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Message Board > Miscellaneous > Extended warranties on HVAC systems--are they worth it? ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Extended warranties on HVAC systems--are they worth it?
Only valid with expensive annual maintenance
purplebouquet
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purplebouquet
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AR USA
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Date: 10/30/13 10:41 PM

I'd like to hear your experiences about having new HVAC systems serviced religiously every six months. Is it worth it or a manufacturer rip-off? And have you had warranties rejected because you didn't have your units serviced?

We bought the TOL Trane unit three years ago, which came with a 5-digit sticker price. It cost us less because of rebates and tax credits, but still, it was a substantial amount. The rep also encouraged us to buy a $1,200 extended warranty, valid for 12 years. He didn't disclose at that time that the warranty would only be valid if I had the unit serviced every 6 months (in the spring for the A/C, in the fall for the surface) for an additional cost, of course.

I haven't had the unit serviced yet because I wasn't aware of the requirement. Independently of that, I felt that semi-annual maintenance checks were not necessary; every 3 years, okay, maybe every 2 on an older unit, but on a brand new system? I have now made an appointment because it's been 3 years, probably a good idea.

I am getting to the point: My Trane rep now tells me I've already forfeited my warranty because I didn't fulfill my part of it, i.e., having the system serviced from the get-go. He is offering to refund my money, which is very honorable.

I am doing the math: With the cost of the required semi-annual maintenance checks, the warranty really costs close to $4,000, not $1,200--a substantial difference. Yes, I would be getting the benefit of regular check-up, but are they really necessary? I asked another HVAC guy about it and he scoffed at it, said the new units do not need to be looked after so often.

What are your experiences? Any experts here who can talk shop?

Thanks.
Claudia

But

quiltingwolf
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quiltingwolf  Friend of PR
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MD
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In reply to purplebouquet <<


Date: 10/30/13 10:49 PM

I work in the commercial HVAC business and no you don't need your units checked that often. Maybe every couple of years. I do hope they gave you a system using the new kind of refrigerant. As the older one prior to about 2006 will be gone and to use the new one you have to buy a new condenser and a new piece for you furnace. At an avg cost of about $5K. We put in a new York system in 2005 and have only had it checked once. And it still runs find. We should have it checks more often but because of circumstances things don't always get done when they should in my house. I figure when we run out of refrigerant I will get window AC's cheaper the up-grading the system we have. This is going to be a surprise to a lot of people down the road that haven't kept up this this issue.

------
quiltingwolf.blogspot.com

poorpigling

poorpigling
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In reply to quiltingwolf <<


Date: 10/31/13 9:41 AM

I believe you are referring to a unit ran on freon. The best news about the most interesting thing I find is her warranty cost. 1200.. made me laugh.. Mr. Ps uncle is in this biz also. I bet purple could not tell us just how much the actual cost of her unit was ... Units start at 800 .. and go up of course.. but 1200 would probably cover the actual cost.. most of the time you are paying for the labor.. Purple I sure do wish you had posted on your purchase before you made it..
Most important to keep the unit running is a routine change of filters.. .

poorpigling

poorpigling
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Date: 10/31/13 9:43 AM

Would also like to point out Purple for that amount of money you could have bought an overall home warranty that covered any and all of your appliances.. stove, ac unit.. water heater etc..

Another secret here.. which anyone who has had a call to buy an extended car warranty.. if you refuse it .. they often offer you that same warranty at less cost.. so those warranties are negotiable. Probably because they are a total rip off..

poorpigling

poorpigling
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Date: 10/31/13 9:47 AM

Take the refund.. the reason he is offering it to you is he will make more money over time servicing the unit.. But don't fall for that.. get your money refunded and then service only as needed..
In fact.. might be a darn good time to get estimates from several places on servicing..

With the older units servicing was more important as the freon would leak and need periodic replacing. But not nowadays.. keep your unit covered outside during winter months.. spray wash it to keep the coils etc clean now and then.. and change out your filters monthly..

annsew65
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annsew65
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Date: 10/31/13 11:53 AM

I'm beginning to think warranties are all big rip-offs. DH services our Lennox forced air gas furnace and air conditioning unit. It has been in about 15 years. He puts grease (or oil - not sure which) in the compressor and the motor about once a year and we have 2 permanent filters and he changes them out about every month, cleans the one he took out and it is ready to put in the next month. Knock wood - no problems so far. This is the second furnace - the first one was about 35 years old, still working, but DH decided that we should switch to one more energy efficient. If you learn a little bit of basic maintenance, you can save yourself a good bit of money.

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Sewing in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia
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mastdenman
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mastdenman  Friend of PR
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CA USA
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Date: 10/31/13 12:44 PM

We bought a new HVAC system about a year ago. The warranty is 10 years, and we did not pay five figures. It has worked very well for us for the past year. We do live in the desert, so we use the AC sparingly because we have a swamp cooler. But it was on 24.7 in August and the heat was used in the winter months.

------
Marilyn

January 2009 to January 2010 81 yards out and 71yards in January 2010 to the present 106.7 yards out and 146.5 yards in. January 2011 to the present: 47 yards out and 69 yards in.

annenet
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annenet  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/31/13 12:54 PM

We have a gas Trane furnace as well as a Trane Electric air conditioner. Our first furnace went out precisly at 11 years! It would have almost as much to fix as a new one so we got a new one. It is more efficient and makes the air more efficient but I wish the original had lasted more than 11 years.

------
So many projects, not enough time
At my house in VA:
Bernina 1010, Activa 220, Artista 630E, B580
Singer 201-2, 221, Bernina Serger 1300MDC, Babylock Enlighten, Babylock Sashiko, Consew 75T

At my Lake House in PA:
Bernina Artista 165E, Singer 503A. Bernina Serger 1100d

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