Don’t get stuck sweating and with a surprise repair bill—make sure your HVAC warranty transfers to you when buying a new home
HVAC systems are the key to being happy and comfortable in your home, but they’re not cheap. So it’s always a sweet deal when you’re purchasing a new home with an AC that’s new, under warranty, and included in the price.
But none of that matters if the HVAC warranty doesn’t transfer between homeowners. So before you make a bid, find out if the warranty is transferable so you don’t get stuck with a surprise bill.
Do HVAC Warranties Transfer to New Homeowners?
When you purchase a new home that already has an HVAC system, here’s what you might not know: Its warranty doesn’t automatically transfer over from the seller to you. Unfortunately, not many homeowners know this and often don’t find out that their HVAC warranty didn’t transfer until they need a repair.
And because warranty companies aren’t obligated to honor your warranty if the paperwork isn’t up to date, you can end up having to pay out of pocket for repairs you thought were under warranty.
How Do HVAC Warranty Transfers Work?
Even if your HVAC product warranty is transferable, most manufacturers don’t give you the original buyer’s extended warranty. And to get access to the basic warranty, which is typically what is offered for warranty transfers, you might need to pay a transfer fee and fill out some paperwork.
Also, depending on your manufacturer, you might have to transfer the warranty within a specified timeframe after purchasing your home. And if you don’t, you might be out of luck when you need that coverage.
If you’re shopping for your dream home and you’re not sure what the manufacturer’s policy is, simply ask the seller for their warranty paperwork. Then you’ll be able to make an informed decision on how to proceed with your HVAC system.
Or, you can also contact an HVAC service provider near you for guidance to help you determine your next steps.
David Hernandez, HVAC service manager and trainer with Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical in Houston, says manufacturer warranties are separate from parts and labor warranties offered by individual service providers. He urges homeowners to familiarize themselves with their HVAC contractor's specific policies.
Major HVAC Manufacturers’ Transfer Policy
Not every HVAC manufacturer has the same transfer policy for their products; let’s look at some of them below.
With Carrier’s warranty transfers, you must register the equipment within 90 days of the home sale. The HVAC also must remain in its original installation location. Then subsequent owners will have access to a limited warranty with five-year parts and compressor coverage.
Maytag’s warranties are transferable from the original owner to the second owner. But subsequent owners only get access to the unregistered warranty, consisting of five-year parts and compressor coverage and 20-year heat exchanger coverage. Even if the original owner did register the HVAC system, you can’t benefit from the upgraded registered warranty.
For a Payne air conditioner system warranty to transfer to the new owner, they must file a form and the original unit and equipment must remain in their original location. They offer a five-year parts and compressor limited warranty coverage to subsequent homeowners.
Trane’s base HVAC warranty stays with the unit regardless of original or secondary ownership. New homeowners get access to the remaining term of the unit’s original limited warranty with this manufacturer. But, the new homeowner must register with Trane and pay a transfer fee.
Should I Get an HVAC Professional to Help?
Having a local HVAC service provider look over and handle your paperwork can give you peace of mind and protection. Plus, certified pros have connections you don’t. They can go to the manufacturer and make sure everything is certified and taken care of for you.
Hernandez says his company and many others help homeowners file the registration paperwork for maximum benefit and give them written verification afterward.
"You don't want any surprises five or ten years later by finding out you don't have what you thought when you need it,” he says.
He also adds that no matter where your warranty comes from, it's essential to keep up your annual maintenance or risk voiding the warranty.
"When we make a warranty claim, the first thing manufacturers ask us is if we've been out there to maintain it," Hernandez says. "Lots of customers aren't aware that they can void their warranty this way."