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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.
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”:
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:
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.
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:
Registration is where either you or I lock in the serial number of the equipment installed to two things:
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”.
Compressor: 5 Years
Parts: 5 Years
Heat Exchanger: 10 Years
Labor warranty is usually not affected.
MAKE SURE WHEN YOU BUY THAT EITHER YOU OR THE DEALER REGISTER THE EQUIPMENT!
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.
One final aspect of registration. Since the installed equipment is registered to you, the original buyer, if you sell your home the new owner will only get the REMAINDER of the NON-REGISTERED warranty. For example:
You buy a whole system, and it is registered:
10 Year Parts (all equipment), 10 Year Compressor, 20 Year Heat Exchanger.
You decide to sell your home; your closing date happens to be on the one-year anniversary of your install date. The new owner’s warranties are what’s left:
4 Year Parts (all equipment), 4 Year Compressor, 9 Year Heat Exchanger.
Manufacturer warranties, most of the time, do not transfer between homeowners.