How to Recognize AC Repair Scams Before It’s Too Late
It’s vital to have a well-functioning air conditioning system, especially as we gear up for the Summer which is fast approaching.
This is also the time of year when Valley residents begin to consider maintenance, repair and HVAC replacement options.
But did you know, not every HVAC contractor delivers high level of service you expect and deserve for your hard-earned dollars? There are some who claim to offer great service, but may actually be engaging in HVAC repair scams. So, how to you know if an AC professional is honest or a scammer out to get your money?
Below, we’ve put together 6 Signs to Recognize that may help you to avoid being scammed.
Collecting Payment Up Front Before a Visit
When an AC repair company requests that you first pay them up front with your credit card before they show up to assess any issues with your HVAC system, this should be cause for concern. Normally, an appointment to visit your home and diagnose any issues with your system is made without collecting money up front.
Failure to Provide a Written Estimate
An written estimate will tell you what repair work will be done on your system and what it should cost. This gives you the opportunity to assess whether or not that cost is within your budget. It also can protect you against any surprises from an inflated bill upon completion of work. If you are told by any HVAC company that they will not give you a written estimate up front, this should be a huge red flag.
Recommendations to Save Money though Used Parts
It’s generally not a good idea to repair your AC equipment with used parts. Why? You don’t know the condition of those used parts which may at the end of their useful lifespan or even hazardous to use. Think about it. Would any truly trustworthy and professional HVAC company suggest that you put used parts in your AC system? Obviously, the answer is no. No amount of money saved up front, is worth the headache of a possible failure in your HVAC system or health and safety of your family. In the end, you’ll likely be spending more money than if you had paid for new parts to begin with.
Selling of Unnecessary Services
Regular ongoing HVAC maintenance is essential to the reliable and efficient operation of your heating and cooling system. However, if an AC professional recommends that your go on a quarterly maintenance plan of tune-ups and duct cleaning, that’s really unnecessary. HVAC cleaning and tune-ups, once or twice a year, are generally the norm.
Like any other industry, you will find a range of pricing for what may be the same type of work performed.
A well-known local HVAC contractor with a great reputation for honest and professional work may charge a little more. However, there is a difference between charging just a little more for quality work, as opposed to charging at the top end of all the pricing estimates you’ve received. Do your research to find out the range of pricing estimates from low to high. From there, it may make sense to select the pricing that is somewhere in between.
Trying To Sell You Too Large an AC Unit
In order for you to get the most efficient performance from your AC unit, it’s important to have it properly sized for your home. Too small and it could lead to a system that is working too hard, which will not only increase your energy cost, but could lead to premature failure. An AC system too large, and you could be looking at a unit that “Short Cycles”…one that too often cycles on and off, which causes excessive wear and tear on its mechanical parts, and wastes energy as well.
Perhaps you’ve gotten some estimates and three of those say you need a 2.5 ton unit, but a fourth estimate claims you need a 3.5 ton…you might conclude that the fourth estimate is one that is trying to sell you an oversized system because it makes them more money. Red Flag.