Is your HVAC company providing poor service? Are they scamming you? Do you know if your HVAC company is honest? If you’ve answered “I don’t know” to these question or are just curious to find out then this post is for you.
Most of us are dependent on our air conditioning systems throughout the summer. Even a minor breakdown can prove to be a big problem in the future. As a result, we want to hire reliable technicians who can help us solve ac problems before they start. Nonetheless, it is necessary to note that not every HVAC company is the same and not all of them would be providing you quality service.
Scams are prevalent in every industry, and so is true in the HVAC industry. A lot of us prefer to work with residential technicians rather than the professional ones to save money. However, working with them may cost you a lot of money in the near future. Scam HVAC contractors prefer telling you about major mistakes even if there aren’t any, to get money out of you. Hence, you are very much prone to scam. Since the industry is so much susceptible to scams, you should be a very careful when hiring a HVAC company.
Most Common HVAC Scam Signs
Buy the equipment right now
You should really be careful of HVAC contractors who try to push you into purchasing something. Although purchasing equipment is necessary, you should never rush with your decision. Most of the contractors will give you a quote before beginning the work. Hence, once you have the quote, you will be all ready, to begin with your work. Nonetheless, some contractors will try to lure you into believing them.
Watch out for any contractor who charges you extra money for coming back to make the same repair twice. Moreover, it is also an indication that these people aren’t very reputed. A good and reputable contractor will make sure to do the work for you at an competitive rate and would agree not to charge you extra if they have to make the same repair again within 3 days. Nonetheless, if the contractor checks for another potential fault you should cooperate with them.
If a HVAC technician repairs or replaces a part and the system breaks down again, but the next time its a different part then this is not a sign poor service.
Replace parts when not needed
Any experienced HVAC technician will eventually know which part requires replacement and which does not. The part working perfectly wouldn’t need any replacement, but sometimes you may need to do this. Most of the times, the replacement charges are very high. Hence, a lot of people prefer to purchase a new unit rather than changing the existing one.
One of the most common signs to notice an HVAC scam is that your technician would suggest that your system has a lot of flaws and needs replacement. It is in very rare cases that a system has the majority of defects that lead to air conditioner malfunction. While you may find it astonishing but the breakdown of one part can eventually prevent the other parts from functioning as well.
If you want to protect yourself from the potential threat of being scammed, you should prefer seeking multiple opinions. This will make it easier to determine what actually is wrong with your system. Getting in touch with reliable experts can be of great benefit to you.
Over-sized AC unit
While you may have always heard about bigger is better, it wouldn’t be the same with AC units. For HVAC system, bigger is not always better. However, some contractors will force you to buy bigger units and will make you fall into believing that larger units will make your room cooler faster.
Oversized units cost a lot of money. Not only are they an expensive purchase but it also has severe upfront costs. Besides a hefty upfront cost, it will consume a lot of energy, as well. There should be a proper balance for the on and off cycle for if either one of them is too long, it will end up cost you. Hence, an expert and a reliable technician will eventually ask you to purchase a system depending on your unique requirements.
To avoid the scam, you should prefer asking for the formulas they used for calculating the size of the unit. You should always ask for a second opinion to be sure of what you are getting. If you know the total square footage you need to cool, you can use THIS BTU calculator to find out what size AC unit you need.
Refrigerant needs to be recharged
One of the easiest ways to withdraw money from people is to tell them that their refrigerant needs to be charged. The dishonest technicians will prefer to add up to your bills and will tell that your refrigerant needs to be recharged, even when it does not. If there isn’t enough refrigerant in the system, it is a clear sign that your system needs to be treated for the leak.
Refrigerant may be leaked due to several reasons. You should never trust any technician, who says that they will recharge your system, without telling you about the cause of the leakage. This will end up costing you a lot of money.
If your ac unit truly needs refrigerant it means that the original amount of refrigerant has leaked. So the first step of an honest ac technician should be diagnosing where the leakage has occurred and fixing it before refilling the ac unit with refrigerant. If you do not get the leakage fixed it means constantly calling in to get refrigerant refills.
Competitive pricing has always been an important part of the day to day business. To stay above others, you should prefer keeping your price competitive. A lot of companies do not charge you any extra money for the services they provide. However, there are a lot of companies that do so.
Not a lot of people get caught in the overpricing channel because they are already aware of the basic rates. If you are new in the neighborhood, you should check with the older neighbors, who can help you determine how much they had to pay for the services. If you want to avoid the risk of overpricing, you should always check with your neighbors or online for pricing.
Not a single reputable company will ask you for an upfront payment. If an HVAC technician asks for money upfront before doing the actual work, then be very careful. In some situations a technician may need an upfront payment but make sure you only make the payment when the technician has come from HVAC business (Brick & Mortar). The HVAC company must have a physical address of their shop and always prefer paying via a check to the company name and not in cash. When you pay in cash you have no proof.
Always do your due diligence by checking online reviews (Homeadvisor, BBB, Angies List) of the company you hire. Ask around the neighborhood to get an idea on rates, if your new to the neighborhood. Always make sure your HVAC company is licensed and insured. Never get pushed into buying anything immediately, until you’ve had time to do your research on the situation. And most importantly of all, always hire professional companies who have been in business for many years, not people who claim to be HVAC technicians on craigslist.