Are Air Conditioner Warranties Worth It?

Technician discussing an air conditioner warranty with client - Thomas & Galbraith Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing

Decoding air conditioner warranties is a difficult part of purchasing new cooling equipment. To learn about warranties, homeowners often spend hours weighting the pros and cons of each plan. Fortunately, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Thomas & Galbraith outlines those characteristics for you. Our trained HVAC technicians have all the information you need to make this important decision.

 

Occasionally, warranties use clever wording to hide how the warranty voids. We go over some of the most essential components to look for in a warranty. Air conditioner warranties need careful consideration, so take the proper time to choose the best warranty for you. 

 

What Do I Look for in Air Conditioner Warranties?

A lot of homeowners don’t know what to expect with air conditioner warranties. Terms and conditions are hard to figure out between brands, so there are key components to look out for in the writing. Of all the characteristics, the ones listed below are the most important to keep in mind. 

 

  • Installation. Installations are rare in manufacturer warranties. Because installations are done by contractors rather than manufacturers, system warranties hardly ever have installation clauses. If the unit gets installed incorrectly, any problems from poor installation have no coverage. Even if the problems have nothing to do with you, you have to pay for the repairs or replacements. Installation warranties protect homeowners from problems with installation – this is something that may be offered by your contractor, separate from the included manufacturer’s equipment warranty.
  • Parts. Warranties for parts differ from total system warranties. Because some parts are more crucial to the system than others, they have separate warranties. These often have different timeframes depending on what kind of part it is. Some parts are more expensive to replace or repair, so they have longer warranties than others. 
  • Extended warranties. Air conditioner dealers and manufacturers occasionally offer extended warranties for air conditioners. Offers like this add a period of time to the warranty for parts. Warranties like this come with their own set of rules. However, they sometimes point to systems with a great need for repairs or replacements. Think about all the options available when committing to this warranty.
  • Voiding information. Homeowners fall into traps in the terms and conditions. Be careful with the way the warranty words its terms. Some of the smallest mistakes void a warranty, so make sure you understand the terms before you register the warranty. You’ll find a whole list of potential pitfalls listed below.
  • Timeframe. Many air conditioner warranties last around 10 years. However, the system itself lasts close to 20 years. Good air conditioner warranties offer coverage for the most time, to protect you for most of the equipment’s expected lifespan. Some warranties last close 12 years, but those are rare.

 

Be sure to take all of these key components into account when choosing a warranty. Every brand explains their warranties differently, but good ones outline these subsets. Air conditioner warranties require a close eye, so take your time to review the terms and conditions.

 

Expenses Without Air Conditioner Warranties

Without air conditioner warranties, homeowners forgo protection from many costly repairs and replacements. Units with warranties are cheaper to repair and replace than units without. Finances get tight when repairs and replacements are a part of the conversation. Hidden conditions cause homeowners to void their warranties on accident. 

 

Homeowners pay more for repairs and replacements without air conditioner warranties. Larger expenses are hard to expect, but without a warranty those costs are often difficult to manage out of nowhere. Even with a warranty, these repairs and replacements reach high prices, because often repairs involve multiple components and some are not always covered. These are some of the repairs and replacements with the highest cost—with and without a warranty.

 

  • Whole system. Entire system repairs or replacements are the most expensive without a doubt. Repairs and replacements for the whole system reach prices in the thousands. Occasionally, replacements without a warranty cost more than the original price of the system. Out of all the other repairs and replacements, you don’t want the entire system to go under without a warranty.
  • Air compressor. Air compressors are the most expensive part in the air conditioner. Without air conditioner warranties for the air compressor, homeowners pay hefty costs. Air compressors often have their own part warranties because of its importance to the system. Expect to pay over a thousand dollars for this replacement or repair without a warranty.
  • Fan motor. Fan motors give power to the fans in the air conditioner. Fans keep the air blowing through the home, so if the motor goes out air doesn’t circulate. Fan motors are usually covered by the warranty, but without a safety net the air conditioner stops circulating air. The warranty ensures you never go without a working fan motor.
  • Refrigerant refills. Refrigerant fixes require the help of a trained technician because of the dangers associated with the chemical compound. Refrigerant refills often cost more than other repairs because the solution requires labor costs along with the actual refrigerant itself. HVAC technicians must perform this task. Refrigerant’s cost ranges, but most are on the pricey side because of its dangers. 
  • Refrigerant leaks. Much like refrigerant refills, refrigerant leaks require the help of a trained technician. For these, there are no ways around the labor costs. To have the leaks repaired, a warranty helps the cost of the actual repair and the refrigerant itself. Because refrigerant presents many health risks, only licensed technicians are allowed to handle it. On top of the leak itself, leak detection also adds to the overall cost of this repair. 
  • Thermostat. Thermostats are the cheapest repair on this list by far. At the cheapest, thermostat repairs cost under one hundred dollars. However, without air conditioner warranties thermostat costs get as high as $250. Labor costs add to the overall price of the repair. Always remember to take the labor costs into account.

 

These high costs are almost entirely avoidable with proper air conditioner warranties. However, there are ways to accidentally void your warranty. As stated, these warranties not only protect the air conditioner, but the homeowner as well. The terms and conditions outline the rules of the warranty, so make sure to follow them. Below are a list of common mistakes homeowners make to void their warranties.

 

How to Accidentally Void Air Conditioner Warranties

Homeowners often make mistakes with their air conditioner warranties. These mistakes lead to voids in the warranty. Most of the time, homeowners try to cut costs with these common mistakes, but they actually cause voids. To combat this issue, stay up to date on the terms and conditions of your warranty. 

 

 

  • Service by unlicensed technician. Unlicensed technicians are not qualified to perform repairs, replacements, or service visits. Not only do you risk further damage to the system, the warranty becomes void. Any service done to the system by an unlicensed technician is not covered by the warranty.
  • Off-brand replacements. Replacements of parts must be directly from the manufacturer. Off-brand replacement parts are not covered under air conditioner warranties. When you use replacement parts from off-brand sources, any problems you encounter must be paid for out of pocket and without any help from the warranty. Use manufacturer parts to stay within warranties’ terms and conditions. 
  • No annual maintenance. Annual maintenance is a requirement of many air conditioner warranties. Luckily, regular maintenance does more for the air conditioner than just keep your warranty valid. Regular maintenance ensures the air conditioner always works like its brand new. Manufacturers want to make sure they only pay for unpreventable repairs and replacements, so they make homeowners schedule regular maintenance in their warranties. 
  • Documentation. Homeowners need the proper documentation to prove they received annual maintenance from a licensed technician. Without the proper documentation, even performed maintenance voids the warranty. The manufacturer needs proof of the maintenance checks, so keep these documents in a safe place. 
  • Improper installation. Air conditioner warranties stipulate proper installation to be covered by the terms and conditions. Proper installation ensures the system doesn’t have unexpected breakdowns. Installation warranties keep you safe from improper installation. Without it, you likely have to pay for problems caused by incorrect installation out of pocket.
  • Registration failure. Air conditioner warranties must be registered to be valid. Occasionally, warranties state the contract becomes void when registration fails to be completely. Most homeowners don’t know about warranty registration, which causes problems down the line. In the best cases, homeowners forget to fill out their warranty information and have to scramble to get it together when they need maintenance. This delays the repair process.

 

 

Keep the warranty valid by keeping these things in mind. Voided warranties ensure you pay for repairs and replacements at full price rather than at the warranty price. With this knowledge, steer clear from the possibility of voided air conditioner warranties. 

 

Contact Us for More About Air Conditioner Warranties

Thomas & Galbraith wants homeowners to understand their air conditioner warranties. Warranties keep homeowners safe from unexpected repairs and replacements. Stay up to date on the terms and conditions of your warranties to avoid potential voids. In Cincinnati, Ohio, homeowners trust Thomas & Galbraith with all their air conditioner needs. 

For more information on air conditioners, other HVAC needs, or to schedule a maintenance check, visit our website. Our highly qualified technicians are ready to help you with all your air conditioner warranty questions. Give us a call today for a free service estimate and to schedule your next visit!

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