How to Spot An HVAC Scam
These days there are too many dishonest heating and air conditioning companies that are out to scam their clients to make an extra buck. Not all companies are dishonest, but it is important to be able to tell which ones are. There are many common scams that these companies use and it is important to be able to spot these unfair practices. Being able to spot these scams could mean the difference of hundreds, if not thousands of dollars! We want you to be aware, and would like to give you a few scenarios that have been commonly used in the heating and air conditioning industry.
Scam Scenario #1
If you need to have service done on your furnace or air conditioning unit, beware of companies that offer a “free” or “special” rate that is lower than the standard norm. This is usually a way of getting their foot in the door in order to turn around and charge you more. It is always best to get a written estimate in order to protect yourself.
Scam Scenario #2
If you need to call for a repair on your furnace or air conditioner and the service technician finds that you need to replace several components at once, you should be skeptical. If a component fails, it is usually only one, maybe two, but not several components all at once. If this happens you should get a second opinion from someone you can trust.
Scam Scenario #3
If you find that every spring you must add refrigerant to your air conditioner, this is a scam to make money off of you year after year. Any reputable contractor will detect the leak with a pressure test or die and repair the leak to your system. An air conditioning system should never leak refrigerant regularly.
Scam Scenario #4
If a technician tells you that your furnace is leaking carbon monoxide and says that you must replace your furnace, ask to see the proof. If they are unable to show you a crack in your heat exchanger and unable to show you a carbon monoxide reading on a carbon monoxide meter or detector, then you should definitely get a second opinion before proceeding any further.
A second opinion is always a good idea if it means more money coming out of your pocket than you had expected. A regular service call should not have to turn into a nightmare for the homeowner!