Lowdown On A/C Warranties


You have a new a/c unit so you should not have any additional expenses for five to 10 years right?

This clear question has a muddy answer.

There are two different warranties, a parts warranty, a labor warranty, and sometimes a gap warranty.


Years ago a law was passed requiring air conditioning manufacturers to provide a 10 year PARTS warranty to most units installed in a residential home. This meant that if the unit was registered after being installed the system would carry a 10 year warranty on all of the parts inside the unit for the original purchaser (some warranties are transferable).

So, if the machine broke the OEM part would be supplied free of charge to a contractor to repair the system and you would be responsible for the labor; quick and easy. The unit breaks and you pay whatever diagnostic charge and the few hundred bucks for the time and labor to get the part and perform the fix. That is how the parts warranties have worked for decades.

The process has changed since the pandemic and not for the better. It has changed for us contractors and in turn you.

Recently the manufacturers have started requiring the contractor to return the broken part. This makes sense because an unskilled technician could claim multiple parts were bad and change them all out to be sure the unit was repaired. This was good for you because your unit would be working again, but awful for the manufacturer because many parts were being changed that were not bad. This forced the manufacturer to increase prices, to cover losses, and contractors to increase fees for the extra trip to the supplier to return the part(s) and complete the necessary paperwork.

Above I stated that if the machine broke the manufacturer would supply the OEM part. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer which is an authentic factory part. The PARTS warranty only covers factory parts. Ever since the pandemic shutdowns there are major parts shortages. These shortages can leave your system broken until the back-ordered parts are available. There have always been aftermarket parts (motors, relays, capacitors, etc.), but the PARTS warranty that came with the air conditioner will not cover the cost of these which are often readily available.

Adding on to the shortages from the shutdowns there are many new and upcoming environmental and building code regulations changing the air conditioning industry. To be sure the manufacturers aren’t stuck with parts they can no longer sell they have slowed (sometimes stopped) the production of some items.

In short, even with a PARTS warranty you could be left without a/c while parts are on order or have to pay for an aftermarket part for quicker service.



Most manufacturers offer an extended labor warranty. This meant if you purchased the extended warranty when the system broke you would only pay the fee to diagnose the problem and that’s it. It was a great deal. Oftentimes the extended warranty was less expensive than the labor for a single major repair.

This too has changed.

The extended warranties available today have not kept up with the times. The reimbursement rates to the contractor are stuck in the 2010s; meaning they don’t cover modern-day expenses. The warranty documents explicitly state the capped labor reimbursement rate and that it only covers the time to take out the old part and install the new part. The warranty will not cover the new processing fees (required by the manufacturer), the trips to and from the supplier (required to return the part), or the extra cost in operations since the initiation of the labor warranty.

Even with a parts and labor warranty, you can expect to pay for some labor and if the OEM part isn’t readily available you might pay for the part(s).



To help our clients, and frankly to halt these uncomfortable conversations, Hot 2 Cold provides a GAP warranty.

The GAP warranty addresses ALL of the added and unforeseen expenses from the explanation above. Every one of our installations comes with the first year of GAP coverage. This means if ANYTHING breaks or malfunctions in the first year you will pay ZERO DOLLARS for the diagnosis, parts, or labor…ZERO

After the first year you are eligible to protect yourself for the life of the unit with our extended GAP coverage. There are two ways to enroll in the GAP warranty, monthly or paid-in-full. Most people enroll in the monthly option which also includes the necessary annual maintenance. This plan seems to be the most convenient because if you sell your home within 10 years of installing a new unit you can simply cancel the coverage and not forfeit any money. Alternatively, if you prefer to pay in full because you don’t plan to move this can be addressed at the time of purchasing the new system. If you purchase the GAP coverage at the time of installation it can be added to the payment plan if you choose to finance the project.


For more information on a new air conditioning system or the information above give us a call, or text,