A brand-new air conditioning system represents a pretty big long-term investment in your home, so the last thing you'll need is to lose the protection that your AC manufacturer's warranty provides. Unfortunately, there are plenty of ways you can inadvertently void your HVAC warranty. The following takes a look at 4 common mistakes that could cost you your warranty if you're not careful.
Mistake #1: Not Having a Qualified Technician Install Your System
Most manufacturer warranties require your new AC system to be installed by a qualified and trained HVAC contractor according to best industry practices or specific installation guidelines. Having your new system installed by someone who's not qualified or installing the system yourself could easily void your warranty.
The reasoning is simple—the manufacturer wants to be sure that your system was installed by someone with the training and expertise to get the job done the right way. Having a qualified technician also cuts down on installation mistakes that could lead to malfunctions and the resulting warranty claims later on.
Mistake #2: Poor Maintenance
Slacking off on your AC system's maintenance could prove just as bad for your warranty as having your system improperly installed. Many common AC problems stem from poor maintenance, which is why most warranties require reasonable upkeep of your equipment. If the manufacturer determines that your AC warranty claim is the result of poor maintenance, you could have your warranty voided.
Signing up for a long-term service agreement with your HVAC contractor can help you sidestep any maintenance issues that could result in a voided warranty. These plans typically range from $200 to $500 per year. Not only do most service agreements include regularly scheduled maintenance, but you'll also get perks such as priority response for emergency repairs and discounts on other services.
It's also good idea to hold onto all of your receipts and other maintenance paperwork. Such paperwork could help you prove that your AC system was properly maintained if the manufacturer asks for proof before honoring any warranty claims.
Mistake #3: Using the Wrong Parts for Repairs
Many HVAC technicians use aftermarket parts in an effort to save themselves and their customers money. Most aftermarket parts offer the same quality as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, but at a significant discount.
Although using aftermarket parts can be penny wise, it could turn out to be pound foolish if your warranty requires you to use only OEM parts when making repairs to your AC system. In some cases, repairing your AC system with aftermarket parts could be grounds for the manufacturer voiding your warranty. It's important to check the warranty to see if it mandates the use of OEM parts when replacing HVAC components.
Mistake #4: Forgetting to Return the Warranty Card
Some manufacturers include a warranty or product registration card in their new equipment paperwork. In most cases, you'll need it to register for your manufacturer's warranty. The idea behind it is for you to fill out and return the card to the manufacturer in order to register your new AC system so the manufacturer can be sure that the warranty is valid.
Unfortunately, warranty cards are often lost in the shuffle of installing a new AC system, and many homeowners forget to fill them out and mail them in. If you forget to fill yours out within the time specified by the manufacturer, you could find it much harder for the manufacturer to honor your warranty claims.
It's a good idea to make filling out your warranty card your very first priority when receiving the paperwork for your new AC system.