Your HVAC warranty can help to protect you and pay for repairs in case your system breaks down. However, warranties are not foolproof coverage for all repairs. Unfortunately, there are all sorts of routine steps that can end up voiding your warranty. To avoid unexpected surprises, you need to check your warranty carefully and avoid doing certain things.
1. Not Registering Your Warranty
This is actually one of the most common reasons a warranty is voided. Most people assume their warranty is automatic and kicks in the second they purchase a system. However, the reality is that most warranties need to be properly registered. This is a fairly quick process that usually just involves submitting some paperwork.
However, if you procrastinate or forget to do it, you can end up with a lot of issues. Warranties typically contain a clause that voids them if they’re not registered within a certain period of time. Even if your warranty is not voided, skipping registration will make it harder to get repairs later on. Your company may struggle to retrieve essential information and confirm your warranty.
2. Improperly Installing Your HVAC System
Poor installation is another issue that can void your warranty right from the start. When you try to get coverage from your warranty, the company will take a close look at the installation process. If you tried to do the installation yourself or ignored standard HVAC regulations, your warranty might be voided.
Proper installation is essential because it helps to reduce problems later on. If you get the system installed incorrectly, little issues like a loose fitting can end up causing the whole HVAC unit to break down. To avoid claims that improper installation caused the problem, you need to work with a licensed HVAC contractor who is trained to handle your type of system.
3. Ignoring Suggested Repairs
If the HVAC manufacturer can show you were aware of a problem but did nothing to address it, your warranty might be voided. Many warranties include the expectation that the owner will handle basic repairs. For example, if a tree fell on your condenser unit and cracked the housing, you would need to get that fixed. If you ignored the problem because the HVAC seemed to be running just fine, your warranty might not cover later issues.
This method of warranty-voiding does not come up a lot, since it’s hard for the warranty company to prove you knew about an issue, but it’s still worth knowing about. You should never just shrug off fixable problems with an HVAC system. Because HVAC systems are complex systems with a lot of interconnected parts, a problem in one component can end up affecting the whole unit.
4. Not Replacing Broken Parts With the Right Components
If something does break down and require replacement, make sure you go with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. OEM parts are made by the same company that made your system. These parts are carefully tested to ensure they’re fully compatible with your system. Using aftermarket parts can save you a small amount of money, but it will usually void your warranty.
The reality is that most aftermarket parts will function just fine. However, the problem is that you can’t guarantee they will work just like the original part. The manufacturer will then claim that it can’t be responsible for the system’s performance after you put random parts in it. To avoid this issue, you need to make sure that your HVAC repair technician uses approved OEM parts for your repair.
5. Skipping Your Annual HVAC Maintenance
Typically, HVAC warranties will require you to get maintenance. Maintenance is important because it helps your HVAC system run to the best of its ability. If you skip maintenance, things like dust buildup or gradually loosened fixtures can end up causing major problems.
The usual warranty requires you to get professional maintenance once a year. However, check your warranty carefully, because some may have some other maintenance-related requirements. Fortunately, following this warranty guideline actually reduces the chance of you needing repairs in the first place. Proper maintenance helps to extend the lifespan of your system.
6. Not Getting Proof of Proper Maintenance or Repairs
Sometimes, HVAC warranties get voided due to mistakes in paperwork. Even when you do everything right, keep in mind that you might have to prove you did everything correctly. For example, if you get maintenance, you need to show that you maintained the system. When you get repairs, you need to show that a licensed contractor was the one working on your HVAC system.
To keep your warranty, you just need to stay organized. Make sure you get a service receipt after each visit and store them all alongside your warranty. Try to make a note of when you conduct things like maintenance, filter changes, and repairs. Some warranties might want further documentation, so check to see if you need to ask your HVAC technician for an inspection report or other routine paperwork.
7. Trying to Do DIY Repairs
When you notice something wrong with your HVAC system, your first instinct might be to grab a screwdriver and start poking around inside. However, this is a bad idea. It will usually end up voiding your warranty. Even if the repairs work and you call a professional out to fix whatever other problems you’re dealing with, evidence of DIY repairs can be enough to void your warranty.
Warranties usually require you to work with licensed HVAC contractors, because the company issuing the warranty wants to ensure that a fully trained professional is handling the system. Even if you’re mechanically minded and good at DIY jobs, it’s easy to make mistakes when messing around with your HVAC system. Something small such as confusing two components could end up damaging your whole system and voiding your warranty.
8. Damaging the System Yourself
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that the warranty is meant to cover defects that happened while the equipment was being produced. It will help with things like a misshaped fan or a belt made from inferior material. However, if the damage is your fault, the warranty could be voided.
You will need to read your warranty carefully to see what sorts of damage may void the warranty. Things like a flood from broken pipes, using the incorrect wiring, or failing to secure the device properly can all end up causing problems for you. In some cases, damage you cause just means your warranty will not help repair that specific damage. However, for some types of damage, you being at fault could end up voiding your entire warranty.
To avoid any accidental problems with your HVAC warranty, it’s important to always work with professionals. Friar's Heating and Air of San Diego is here to assist you with all your HVAC problems. Our highly trained professionals can maintain, repair, and install all sorts of heating and cooling systems. Contact us today to learn more.