Updated September 2023
Your new air conditioner or heater likely came with a manufacturer’s warranty. This agreement covers certain parts, replacements, and repairs. It’s a firm guarantee to safeguard you from faulty equipment, and it can save you thousands of dollars over the lifespan of your system. Unfortunately, however, there are several things that you can do to void this agreement, even if they’re done inadvertently. Let’s consider six warranty mistakes that every San Antonio homeowner should avoid.
1. Not Registering Your Warranty
One of the most common mistakes that homeowners make is failing to register their warranties after their new equipment has been installed. When products come with these guarantees, the assumption is that they’re automatically active and available. However, there’s always paperwork that you have to complete and submit before your warranty will become active. Don’t make the mistake of tossing this paperwork to the side and forgetting to return to it. Attempting to complete it several months or years after a product has been installed and after problems have already cropped up could be too little, too late.
Often, homeowners can quickly register their warranties online. If you fail to take this simple step, you may have a hard time submitting a repair or parts replacement request. Worse still, if you wait too long, your unregistered warranty could be considered null and void. The best way to spare yourself the hardships and delays that late registration or non-registration can cause is by completing the necessary paperwork or online forms right away.
2. Incorrect Installation
There are many things that can go wrong during a heater or air conditioner installation, especially if you put the wrong person in charge of the job. Thus, it’s always best to hire a licensed HVAC contractor to complete this project for you. In fact, most HVAC equipment manufacturers require it. Your manufacturer won’t honor your warranty if the unit or any of its components are damaged during the installation process. You won’t get warranty coverage if parts are left out or if connections are faulty. In some instances, an air conditioner or heater may not be warranted if it’s improperly sized for the home. Models that are too large or too small for the covered area can break down more quickly. You can avoid these and all other issues by simply hiring the job out to qualified professionals from the very outset.
3. Taking Do-It-Yourself Maintenance Too Far
Homeowners can and should take a few steps to keep their systems clean and properly functioning. Diligent maintenance is key for enjoying optimum performance and maximum HVAC system efficiency. However, there are certain things that you should never attempt to do by yourself. This is just as true for troubleshooting problems as it is for general heating and cooling equipment care. For instance, although you can change your HVAC system’s air filter and perform light dusting across certain interior and exterior components, some parts are covered in a protective casing that should never be removed by anyone but a licensed professional. Taking the cover off any HVAC motors will automatically void your warranty. This is important to remember even if you have a friend, co-worker, or family member who’s familiar with HVAC products but unlicensed. If certain tasks are performed by anyone who’s not a licensed HVAC contractor, your warranty could be in trouble.
4. Failing to Properly Document HVAC Maintenance
One of the absolute best ways to avoid voiding your warranty is by reading through the agreement carefully. The provisions made in HVAC warranties are hardly one-sided. Just as you expect the equipment manufacturer to replace defective parts and correct problems with shoddy design or workmanship, you’re required to provide your equipment with a specific standard of care. This care goes beyond the routine filter changes that you can take care of on your own. Your HVAC equipment manufacturer likely has guidelines for regular inspections and tune-ups that you must follow. When submitting a warranty repair request, the only way to reliably prove that you’ve stayed on top of these tasks is by having all HVAC services properly documented. This is another excellent reason to only hire licensed HVAC technicians for ongoing HVAC maintenance. If you do the job yourself or if you contract it out to a general handyman, you won’t be able to prove to the equipment manufacturer that you’ve fulfilled your end of the bargain.
5. Having the Wrong Replacement Parts Installed
The only parts that should be installed in your heater or air conditioner are factory OEM parts. Installing a single off-brand component can void your entire warranty even if you submit a warranty request for a problem relating to a different part. Installing potentially non-compatible products or parts that weren’t designed and approved by the original equipment manufacturer can lead to wear and tear in other areas, outright system failure or a decreased system lifespan. Although it might seem cheaper to buy off-brand parts now, you could be responsible for paying out hundreds if not thousands of dollars in repairs in the future.
6. Skipping Yearly Maintenance
No matter what the heating or cooling equipment manufacturer has specified for ongoing care, the one thing that all companies require is annual service. More specifically, this annual service must be provided by licensed HVAC professionals. In some instances, it may even be necessary to work with technicians who are certified to work with the specific equipment brand that you own. This is an important expense that can save you significant sums of money. Missing annual maintenance appointments or delaying them could leave you responsible for all parts replacement and repair costs going forward.
Understanding the Difference Between Manufacturer and Installer Warranties
Just as reputable HVAC equipment manufacturers are willing to stand behind their products, reputable HVAC installers stand behind the work they perform. When you hire an HVAC company to put your heater or air conditioner in, they’ll assume responsibility for any damages caused by their installation efforts. Best of all, the trained technicians who perform these jobs can easily ascertain whether parts were damaged due to faulty workmanship or due to poor design and manufacturing. They’re used to working with HVAC manufacturers, and they can assist you in getting your faulty equipment repaired or replaced when warranty issues arise. If nothing else, they can give you helpful information for reporting problems and advise you on whom to call and when.
Much like manufacturer warranties, installer warranties have terms and conditions as well. Thus, whenever you buy any new HVAC equipment, always spend some time reading through both agreements. By carefully following the requirements that have been set forth in your warranties, you can keep the related protections intact all throughout the lifespan of your new boiler, furnace, or AC unit.
At Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating, we’ve been serving the Greater San Antonio community since 1990. We offer a broad selection of heating, cooling and plumbing products that we’re competent to install, repair and maintain. We also provide custom duct cleaning and duct repair services, indoor air quality services, remodeling services and more.