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mrc
Is My HVAC Installer Legit (Yearly Inspections Required For Warranty)
mrc

I just had a quote on a new air conditioning system. The old system was purchased and installed by the same people 17 years ago (and except for a couple of repairs, worked well). With this new system they say that in order to have the warranty, they have to do yearly inspections which I guess would probably be about $89 each (if they find something wrong, who knows). And if they find something wrong, and we decide not to fix it, I imagine (but I don't know) that would void the warranty. Is this reasonable? It sounds crazy to me, but I guess we're stuck with it now.

A. Spruce
Re: Is My HVAC Installer Legit (Yearly Inspections Required For Warranty)
A. Spruce

Are you talking about the manufacturer's equipment warranty or an extended warranty provided by the dealer, because these are two totally different things.

Look through the owner's manual and check out the manufacturer's website regarding their warranty and any limitations therein. If the manufacturer says you must have yearly inspections to maintain their warranty, then that is what you must do. If there is no clear indication, then contact them and ask specifically.

As for an extended warranty, offered by the retailer, while it is not common for the retailer to add restrictions, it does happen. Since they, the retailer, are taking responsibility for the product, then they have the right to impose whatever restrictions they see fit, and it this case, yearly inspections are not out of line to ask for.

The question you have to ask yourself is, what are the odds you will need the warranty at all? If your experience has shown that the product in question won't make it to the end of warranty, then it would be in your best interests to follow the terms of the agreement, otherwise, don't worry about it.

If you purchased an extended warranty, then the procedure is basically the same, read the paperwork, if it is unclear, have the issuer's representative clarify it.

On the question of is it necessary to have your HVAC system checked yearly. On a new system, I'd say no, as the system ages, periodic checks are not a bad thing. Preventative maintenance takes care of small issues before they become big issues, at the very least, regular inspections give you a heads up to potential failures before they happen, usually at the worst possible timing.

dj1
Re: Is My HVAC Installer Legit (Yearly Inspections Required For Warranty)
dj1

1. You don't have to buy a new a/c from the same manufacturer as your 17 y.o unit.
2. You don't have to have the same installer from 17 years ago.
3. Do as Spruce indicated above.
4. With a new unit, I would concentrate on changing the filter on time. Doing so will prolong the life of the unit (unless of course it's a lemon).
5. Yearly service contract is not a necessity for the first 10 years. After 10 years annual check up is a good idea.
6. Check out the mfg's warranty, most mfgs offer similar warranties. Stay away from Carrier, look at Rheem (I recently had a positive experience with Rheem's warranty).

mrc
Re: Is My HVAC Installer Legit (Yearly Inspections Required For Warranty)
mrc

Thanks for responding... I wasn't the one who talked to the installer salesman. But I'm told it's not an extended warranty. Since the air conditioner hasn't been installed yet, we don't have an owner's manual. It will be a Goodman, so I looked at Goodman's website, but couldn't find anything that specifically stated an inspection requirement. The warranty is a 10 year warranty.

A. Spruce wrote:

Are you talking about the manufacturer's equipment warranty or an extended warranty provided by the dealer, because these are two totally different things.

Look through the owner's manual and check out the manufacturer's website regarding their warranty and any limitations therein. If the manufacturer says you must have yearly inspections to maintain their warranty, then that is what you must do. If there is no clear indication, then contact them and ask specifically.

As for an extended warranty, offered by the retailer, while it is not common for the retailer to add restrictions, it does happen. Since they, the retailer, are taking responsibility for the product, then they have the right to impose whatever restrictions they see fit, and it this case, yearly inspections are not out of line to ask for.

The question you have to ask yourself is, what are the odds you will need the warranty at all? If your experience has shown that the product in question won't make it to the end of warranty, then it would be in your best interests to follow the terms of the agreement, otherwise, don't worry about it.

If you purchased an extended warranty, then the procedure is basically the same, read the paperwork, if it is unclear, have the issuer's representative clarify it.

On the question of is it necessary to have your HVAC system checked yearly. On a new system, I'd say no, as the system ages, periodic checks are not a bad thing. Preventative maintenance takes care of small issues before they become big issues, at the very least, regular inspections give you a heads up to potential failures before they happen, usually at the worst possible timing.

mrc
Re: Is My HVAC Installer Legit (Yearly Inspections Required For Warranty)
mrc

Thanks for responding... 1. We're not, the new one will be a Goodman. 2. Yeah, I know. I did think of trying some other installer. But it seemed like a good idea to go with someone we knew from experience. But, of course, after 17 years maybe the installation company is owned by someone else. 3. good advice. 4. We do that, our 17 y.o. unit had a "change filter" indicator on the thermostat (which I suspect was really just a timer rather than a sensor if you know what I mean). But sometimes we changed the filter more often that it indicated. 5. The warranty is 10 years, so that's interesting. 6. Rheem is good, but at this point, I guess there's no turning back.

dj1 wrote:

1. You don't have to buy a new a/c from the same manufacturer as your 17 y.o unit.
2. You don't have to have the same installer from 17 years ago.
3. Do as Spruce indicated above.
4. With a new unit, I would concentrate on changing the filter on time. Doing so will prolong the life of the unit (unless of course it's a lemon).
5. Yearly service contract is not a necessity for the first 10 years. After 10 years annual check up is a good idea.
6. Check out the mfg's warranty, most mfgs offer similar warranties. Stay away from Carrier, look at Rheem (I recently had a positive experience with Rheem's warranty).

dj1
Re: Is My HVAC Installer Legit (Yearly Inspections Required For Warranty)
dj1

It looks like you have a green light. Go.

Goodman is so-so. If Rheem is a 9, then Goodman is a 6 or 7.

My experience with Goodman is that some parts are of a lesser quality, causing extra breakdowns, all in the wrong time, and when you have tenants, it's not a good thing to have breakdowns.

mrc
Re: Is My HVAC Installer Legit (Yearly Inspections Required For Warranty)
mrc

Just curious, how would Carrier rate on your spectrum? Carrier is what we had (hopefully, we're at least improving)

dj1 wrote:

It looks like you have a green light. Go.

Goodman is so-so. If Rheem is a 9, then Goodman is a 6 or 7.

My experience with Goodman is that some parts are of a lesser quality, causing extra breakdowns, all in the wrong time, and when you have tenants, it's not a good thing to have breakdowns.

dj1
Re: Is My HVAC Installer Legit (Yearly Inspections Required For Warranty)
dj1
mrc wrote:

Just curious, how would Carrier rate on your spectrum? Carrier is what we had (hopefully, we're at least improving)

Carrier makes darn good units. I had two homes with Carrier units (they were in the homes when i bought the homes), one quit 3 years ago and the other quit last summer. I installed Rheem instead.

The trouble with Carrier is not the quality or what Donald Trump is saying (that it wants to move the manufacturing to Mexico), but rather replacement parts. It's not a secret that universal parts don't fit Carrier, and their authorized parts are too expensive.

The techs whom I know, they all disapprove of this brand.

mrc
Re: Is My HVAC Installer Legit (Yearly Inspections Required For Warranty)
mrc

Good to know (about Carrier)

BTW, an update: The new system was installed, but after an uncomfortably hot night we called the installers back to see what they could do to improve the new system. The tech changed the fan speed and adjusted some things. So far, it does seem better (knock on wood). I took the opportunity to ask about the required yearly inspections. He didn't give a definite answer (said it's probably in the fine print (after I said I didn't see anything that said yearly inspections are required)), but did say you could probably skip the first year. If I remember correctly, he indicated it's a bit more than an inspection - more accurately maintenance - wash/clean stuff, check, etc. (I forget the whole list).

dj1 wrote:

Carrier makes darn good units. I had two homes with Carrier units (they were in the homes when i bought the homes), one quit 3 years ago and the other quit last summer. I installed Rheem instead.

The trouble with Carrier is not the quality or what Donald Trump is saying (that it wants to move the manufacturing to Mexico), but rather replacement parts. It's not a secret that universal parts don't fit Carrier, and their authorized parts are too expensive.

The techs whom I know, they all disapprove of this brand.

A. Spruce
Re: Is My HVAC Installer Legit (Yearly Inspections Required For Warranty)
A. Spruce
mrc wrote:

If I remember correctly, he indicated it's a bit more than an inspection - more accurately maintenance - wash/clean stuff, check, etc. (I forget the whole list).

A good percentage of the population doesn't think about maintenance of anything, let alone their HVAC system, so yes, inspections are more of a service than an "inspection". Generally, it is cleaning of the coils in the air handler, filter change, pressure test (freon level check ), and a overall systems check to make sure that it's in good operating order. Because it is a very lucrative business, many companies offer yearly inspection services. It is possible that this company's method of garnering that business is to demand/require it via contract, rather than leaving it up to you to decide when this sort of thing is necessary.

IMHO, as long as you are diligent with filter maintenance, change it as often as necessary for your conditions, dirt doesn't have a chance to build up inside the system. Most of the time things give a pretty fair warning before they just up and die. Pay attention for small signs that things are quite right and have a tech check things out immediately. I generally try to have services done during the off season, in regards to HVAC that is when it is neither too hot nor too cold. Calling a tech during peak times equals higher billing rates and longer wait times. Besides, you don't want failures during extremes of temps.

dj1
Re: Is My HVAC Installer Legit (Yearly Inspections Required For Warranty)
dj1

mrc,

As far as I know, Goodman (I think you mentioned that you bought a Goodman) doesn't require an annual inspection/service as a condition to honor their warranty, but I'm not 100% sure.

Can you tell us where you live, what you paid and what was included in the system? - just for general information and comparison.

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