Manufactures have made major changes to warranties over the years. Plus there are many untold parts also.
First thing what is covered. Well there is 3 major components to the warranty.
- Parts, this includes the little things like contactors, capacitors, and fan motors.
- Compressor, this is the most expensive and important part of the unit. This is the main work horse, kind of like the engine in a car. Typical compressor replacement is $1,200-1,900.
- Labor, this is the thing a lot of contractors miss lead to homeowners. Pretty much every manufacture of a/c units require the contractor to cover labor warranty on there own unless you purchase an extended warranty to cover labor. So becareful because if the contractor tells you 1 year, hope he is still in business then. Or are they the kind of company that will call you back when you have trouble. It is very common to see the low price contrctor also be the guy who won't return your call if your A/C stops working in 8 months.
2nd Major Issue:
Almost all brands use to be 1 Year parts Warranty. Now as compitition has grown they started to increase warranty. A very common warranty today now is 10 Years on all parts. BUT.... you must register the unit within 60-90 days or else your warranty drops to 5 years. The registered warranty is also only good for the original buyer, not the second owner of the home. Example Trane use to have 10 Year parts warranty on there XL systems. You didn't have to register it and if you sold the home the new buyer got the remander of the warranty. Now the same XL unit will only give the original buyer 10 years and it drops to 5 years if you don't register it.
Guess what, people forget to register things. That isn't a secret to anybody. The problem you will find is most contractors may leave that detail out. Some contractors actually will register the unit for there customers so it doesn't get forgot. This is one difference between a quality installing company and the cheap guy.
All this above is common to different brands. Weather you are buying TRANE, BRYANT, LENNOX, CARRIER, ARMSTRONG, YORK, LUXAIRE, HEIL, PAYNE, AMERICAN STANDARD, COMFORT MAKER, DAY NIGHT, GOODMAN, AMANA, FRIDGIDAIRE, MAYTAG, TAPPAN, KENMORE, TEMPSTAR, NORDYNE, or who ever they all are pretty much the same. Funny thing of the 20 brands I listed above that is actually only 6 different companys. Just like buying a Chevy, GMC, or Buick, same car just different stearing wheel.
Research your contractor before you worry about the warranty or brand.