Reliance Home Comfort Heat Exchanger Warranty Review

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Published: 20th December 2010
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A new furnace is a significant purchase, usually one costing homeowners thousands of dollars. Replacing it can be a huge expense, so itís worth it for homeowners to look at the type of warranty offered by their HVAC manufacturer.

In a gas furnace, the heat exchanger is one of the most critical elements. A heat exchanger is usually made from some type of aluminum or stainless steel and is used to separate the air pumped into your home from the gasses used to heat it. A cracked or damaged heat exchanger can be an extremely dangerous thing, allowing harmful carbon monoxide to mix with the hair that is pumped into your m home.

Sometimes you can replace a heat exchange cracks or rusts, but depending on your furnace you may have to replace the entire unit, not just the heat exchanger.

Since heat exchangers are such a critical component of your HVAC system, they typically come with the longest warranties. Many companies offer lifetime warranties on the heat exchanger. Some companies promise to replace a cracked heat exchanger, while others will replace your whole furnace. This can save you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, and allow you to upgrade to newer technology if your heat exchanger fails years from now.

But while a lifetime warranty can sound great, it is important to know the benefits and the limitations of warranty on your heat exchanger.

Most companies will offer you a conditional lifetime warranty on heat exchangers. Usually this requires that the heat exchanger has been installed in a residential location that is still owned and lived in by the person who originally purchased the furnace. So if you move into a home where the existing furnace has a lifetime warranty, it was likely voided when the original owner moved out.

The warranty is also voided even if you take your furnace with you to a new home, since most warranties require the furnace to be in its original location. Your warranty might also be void if you rent out your home.

As well, most lifetime warranties on heat exchangers are only good if you register your furnace with the company within a certain time period after purchasing it - usually 60 to 90 days. Sometimes, you have to show proof of purchase for your warranty to be honoured, even if it's years since you had it installed.

Itís worth reading the small print on most warranties for heat exchangers. Some companies promise to replace cracked exchangers with the same original parts, while others promise only an equivalent part.

One way to make your warranty last longer is to buy an extended warranty with your new furnace, one that covers labour not just parts. Labour costs can be expensive, sometimes eclipsing the cost of the replacement parts.

The best is an extended factory warranty from the manufacturer, which allows you to choose the contractor of your choice to do the work. However, contractors and third-parties offer their own extended warranties, which can also protect you and your wallet from the headache of shelling out for a new heat exchanger.

Tammy Scouten is a Reliance Home Comfort Advisor in Kingston, Ontario. If you have any questions about climate control or security systems for your home or office, Tammy would be happy to speak with you. Visit her at

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