Confused about HVAC Factory Warranties? Typically homeowners believe warranties for HVAC equipment are provided directly from the manufacturer to the homeowner through any dealer or distributor anywhere in the United States. Understanding how the HVAC industry operates gives a better understanding of how warranties are handled in the HVAC industry. There are very strong warranties today ranging from 1 year to lifetime warranties on HVAC equipment and it is very important you purchase your system form a source that can provide the warranty support.
VAC manufacturers distribute their products to wholesale distributors which can be independent or factory owned. The distributor sells the manufacturers products to a dealer or contractor. The dealer or contractor then sells the products to the homeowner. Most manufacturer warranties are for parts only. The manufacturer supplies the parts to the distributor and then to the dealer/contractor. The dealer/contractor then installs those parts to the homeowner's system. There are certain circumstances where a manufacturer will provide a labor allowance such as a system with a defective compressor that is DOA or Dead On Arrival. It is important to understand that equipment warranty parts are supplied by the manufacturer to the wholesale distributor to the contractor or dealer and finally installed in your system as a homeowner. This is the chain of distribution and the chain of warranty support.
A contractor customarily provides at their expense a labor warranty for one year in addition to the parts warranty provided by the manufacturer. There are additional labor warranties and extended warranties which can also be purchased by the contractor from the
wholesaler or manufacturer and sold to the homeowner.
If something gets fractured in the chain of distribution it is the homeowner who will ultimately suffer. What typically happens to fracture the chain of distribution is the contractor/dealer goes out of business or changes to another manufacturer and severs their ties with the previous manufacturer. If the dealer/contractor goes out of business which happens quite often in the HVAC industry the homeowner of that system no longer has labor protection if this was provided at the expense of the dealer/contractor. If a labor contract made between the homeowner and the contractor/dealer goes out of business or no longer is a dealer of that manufacturer the homeowner has no labor protection. Only if the labor contract or extended warranty was made as an agreement between the manufacturer direct to the homeowner does the homeowner have labor coverage.
So in summary a homeowner has a parts warranty on their system from the manufacturer through a dealer/contractor so long as that contractor remains in business and elects to honor the warranty even if they are or are not associated with the manufacturer. Additional warranty protection such as labor and extended warranties are dependant on the source of the warranty contract and how it is written.
The chances of an HVAC contractor remaining in business for the duration of a 5 year warranty period is largely dependant on how long the contractor/dealer has been in business and their financial success. HVAC contractors change manufacturers they represent on an average of every 5 years. The vast majority of HVAC contractors are small operations with 4 technicians or less. The survival rate of the average HVAC contractor/dealer is 4.2 years. The chances of the average homeowner having warranty support for the course of a 5 year warranty is about 12 to 1 against the contractor being in business or continuing to be a dealer/contractor of that brand. Most higher efficiency systems warranty periods are 10 years and lifetime warranties. For 10 year warranties the chances of the original contractor/dealer being in business or a dealer of the same brand are extremely low and for lifetime warranties you will probably have a better chance of being struck by lightning than have a contractor/dealer survive more than 10 years.
What happens if the dealer/contractor goes out of business or is no longer a dealer for the particular brand of equipment you presently have? You can contact another dealer/contractor for that brand and they can handle the warranty parts for you if they elect to do so. Another dealer/contractor is not bound by any obligation to honor a warranty on equipment they did not sell. It is solely at their discretion to do so. You can also contact the manufacturer who will usually recommend another dealer to handle the warranty. Again understand this is only for the parts under warranty. A manufacturer however does not generally handle any warranty issues directly to you. It is almost always handled by another dealer to you.
Understanding how warranties are handled in the normal distribution of HVAC system is important to avoid confusion about the manufacturer's role and the dealer/contractor's role. Warranties are not handled the same as cars, electronics or household appliances. The reason for this method of warranty support has evolved because HVAC systems require design and installation from specialty contractors. Many other product warranties are handled through numerous dealers of your choice or centralized service repair organizations but HVAC systems are handled as described above.
Some HVAC manufacturers are very responsive to their homeowner customers and others are terrible. For example Carrier has the worst record of handling homeowner complaints and warranty issues while manufacturers such as York have impeccable records. To get an idea of how responsive manufacturers are to their customers go to the Better Business Bureau online at this link http://www.bbb.org or Click Here.
Manufacturers are making it clear they will not provide warranties on products ordered over the internet. This is simple to avoid. Order your system by telephone! There are several reasons for manufacturers not providing warranty coverage of online sales. First this disrupts the whole order in which HVAC sales and distribution have occurred since the beginning by cutting the dealer or contractor out of the loop. Second the concern of proper sizing and installation exists. And third manufacturers presently want to protect their dealer/contractor relationships. And finally who will handle warranty issues if and when they occur. The HVAC Manufacturer does not want and is not capable of handling the warranty direct as explained previously. For the above reasons it becomes very important to purchase your HVAC equipment from an online seller having a direct affiliation with the manufacturer as an authorized distributor/dealer and a strong commitment financially to their business and you. If the online seller is relatively new in the HVAC business the possibility of their surviving throughout the warranty period remains slim. Most online sellers are contractors having no affiliation with the manufacturer lasting an average of 3 to 5 years in business and then they disappear. There are also a growing number of online sellers referred to a bootleggers and box sellers having absolutely no financial commitment working out of their homes and no affiliation with the manufacturer. These sellers carry no inventory and have no experience with HVAC equipment or systems. Most have never installed an HVAC system nor have any type of licensing or industry training or certification. Many states require any business selling HVAC equipment to have a license specifically for HVAC sales. Bootleggers have absolutely no license including the most common EPA license. For these reasons HVAC manufacturers will not warrant the sales of their products by these types of sellers. Eliminating warranty coverage is due to the concern of HVAC manufacturers of their products being advertised online to homeowners without regard to required industry sizing using Manual J and installation guidelines and requirements. HVAC manufacturers find a tremendous warranty claim rate by these types of online sales and a high rate of homeowner dissatisfaction adding to the epidemic of warranty problems created by incompetent HVAC contractors.
To protect yourself from these types of sellers simply go to the manufacturer's website and verify the seller's status as a distributor or dealer. If the seller is not listed you can be assured you're dealing with a bootlegger. Realize on the internet it is possible to appear as many things without any real verification and to make many claims without any proof. There are many one man shows working out of their homes selling HVAC systems and state they are the largest distribution companies in the HVAC industry. But when a homeowner does a little investigation it can easily be discovered none of the claims are true or backed by facts.
DESCO Energy is Your HVAC Distributor and Dealer
At the beginning of this page we explained how the chain of distribution and warranty support is handled in the HVAC industry from the manufacturer to the distributor and then to the dealer and finally to the homeowner. By purchasing your HVAC system from DESCO you can be assured you are dealing with a distributor/dealer having direct affiliation with the manufacturers we represent. This can be easily verified by going to the manufacturer's website or by calling the manufacturer. For all manufacturers including Goodman we provide total warranty support to you for the life of the equipment. Goodman states they do not offer a warranty on any products ordered over the internet. Actually neither does any other HVAC manufacturer. That is the responsibility of the selling dealer or distributor as explained at the beginning of this article. Because of the high warranty claims made by these types of sales manufacturers found it necessary to limit their liability and the extraordinary problems that result from their sales. DESCO Energy has the lowest warranty claims rate in the industry at 0.4%. We attribute our low warranty claims rate and high customer satisfaction to the guidelines and requirements established over 39 years of experience in assisting homeowners in do it yourself HVAC projects. When purchasing any HVAC system from DESCO Energy we are the sole source of warranty coverage and protection for the life of the warranty.
To provide warranty coverage DESCO Energy provides a warranty validation form which needs to be completed by a licensed experienced technician of your choice for final start up and hook up of the system. We do require every system to have a final check out and connection by a licensed professional. The license required is the EPA license. This is to assure you and us the system has been installed according to the manufacturer's specifications and in accordance with their guidelines. This assures such things as proper air flow, venting and proper gas pressure for boilers and furnaces, proper connection of refrigerant lines and refrigerant charge and most importantly a general review of the system performance and operation so the system provides reliable efficient operation for many years to come. Yes we realize DESCO Energy is the only online source with these requirements. But we are the only online source that has direct affiliation with the manufacturers we represent and have their support and endorsement for our policies and practices. The warranty validation form we provide was created in cooperation with those manufacturers. Because of our standards, training and reputation as a qualified seller DESCO Energy is the only online source of Authorized Boiler Sales and Technical Support with the manufacturers' support. All other boiler sales through any online sources are not authorized by the manufacturers nor can they state their products come with any manufacturers warranty or support. We strongly recommend you check with the manufacturer of any other boiler online sales to verify this important homeowner information.
What happens if I do need warranty support? By electing to purchase from DESCO Energy a wholesale distributor you are also acting as your own dealer/contractor in the distribution chain we explained at the beginning of this article. DESCO Energy will provide parts replacement of any parts required under the terms of the manufacturer's warranty. We reserve the right to inspect defective parts and require defective parts returned to us at your cost for shipping. You will also pay for shipping costs of the part or parts after the first three months or if you require the parts shipped overnight. You will also be charged the cost for any parts initially. You will be credited for the defective parts after they are returned to us and we have determined the failure is a result of defective materials and or workmanship associated with the parts and under the terms of the manufacturers warranty. We have to date never denied any warranty parts claim. If there is a substantial failure during the first thirty days such as a compressor or heat exchanger failure you may be given a labor allowance as provided for by the manufacturer in addition to parts or a complete replacement system as determined by the manufacturer or our technical support staff. In the event of major multiple component failures we will not provide more than two compressors for any heat pump or air conditioning system or one total furnace replacement as the result of a heat exchanger failure during the course of the warranty period unless it can be proven such multiple failures are a result of the manufacturers defects in materials and workmanship and not a result of acts of god or the installation or lack of preventative maintenance to the system or other exclusion as defined in the manufacturer's warranty policy. Sizing of the system and the warranty validation form must have been completed by a licensed technician of your choice and returned to our office for all and any warranty and technical support, parts and labor coverage. Parts required under warranty must be determined and diagnosed by a licensed service technician regularly employed in the HVAC industry as a service technician. DESCO Energy will not provide service technical support to any homeowner for troubleshooting or diagnostics if our technical support staff believes such assistance could cause harm or further destruction to the homeowner or the equipment or if we feel the homeowner is unqualified to proceed with such troubleshooting or diagnostics. At anytime DESCO Energy reserves the right to require any homeowner to use a certified licensed technician for installation or service if our technical support staff feels the continuance of any HVAC do it yourself project could be deemed dangerous or unsafe. We further reserve the right at our discretion to have a manufacturer's or DESCO Energy's technical support staff to inspect the installation or service problem.
In many parts of the mid-atlantic or northeast region of the United States you may be eligible for complete labor and parts extended warranty coverage. Check with us for more information on this coverage.
All warranty terms and coverage are provided with every quote. If you have further warranty questions please call us toll free at 877-265-9764 or email at email@example.com