspect for you, others do not. There is no industry standard or requirements for registration.

If your system was purchased, installed and REGISTERED after 2021 the manufacturer’s warranty is transferable to a new homeowner without incurring a fee and without a reduction in warranty terms. In the past the new homeowner would only get half of the original registered warranty, and then they would only get that warranty from the original installation date. So, if you sold your home 5 years and 1 day after you installed a new HVAC system the new homeowner would have no warranty. Thanks to Texas bill HB 2110, if the original system was registered, then a new homeowner will receive the benefit as if they were the original purchaser.



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