Are Air Conditioner Warranties Worth It?
Air conditioner warranties often trouble homeowners. It’s hard to decide which new cooling system offers the right warranty terms for you. In Indianapolis, Indiana, Williams Comfort Air knows the difficulties associated with air conditioner warranties. We want to help you make the right decision!
Warranties sometimes hide important information in their writing, so we cover the most essential components to look for in a warranty. Air conditioners need warranties to ensure the performance of your system while providing security to you. Let’s take a look at everything and anything related to warranties for air conditioners!
What to Look for in Air Conditioner Warranties
Many homeowners don’t know what to expect with their air conditioner warranty. Luckily, there are a few things to look for when you choose the best warranty for you and your home. These are all important components of air conditioner warranties, so make sure you check if the warranty mentions these things.
- Term of warranty. The strength of good air conditioner warranties is contingent on how long they last. In general, HVAC systems last about 20 years or more. As a homeowner, you want to make sure the warranty lasts as long as possible. In most cases, warranties last around 10 years. However, some last as short as 5.
- Parts warranties. Sometimes, warranties cover different parts of the system for varying lengths of time. This is because some parts may not experience issues as soon as others. Some replacement parts are on the pricey side, so make sure crucial parts have good warranties on them in case you need an emergency repair or replacement.
- Extended warranty. Manufacturers occasionally offer extended warranties for your air conditioner. These offers add 5 to 10 years to parts or labor coverage. Of course, purchasing this kind of warranty comes with its own set of issues. Because this offer only covers parts and labor, it may point to the ineffectiveness of the system. Carefully consider this option before making a commitment.
- Voiding information. All contracts have tricky wording, no matter what kind of offer. Homeowners often don’t know the ins and outs of air conditioner warranties, so tiny mistakes lead to warranty voids. An entire list of potential pitfalls comes later in the blog post, so stick around until the end for those.
- Installation. Warranties to the system don’t cover the actual installation in most cases. If the unit gets damaged or improperly installed, the issues aren’t covered by the regular warranty. When that happens, you have to pay for the repair or reinstallation even if the problems weren’t your fault. This is the reason why installation warranties are so important. They cover the installation in case it is improperly installed. This is often called a labor warranty and is offered by the contractor who performs installation.
All of these key components are crucial to research before investing in a new air conditioning system. Every brand does their warranties differently, so be sure to review them before you decide on a system.
What Happens Without Air Conditioner Warranties?
Air conditioner warranties provide homeowners with a safety net. If your unit ever needs repairs or part replacements, the warranty ensures those tasks are financially manageable. But what happens if you accidentally void the warranty and have to go without it, or if you experience a breakdown with a component not covered by warranty?
Most importantly, homeowners must pay much more for repairs and replacements without the warranty. Some repairs get pricey even with a good warranty. However, those expenses practically double without a functional warranty. Here are some of the more expensive repairs homeowners face.
- Refrigerant leaks. Refrigerant leaks are common in frequently used air conditioners or older systems. Because it’s dangerous, any refrigerant problems must be handled by a professional, so there’s no getting around this service. Most warranties don’t cover labor costs either, so you likely still have to pay for the actual leak detection.
- Fan motor. Fan motors are used to propel the fans in your air conditioner. The fans blow the cool air into your home. When the motors fail or malfunction, the air conditioner fails to effectively cool the space. This makes the fan motor replacements particularly pricey.
- Refrigerant refills. Similar to refrigerant leaks, refrigerant refills must be done by trained HVAC technicians. We’ve already learned labor costs are not a part of many warranties, so you’ll be paying for both the refill and the technician.
- Air compressor. Air compressors are likely the most expensive part on an air conditioner to replace. Air conditioner warranties often have separate part warranties for it because of how pricey it gets to replace. Expect to pay over a thousand dollars for this replacement without a warranty.
- Thermostat. In comparison to the air compressor, thermostat replacements and repairs seem like chump change. However, they still cost enough to inconvenience most homeowners. Depending on the type of thermostat, the cost varies from under $100 to $250 or more.
- Whole system. Here’s the biggest cost of all. Whole air conditioning system installations, repairs, and replacements cost well over a few thousand dollars. Many homeowners already have to use payment plans to pay for a new system. Replacements of a system out of warranty often cost more than what the homeowner pays to begin with. Costs pile up when you have to take into account labor costs, the cost of the new unit, and a new warranty!
These high costs are almost entirely avoidable with proper air conditioner warranties. As stated, these warranties not only protect the air conditioner, but the homeowner as well. Because of that, frequently refer back to your warranty contract to make sure you are following its guidelines. There are several pitfalls to avoid, so let’s take a look at those next.
Accidental Voids of Air Conditioner Warranties
After learning the negative effects of accidentally voiding air conditioner warranties, it’s crucial to make sure homeowners avoid common pitfalls hidden in contracts. Homeowners likely don’t realize the smallest of mistakes lead to complete voids of their warranty. Make sure to steer clear of these common mistakes to ensure your warranty stays valid.
- Registration failure. Failures to register your air conditioner warranty result in complete voids of the contract. Most homeowners don’t even realize they have to register their warranty for it to even begin. In the best cases, homeowners forget to fill out their warranty information and have to scramble to get it together when they need maintenance—which delays their repairs. However, in the worst cases, the warranty completely voids.
- Off-brand replacement parts. Many homeowners try to replace parts of their air conditioner with off-brand parts. Usually, these off-brand parts cost less and are easier to obtain than manufacturer parts. However, use of off-brand parts actually voids air conditioner warranties.
- Improper installation. Improper installation of air conditioners are not covered under warranties. That’s why it’s important to invest in installation warranties. If a problem occurs due to improper installation, the warranty does not cover any repair or replacement relating to the incorrect installation Be sure to contact a qualified HVAC technician from Williams Comfort Air for proper work the first time around!
- Service by unlicensed technician. Even when you have no pennies to spare, it’s never a good idea to hire an unlicensed technician to service your air conditioner. The actual service may be improperly done, and it voids your warranty. Make sure to only hire professional, licensed technicians to work on your air conditioner when things go wrong.
- No annual maintenance. Annual maintenance not only ensures the longevity of your system. It keeps your warranty valid too. Manufacturers want to make sure they don’t have to cover any preventable repairs or replacements, so they include this tricky clause in their contracts to ensure they only pay for unexpected issues.
- Documentation. Finally, be able to prove you received annual maintenance with the right documentation. To be on the safe side, keep all documents relating to maintenance visits, repairs, replacements, and the like. Keep these documents in a safe, memorable place! You don’t want to scramble for the right documents when your warranty is in question.
With these pitfalls laid out here, homeowners know how to keep their warranties valid. Most importantly, avoidance of these issues ensures homeowners pay as little as possible for their repairs and replacements.
Contact Us About Air Conditioner Warranties
Air conditioner warranties seem scary, but they are easy to understand once you learn what most cover. In general, warranties want to make sure they only pay for repairs and replacements when the part or system fails from old age. Luckily, with annual maintenance from Williams Comfort Air in Indianapolis, you never have to worry about those warranty voids!
For more information on air conditioners or other HVAC needs, visit our website or give us a call. Our trained technicians are happy to help you with any HVAC problem you have. When you call, you receive a free service estimate and we schedule your maintenance visit right there on the phone.