When you purchase a new heating & air conditioning system, it comes with a standard manufacturer’s warranty. This warranty is usually only a limited 5 year part warranty. That means that diagnostic charges, labor, refrigerant, freight or any other fees will not be covered. If you have any of these “other” issues, the cost will be out of your pocket. Most of the time, if you purchase a complete system, you can register your new equipment online through the manufacturer to extend the limited part warranty out to 10 years for the original purchaser.
You can purchase extended labor warranties from 2 to 12 years depending on the warranty company and/or equipment manufacturer. The prices can seem high, ranging anywhere from around $500.00 to $1,500.00, but to most customers who have ever had to file a claim, the value far outweighs the up-front cost. The cost of parts & labor are not going down anytime in the foreseeable future, so an extended warranty is basically an insurance policy designed for the most used & most expensive appliance in your home.
Be sure to read the fine print & ask questions. Make sure you are purchasing the best plan for your needs. Some warranties will cover everything; others will have a deductible (usually not over $100.00). Some will cover parts & labor but not refrigerant.
It’s also important to know, that in order to honor the warranty, you must be able to provide proof to the manufacturer (if requested), that yearly maintenance has been performed on your equipment by a licensed professional. Customer neglect (dirty filters, no maintenance, etc…) is never covered under any circumstance.