Air Conditioner system next to a home, modern clean with bushes and brick wall

HVAC Warranty Guide (2019 Update)

House Method researches, reviews, and recommends warranties of all kinds. Affiliate Disclosure.

Few breakdowns make your home as uncomfortable as when your HVAC system stops working. They always seems to happen in the middle of a heat wave or the peak of winter, pushing you out of the house until the repairs are made.

To make matters worse, it’s an expensive fix. The average cost of installing a new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system ranges between $3,500 and $7,525.

If the repairs aren’t covered by the limited warranty or insurance, a home warranty can offset these costs. A home warranty is a service agreement between you and the provider where the customer pays an annual or monthly fee instead of unplanned repair or replacement costs.

As you research, you’ll see that a home warranty isn’t the only way to cover your HVAC unit. Keep reading to learn about the different HVAC warranty options, and why House Method recommends protection plans through Choice Home Warranty. To get a free quote on coverage for your heating and air conditioning, call 848.256.4658 or type in your zip code.

Save on HVAC Repairs with a Home Warranty

Types of HVAC warranties

When looking for a protection plan for your HVAC system, it’s important to know the different HVAC warranty types and what you’re getting with each option.

Manufacturer warranties

A manufacturer warranty is offered by the maker of the HVAC equipment. The details vary between providers, but in general, this type of HVAC warranty covers product defects in manufacturing or workmanship and the related repairs.

In addition, you have the option to register the product with the manufacturer and receive special perks or a better warranty—but only if the product is registered within 60 days of installation or another specified period of time. To register your HVAC system, you normally need your product serial number, model number, installation date, and other basic information for product registration.

Manufacturer warranties are regulated by the law for the sake of the consumers. For example, the law requires that customers have access to the limited warranty before purchasing a product. Also, manufacturers can’t legally require a consumer to register a product to maintain limited warranty protection, but they can give incentives for product registration.

“There is a potential benefit to the consumer in that the manufacturer may notify the consumer of recalls,” said Michael Schaffer, a Reason Real Estate agent. “But beyond that, it is simply a way for manufacturers to track their customers, and often to sell them extended warranties.”

Extended warranties

An HVAC extended warranty is a service contract that’s offered and paid for outside of the manufacturer warranty. You can purchase one when you buy your HVAC or choose to sign up later. With an extended warranty, your coverage is continued past the length of the original warranty.

Purchasing an extended warranty from the manufacturer isn’t always necessary. There are third-party providers that offer different coverage plans.

When is an extended warranty worth it for HVAC systems?

“If a single appliance costs more than $1,000 or has mechanical problems within your first year, it may be worth purchasing an extended warranty,” advises real estate agent Robert Taylor. “If your kitchen appliances are less than $1,000 and don’t show any problems, skip buying the extended warranty. The costs of the warranty over just a few years, may add up to more than just buying a replacement.”

Homeowner’s insurance

While homeowner’s insurance isn’t a warranty, it’s worth noting because it provides protection in situations that an HVAC warranty may not cover. For example, homeowner’s insurance covers:

  • Accidents, such as damage to your unit from a fallen tree or wind storm
  • Issues from sudden occurrences or unforeseeable events, such as a lightning strike breaking your system
  • The cost of a replacement in these situations

Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover wear and tear from regular use. If your unit breaks down simply because it’s old, homeowner’s insurance won’t cover the replacement.

Home warranties

A home warranty for an HVAC system is different than homeowner’s insurance because its primary purpose is to cover breakdowns that occur from regular use. You pay an annual or monthly fee—along with a service fee—instead of the cost of the repair or replacement. Many homeowners find these prices much more manageable than the full cost of an unplanned breakdown.

The amount of coverage for heating and air conditioning is different based on the provider and the type of plan you select.

What to know about home warranties and HVACs:

  • Home warranties usually don’t cover existing breakdowns.
  • It’s up to the provider to determine if your HVAC system can be repaired or if it should be replaced. The cost of a replacement may be completely covered, or the provider may have a price cap.
  • Check your specific warranty to fully understand what’s covered and what’s not, as well as any listed limitations.
  • Some providers require an inspection to determine the condition of your covered systems and appliances.
HVAC heating and air conditioning units outside home

What to look for in an HVAC warranty

When you purchase an HVAC system from a manufacturer, it comes with a standard warranty (also called a limited warranty or a base warranty). A typical HVAC warranty should clearly explain the following topics:

  • Length of coverage—Check the duration period to see how long the HVAC warranty lasts. The coverage length may be different for different parts or models. Common coverage lengths are 1 year, 5 years, 20 years, or a lifetime warranty.
  • Start date—Make sure you know note your installation date, which is usually marks the beginning of the coverage.
  • What equipment is covered—Look for a list of protected parts and components.
  • Exclusions—Read over the list of excluded parts and what situations void your warranty.
  • Conditions for use—Certain circumstances or events may void your warranty.
  • Warranty registration—Steps on how to register the product should be clear. Also, check if there are any benefits to product registration.
  • How to make a claim—Ask the provider on the right process to file a claim.
  • Labor costs—Even if your particular repair is covered under the warranty, labor costs or other service fees related to the repair are not always included—and they can run you several hundred dollars. However, many extended warranties cover labor costs.
  • Extended warranty options—If the HVAC system has several repairs early on, or you simply prefer to have the peace of mind, consider an extended warranty. Look into the manufacturer’s plans, as well as third-party options.

What voids an HVAC warranty?

HVAC warranties include terms and conditions that explain when a repair or replacement is or isn’t covered. It’s quite possible to unknowingly take actions that void your warranty and prevent you from receiving the benefits.

The FTC regulates these conditions so that manufacturers can’t get too particular, but you should still follow these tips to prevent voiding your HVAC warranty:

  • First off, read your warranty. That way, you’re familiar with the terms and conditions, as well as what you can expect from the coverage. Register your HVAC with the manufacturer to make the most of the limited warranty.
  • Read the owner’s manual for proper use and maintenance. Misusing or not properly maintaining the HVAC system can null your warranty. Simple tasks like changing the air filters can help your system last longer.
  • Improper installment can allow the manufacturer to consider your HVAC warranty void.
  • Using equipment that’s not from the original manufacturer can void your limited warranty.
  • Keep receipts and all other maintenance records. These can come in handy if a repair is necessary and you need proof that you took care of the HVAC unit.

HVAC warranty comparison

Who has the best HVAC warranty? While many manufacturer warranties have similar lengths and registration periods, some offer more coverage than others. Compare the limited and extended HVAC warranties across these leading manufacturers.

Provider Warranty details Registration period Warranty transferability Extended Warranty
American Standard Base Limited Manufacturer’s Warranty: Varies between models and parts but ranges between 1 and 20 years (heat exchanger has lifetime warranty on some models). Products installed on or after May 1, 2009 must be registered within 60 days of the installation date. Registered Limited Warranty transfer option is available for purchase for products installed on or after August 1, 2011, during the 60-day product registration period or within 90 days of the home sale. Optional extended warranty available.
Goodman Air Conditioning & Heating 10-Year Parts Limited Warranty, Lifetime Compressor Limited Warranty, Lifetime Heat Exchanger Limited Warranty, and 10-Year Unit Replacement Limited Warranty (on select gas furnaces). Within 60 days of the installation (or closing) date. N/A Available through AsureSM Extended Service Plans.
Trane Base Limited Warranty: Between 1 and 20 years, depending on the product.

Registered Limited Warranty: 5 years up to lifetime, depending on the product.

Within 60 days of the installation date. Base Limited Warranty is not transferable. Optional extended warranty available. Covers the cost of parts and labor.
Maytag M1200 Series: 12-year limited parts warranty and dependability promise (M120 models dependability promise is 1 year).

Limited lifetime heat exchanger warranty

12-year air handlers and coils warranty

Within 60 days of the installation date. Base warranty is transferable, but the upgraded registered warranty is not. Extended labor protection plans are available to cover labor costs associated with repairs.

Choose a home warranty for HVAC coverage

While a manufacturer’s warranty may seem like the most convenient option to cover your heating and air conditioning, a home warranty can in fact be more convenient and cost-effective, as well as offer additional coverage. Here’s why House Method recommends a home warranty for HVAC coverage.

Convenience

A manufacturer HVAC warranty only covers one system, and you have to register your product to get the full benefits. This means all your appliances will have different warranties from different providers. If this is the case, it can be difficult to keep track of what appliances are still under warranty and what the coverage includes.

With a home warranty, you’re dealing with just one contract that covers several systems and appliances throughout your home, including your HVAC system (if you select a plan with that level of coverage).

Cost-effectiveness

The average home warranty premium costs $25–$67 a month, or about $300–$800 a year. In addition, most plans require a service fee per claim, which usually runs between $75 and $125.

Compare these costs to what HVAC repairs and replacements run you when you’re not covered by a home warranty.

Unit Repair cost Cost to replace
Air conditioner $347 $5,413
Heater $284 $4,249

If your repair is from regular wear and tear and isn’t covered by the limited warranty, you can expect to pay these costs out of pocket.

Coverage

Remember, HVAC warranties from manufacturers only cover repairs or replacements that have to do with a defective part or the system isn’t working like it’s supposed to—it won’t cover repairs resulting from regular use. Home warranties are designed to protect homeowners from the costs of repairs caused by normal wear and tear.

Most HVAC systems last 10–15 years when they’re properly maintained. It’s likely your system is going to need some sort of repair over a decade of almost daily use. Common HVAC repairs include:

  • Broken compressor fans
  • Refrigerant leaks
  • Frozen condenser coils
  • Drainage issues
  • Clogged air filters

Home warranties cover older heaters and air conditioners, so the age of your system won’t prevent you from receiving coverage. The manufacturer won’t stop restrict you, either.

Most home warranties last for a year and have an easy renewal process. If you know that your HVAC system is aging and a repair is more likely, you can increase your coverage level for additional protection.

Editor's Pick: Choice Home Warranty

  • Heating system is covered under both the Basic Plan and Total Plan.
  • Air conditioning is covered under the Total Plan.
  • Plans start as low as $1 a day.
  • Get your first month free when you sign up for a single payment annual home warranty plan.
  • Some limitation apply to HVAC repairs and replacements. Read your specific contract.

Our recommendation: Choice Home Warranty

House Method suggests Choice Home Warranty as our top pick for HVAC coverage.

The Total Plan covers your air conditioning and heating system, as well as these systems and appliances:*

  • Electrical system
  • Plumbing system
  • Plumbing stoppage
  • Water heater
  • Whirlpool bathtub
  • Refrigerator
  • Oven/range/stove/cooktop
  • Dishwasher
  • Built-in microwave
  • Garbage disposal
  • Clothes washer and dryer
  • Ductwork
  • Garage door opener
  • Ceiling and exhaust fans

You can also purchase optional coverage, including pools/spa, well pumps, sump pumps, septic systems, septic tank plumbing, central vacuums, second refrigerators, limited roof leaks, and stand-alone freezers.

Not only do you have access to comprehensive coverage, but you receive the following benefits when you select Choice Home Warranty for your air conditioning coverage:

  • Plans start at about $1 a day.
  • No inspection is required for your application to be approved.
  • Your first month of coverage is free when you sign up for a single payment annual home warranty plan.
  • The technicians are local, trained, and pre-screened, so you don’t have to find a quality repairman yourself.
  • Customer service is available around the clock, even on holidays.
  • You can transfer the warranty if you decide to sell your home, and there is no transfer fee.
  • A sample user agreement is available online, so you can be sure you know what HVAC parts are included.
  • Service fees are limited to $75 (and are sometimes less).
Get a free quote from Choice Home Warranty today when you call 848.256.4658 or type in your zip code. You can also read our reviews to learn more about the best home warranties in the industry.

Customer reviews for Choice Home Warranty

See what customers have to say about selecting Choice Home Warranty for their HVAC warranty.

“Technicians were prompt, informative, and very professional.” – Jerry, January 2019

“The representative made me feel like a valued customer.” – Victoria, January 2019

“We just recently purchased our home warranty from Choice. I must say they came through, our furnace shorted out. E-mailed and HVAC came next day, repaired it.” – Jay, December 2018

“Hot water heater went out 2 days before Christmas. Called CHW—everything was taken care in very friendly and professional manner, as well as timely considering the holidays. Very satisfied.” – Watson, December 2018

“Efficient prompt service. Very understanding and courteous associates who seem to be concerned about customer needs. Very grateful and impressed with results. Thank you.” – Anne, August 2018

Get a free quote

on HVAC protection from Choice Home Warranty.

Call Now

*Terms and conditions apply. Click here to view complete limits of liability and any exclusions. CHW offers service contracts which are not warranties.
**See policy for specifics on response times.
***CHW reserves the right to offer cash back in lieu of repair or replacement in the amount of CHW’s actual cost (which at times may be less than retail) to repair or replace any covered system, component or appliance.
**** In the event a claim is denied, and a customer seeks to have Us review that denial, We have the right to request routine maintenance records in reviewing its decision.

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