Furnace repair can be a costly, disruptive endeavour. As such it’s crucial to make sure that the right, high quality parts were installed and that the workmanship was up to speed. The last thing you want is to have to pay to have repairs done over because newly installed parts broke down or because the workman made some sort of blunder. In most cases you are protected from having to pay twice by the manufacturer’s warranty. Or is it the contractor guarantee? Or is it both? Is there even a difference? Because such things can be confusing we’re going to take a look at the difference (if any) between the manufacturer warranty and the contractor guarantee.
Protecting Yourself from Paying Twice for Furnace Repair
Many Toronto homeowners believe that a manufacturer warranty and a contractor guarantee are the same thing. Or at least 2 parts of the same thing. Or that, at the very least, the manufacturer and contractor are somehow working together to ensure you’re covered in every eventuality. Unfortunately that’s not the case. Each company has their own set of rules written up to protect both you and themselves and the two often explicitly cancel each other out. So:
● Make sure you have both – The first and most important thing to remember when discussing manufacturer warranties and contractor guarantees is to make absolutely sure you have both. That’s because there are things the manufacturer will cover that the contractor won’t touch and vice versa.
● Make sure you find the right culprit – Example: the contractor guarantees the furnace repair is done correctly. But only 2 weeks after installation the unit breaks down. You complain to the contractor who inspects the unit and discovers the blower motor is unresponsive. He declares it’s the manufacturer’s responsibility and withdraws from the scene. You’re left to start over with the manufacturer.
● Understand why they are different lengths – The manufacturer’s warranty can often cover 20 years or more while the contractor’s guarantee is more likely to be for a year. This is because they are guaranteeing different types of work. The manufacturer is typically covering things created by tightly controlled mechanical processes. While the contractor is covering the results of manual labour often performed in cramped, hard to control conditions.
● Make sure you activate the manufacturer’s warranty – We’ve all done it. Bought a big ticket item and then forgot to fill out and send in the manufacturer’s warranty card. Later when there’s a problem we call the Mfg only to be told we never activated the warranty. Don’t make that mistake. Fill out and send in any warranty cards before you forget.
Key Points to Remember
● The manufacturer’s warranty covers defects in the product itself. This typically means materials used, production methods and the ability of the product to perform as advertised. The same warranty however can stipulate that the product must be installed by a certified professional or the warranty is void. Something DIYers often lose sight of.
● The contractor guarantee covers any errors in workmanship that may have occurred while installing the product, not the product itself. In addition while a manufacturer may require you to fill out and send in a product warranty card the contractor guarantee is often laid out in the work contract and when that contract is signed the guarantee is effectively activated.
Don’t confuse the product with the work required to install it: i.e. don’t confuse the furnace with the furnace repair process. They’re two different things and are covered by two different forms of consumer protection. Call Toronto Heating and Air Conditioning if you have any questions or need furnace repair or installation.