Are Air Conditioner Warranties Worth It?
Air conditioner warranties require a lot of research before you buy a new cooling system. The decision is hard when you don’t know what to look for in a warranty. Fortunately, in Louisville, Kentucky, Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling understands the struggles homeowners face when they pick a warranty. Our trained technicians are here to help you make an informed decision.
We go over some of the most essential components to look for in a warranty, as well as what you need to be careful of to protect this important coverage. Without a warranty, homeowners become exposed to costly repairs and replacements. Because of those costs, warranties are a must for all homeowners with air conditioners.
Air Conditioner Warranties: What to Look For
Homeowners don’t not know what to expect with air conditioner warranties. Even the most experienced homeowner may struggle with the terms and conditions. Luckily, there are a few things to look for when you decide on a warranty. These are all key components of warranties for air conditioners, so make sure to check if the warranty mentions these characteristics.
- Void information. Tricky wording definitely comes into play with air conditioner warranties. Homeowners often don’t know the ins and outs of the terms and conditions before they make a commitment, so tiny mistakes lead to warranty voids. An entire list of potential problems is outlined later in this post.
- Warranties for parts. Sometimes, warranties cover different parts of the system for varying lengths of time. Some parts are more expensive to replace or repair, so they have longer warranties than others. Replacements for these 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.
- Warranty timeframe. Good air conditioner warranties last as long as the air conditioner itself, but this does not always happen. Generally, HVAC systems last 20 years or more. However, the warranties last around 10 years in most cases. Great warranties last as long as 12 years, but this is a rare occurrence.
- Installation. Installation rarely comes up in manufacturer warranties. Warranties to the system don’t cover the actual installation in most cases. 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 are there to protect homeowners from these kinds of issues – ask your contractor if they provide a labor warranty.
- Extended warranties. Dealers and manufacturers occasionally offer extended warranties for air conditioners. These offers add more time to your coverage. When you purchase this kind of warranty, it comes with its own set of rules. Because this offer only covers parts and labor, it may point to poor parts or systems in need of frequent service. Consider all the options available when committing to this warranty.
All of these key components are crucial to research before investing in a warranty. Every brand outlines their warranties differently, so be sure to review them before you decide on a system. Air conditioner warranties require a close eye, so take your time to review the terms and conditions.
No Air Conditioner Warranties
Warranties ensure homeowners are protected when air conditioners need repairs. Units with warranties are cheaper to repair and replace than units without. When your unit needs fixed, the warranty ensures those tasks are financially manageable. Sometimes, warranties become void due to oversights in the terms and conditions. What happens when a warranty voids?
In this circumstance, homeowners pay more for repairs and replacements. Of course, larger payments for fixes are hard to manage when you aren’t expecting them. Further, even with a warranty some repairs lean on the expensive side. Without a warranty, those prices double. Here are a selection of the parts and repairs with the highest sticker price.
- Thermostat. Thermostats are the cheapest repair on this list. Air conditioner warranties make this low cost repair as much as a nice dinner. Without a warranty, this cost reaches as high as $250 when you add in labor costs. The type of thermostat also determines the amount of money you spend on repairs and replacements.
- Refrigerant leaks. Refrigerant leaks require the assistance of trained technicians. There’s no getting around labor costs for this repair. 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.
- Refrigerant refills. Similar to refrigerant leaks, refrigerant refills must be done by trained HVAC technicians. Though there is no fee for repairs to a leaky system, the cost to refill refrigerant does fall on the steep end. Refrigerant’s cost ranges, but most are on the pricey side because of its dangers.
- Fan motor. Fan motors are used to propel the fans in your air conditioner. The fans blow the cool air into your home. Air conditioner warranties cover fan motors in most cases, but without a warranty the fan motor must be taken care of at full price. Because the motor is essential to the air conditioner, it costs more than other parts.
- Air compressor. Air compressors cost the most out of all air conditioner parts to replace or repair. Air conditioner warranties cover air compressors for a different timeframe that the system and other parts because of how much it costs. You can expect to pay over a thousand dollars for this replacement or repair without a warranty.
- Whole system. Entire system repairs or replacements are the costliest without a doubt. Whole air conditioning system installations, repairs, and replacements cost well over a few thousand dollars. Replacements often cost more than what the homeowner paid to begin with. After all the other costs—like labor and a new warranty—homeowners are stuck with a hefty bill.
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. Frequently refer back to your warranty contract to make sure you are following its guidelines. Common mistakes lead to voided warranties, so next we discuss what those mistakes are so you know to avoid them.
Voids of Air Conditioner Warranties
Accidental voids of air conditioner warranties are surprisingly easy to fall into. Most of these mistakes stem from a want to get the best bargain, sometimes at the cost of the system on the whole. Minor mistakes lead to complete voids of a homeowner’s warranty. To combat this issue, stay up to date on the terms and conditions of your warranty.
- Improper installation. Air conditioner installation must be done correctly to have coverage in most warranties. Proper installation ensures the system doesn’t have unexpected breakdowns. Invest in installation warranties to keep you safe if the system encounters problems due to 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. Failure to register results in voids to the warranty in the worst cases. 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—which delays their repairs.
- Off-brand replacements. Because replacement parts from manufacturers get pricey, many homeowners look for off-brand parts to fix their air conditioner. Usually, these parts do the job just fine, but warranties do not cover any problems concerning off-brand parts. Use manufacturer parts to stay within warranties’ terms and conditions.
- No annual maintenance. Annual maintenance is a requirement of many air conditioner warranties. Manufacturers want to make sure they only pay for unpreventable repairs and replacements. Luckily, regular maintenance does more for your system than just keeping your warranty valid, so this condition is easy to follow.
- Service by unlicensed technician. Though hiring an unqualified technician seems tempting when money’s tight, homeowners must use licensed technicians for service checks. Not only do you risk further damage to the system, the warranty becomes void. Only professional, licensed technicians are able to work on your air conditioner to be covered by the warranty.
- Documentation. Finally, have the proper documentation to prove you received annual maintenance from a licensed technician. Keep all documents relating to maintenance visits, repairs, replacements, and the like. Keep these documents in a safe, memorable place so they don’t get lost.
Homeowners who avoid these pitfalls keep their warranties valid. Voided warranties mean you pay full price for expensive repairs and replacements. With this knowledge, steer clear from the possibility of voided air conditioner warranties.
Contact Us: Air Conditioner Warranties
Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling wants homeowners to understand their air conditioner warranties. Warranties ensure you pay as little as possible for your repairs and replacements, so stay up to date on the terms and conditions to avoid warranty voids. In Louisville, Kentucky, homeowners trust Jarboe’s to help them with their warranties.
For more information on air conditioners, other HVAC needs, or a maintenance check, visit our website. Our trained technicians are happy to help you with any HVAC problem you have. Give us a call today for a free service estimate and to schedule your next visit!