What to do when your new home loses its cool

Although once considered a nice-to-have, air conditioning has become an essential item in our homes. If you’re buying a pre-construction home, you’ll probably be able to purchase your air conditioning system directly from your builder instead of having to find a provider after your home is completed. Many new home buyers find this to be very convenient.

But what happens if your first summer rolls in and your air conditioner has yet to be installed or isn’t working? There’s no need to sweat it. Here’s what you need to know.

Warranty exceptions during warmer months
Under the warranty that all new homes in Ontario have, a complete loss of cooling in your builder-supplied air conditioner or an air conditioner that has not been installed is treated as an exceptional situation between May 15 and September 15. This means that you do not need to follow the regular warranty claims process to get the situation resolved.

After you have contacted your builder, report the situation to Tarion, the consumer protection organization that backstops your coverage. If your builder does not resolve your air conditioning problem within 30 days, the organization will provide further assistance.

What about other issues related to air conditioning?
The exception described above applies only to situations where you either experience a total lack of cooling or your air conditioner has not been installed. If you experience other problems related to a builder-supplied air conditioner, such as surface damage or noise, report those on the appropriate warranty form during the first year of ownership and they will be dealt with according to the regular warranty claims process.

If you own a condo
In most condo developments, the air conditioning is considered a common element, which means that it’s not covered under your unit’s warranty. In general, the condo corporation’s board of directors is responsible for fixing issues and managing warranty claims related to common elements. If your air conditioning unit is considered a common element in your development, contact your board of directors to have the issue addressed.

Find more information about your new home warranty coverage at tarion.com

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