Are you in the process of buying a new HVAC system and been asked whether you want an extended warranty? Before you fork over more money, consider whether an additional warranty actually provides any real value over the standard guarantee you get free with your purchase. It may actually be more cost-effective to have a service maintenance agreement in place with your HVAC contractor.
Standard and Extended Warranties
Standard warranties vary by manufacturer, brands and models, but typically they provide protection for HVAC repair over several years. For example:
- a high-end HVAC system may come with a 10-year warranty on parts
- a lower end system may only provide a five-year warranty on parts
- the warranty includes 12 months labor cost to replace parts.
Extended warranties are supposed to add value to a standard warranty by:
- extending coverage for part replacement, and
- adding additional years for related labor costs.
An extended warranty can be provided by manufacturers, third parties (known as warranty administrators), and the HVAC contractors that supplied and installed your system.
Pros and Cons of Extended Warranties
The benefit of an extended warranty is mainly not having to incur out-of-pocket labor costs if part replacement is required after 12 months. Disadvantages seem to be more numerous, including:
- The cost of the extended warranty may be more than the cost of a maintenance agreement or service call from your HVAC contractor.
- Limitations on the warranty (and who issued it) can cause problems, such as having to pay repair costs up front, and then chase after reimbursement costs.
- You may end up paying for something you no longer want (e.g. if the system is over 10 years old it may be more efficient to have it replaced than repaired).
Deciding on an additional warranty comes down to examining the fine print, comparing warranty features, and judging the likelihood of the warranty events happening.
For more expert advice about HVAC extended warranties or any home comfort matters, please contact us at CCAC, Inc. We have been looking after the home energy needs of the Corpus Christi area since 1979.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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