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Question DetailsAsked on 6/25/2017

how important are labor warranties for new air conditioner untis?

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Well - labor is typically going to be at least 50% and typically more like 60-75% of the installed cost, so if you do not have a labor warranty any warranty claim is going to cost you that much more - on top of any deductible.

Certainly an installation should have at least several months labor warranty by the installer, just to cover any installation errors like leaking joints or such - a 3 months, 6 month, or 12 month warranty is common on new installs.

It would be nice if the law required that labor be included on warranty replacements for factory defects (like coils) but the lobbyists have too much control over Congress for that - ditto to requiring that the manufacturers pay for the shipping also. Some take advantage of that - I recently saw an A/C warranty where to get warranty coverage the homeowner had to send the "defective" item to the manufacturer - in China at the homeowner's cost - at which time the manufacturer would decide if it was actually defective or not, and if so would send a replacement at the homeowner's expense - so either you are out of service for a week or three and pay air expedited shipping costs both ways, or you ship cheapest method both ways and are out of service for months - and that assuming they decide it is defective (while it is out of your reach so not available for any objection to their determination). I have heard of the same thing on a piece of construction equipment's warranty - like you are going to ship a bulldozer to Asia to be repaired, IF they decide it is a warranty item. Sounds to me like this is a slimy legalese trick to avoid ever having to honor a warranty.

Aside from "lifetime" manufacturer warranties bought with the new unit at time of purchase, I don't know of any manufacturer of HVAC equipment who pays for the labor - or for the lost refrigerant in the case of a leaking component, and those lifetime warranties commonly cost about as much as the total installed cost, so no bargain.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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