You want to know the #1 reason Florida homeowners have their air conditioner warranty claims denied?
They didn’t have their AC regularly maintained by an HVAC professional.
Just about every air conditioner manufacturer now mandates that you have your air conditioner maintained to keep your AC warranty valid. Here are some examples.
From Lennox’s warranty card:
Notice the key sentence here: “Failure to provide maintenance per Lennox instructions will void this warranty.”
And from Trane:
Again, the key sentence is, “Failure to conform to such specifications and/or instructions shall void this limited warranty.”
Carrier is a bit softer, but the implication is the same:
Manufacturers know that when a system is properly maintained, it needs fewer repairs. And they don’t want to pay for problems that could have easily been avoided.
So your AC needs maintenance to keep from voiding its warranty. But before you rush out and call the first company that leaves a coupon on your door, you should know something else: not all AC maintenance counts towards keeping your warranty valid.
To make sure you don’t void your warranty, get maintenance that is:
- More than just a visual inspection
- Performed by an HVAC professional
- Done at least every year
- Written down and recorded
Let’s take a look at each of these in a little more depth...
Note: The following items should cover required maintenance for any new air conditioner system. However, all manufacturers have slightly different requirements. Refer to the documentation you got when your air conditioner was installed for specifics.
Actual maintenance, not just a visual inspection
A good AC maintenance visit can take 1 to 2 hours and will include:
- Inspection of air filters with replacement or cleaning as needed
- Inspection and cleaning of the blower wheel housing and motor
- Inspection and, if required, cleaning of indoor and outdoor coils
- Inspection of the indoor coil drain pan, as well as the primary and secondary drain lines. If the system has an auxiliary drain pan and line, they should be inspected at this time, as well. Service should include cleaning, if required.
- Check all electrical wiring and connections
- Check for secure physical connections of individual parts in each unit
- Operation check of the system to determine actual working condition. Necessary repair and/or adjustment should be performed at this time.
This is important because some AC companies offer a free (or really cheap—like $19) AC checkup. But all this includes is a visual inspection.
That means they come into your home, spend 10-15 minutes looking over your AC and then attempt to sell you something (likely a whole new system). Not only will this not count as your regular maintenance, but it’s a bait and switch!
Performed by an HVAC professional
While some warranties are vague on this, most are very clear: the person doing the maintenance has to be a trained, licensed professional AC technician.
So you can’t just have a friend do it or attempt to do it yourself.
The reason? Someone not correctly trained could actually do more harm than good while attempting to maintain your system.
At least once per year
Lennox, Carrier, Trane and most other manufacturers state that the air conditioner should get professional maintenance annually.
For heat pumps, they require you have it tuned up twice a year: once before summer and then again before winter.
Keep a record of all maintenance that’s done on your air conditioner. Should there be a problem that’s covered under warranty later, you’ll need to be able to prove that you had the maintenance done.
The best option: A maintenance plan
A good maintenance plan from an AC company includes the maintenance that your manufacturer requires (all of the above) for a small monthly price.
But many also have additional benefits, such as:
- Priority service. If something does go wrong, you jump to the front of the queue before non priority members, so you’re less likely to wait all day for an AC repair tech.
- Discounts. Depending on the company and plan, you can get discounts on service calls, repairs and other services the company offers.
- Longer warranties. Most repairs come with a standard 30- to 90-day warranty. But if you have a maintenance plan, you can get much longer warranties (up to 10 years).
Need AC maintenance or interested in a maintenance plan? Contact Cool Today to get started.
Cool Today provides award-winning air conditioning service to Sarasota, Florida and the surrounding areas like Bradenton, Tampa and Port Charlotte.
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