Approximately 2.5 to 3 million residential air conditioners and furnaces fail each year, according to figures compiled by the United States Census Bureau. Out of more than 133 million residential homes in the country, that’s a very small percentage. However, for homeowners building a new home, or, facing the prospect of having to replace their residential central heat and air system, it’s very important. Of course, you want to make the right decision, and, know what’s covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. After all, everyone knows that parts and labor for repairs can be expensive.
Manufacturer’s Warranty on Central Heat and Air Units
The good news is, the average lifespan of a central heat and air system ranges between 15 and 20 years, according to the United States Department of Energy. Because of this longevity, manufacturers continue to make parts available for both new and used units. What’s more, today’s units are quite energy efficient, using 30 to 50 percent less power to heat and cool than units manufactured in the 1970’s. If your current HVAC system is 10 years old, a new system would reap a savings of 20 to 40 percent.
Air conditioning warranties are key to ensuring that AC systems will last for many years. Before purchasing central air conditioning, ask for—and read—its warranty and be sure you understand the terms and restrictions. Air conditioning warranties can vary significantly from one manufacturer to another. A warranty may cover most of the unit under one set of terms or offer differing coverage on various parts of the air conditioner. —Home Tips.com
To get the most out of a central residential heating and cooling system, it must be properly sized and installed. If it is under-sized, it will run for longer periods of time to try and achieve the desired temperature, wasting energy and creating an uncomfortable living environment. If the unit is over-sized, it will require more power than necessary to heat and cool a home.
Although the majority of residential HVAC systems will function for many years without a problem, there are instances where parts fail. This can be due to a number of reasons, but, among the most common are incorrectly matched parts, faulty installation, water seepage into a sealed system, and electrical damage. Because component failure is a possibility, manufacturers offer warranties on central heat and air units. Though the particulars differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, there are commonalities. Here are the conditions you can generally expect to find with a manufacturer’s warranty for a residential central heat and air system:
- A five year warranty. Usually, residential heating and cooling units will come with a five year manufacturer’s warranty; with the warranty period beginning on the date of installation. Typically, manufacturers offer extended warranties for critical parts, for a fee.
- Coverage for parts failure. Generally, manufacturers require the system to be examined by a licensed HVAC contractor. The technician determines the cause of the failure, and, if it’s due to a manufacturing defect, the warranty can be used.
- Warranty transfer. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers allow their warranties to transfer when a home is sold to a new owner, it only applies to the owner who purchased the unit. Although, other manufacturers do allow for warranty transfer when a home is sold.
If your central heat and air unit isn’t working properly or not functioning at all, do not assume the warranty will cover the repair. Go to the unit and write down the model number, serial number, and, if possible, the date of installation. Contact the manufacturer to learn if the warranty is still valid and what parts it covers.