Scams can be found in nearly any industry, and HVAC is no different. At Oliver, we’ve heard many different horror stories from homeowners about how they paid for faulty parts, sub-par workmanship, or simply too much. Here are some popular HVAC scams to be on the lookout for:
The “Buy Right Now”
Be wary of HVAC contractors who try to rush your decision to buy. If they give you a quote and then tell you that you’ll pay less by acting immediately and pay more if they have to come back, they’re likely not as reputable as you think. A good contractor will give you time to think about your installation or repair and will be willing to come back a second time to do the job. If the contractor offers another service while they’re there, however, don’t be too alarmed – they’re likely just trying to save you both time.
“The Larger the Better”
If you’re in need of a new heater or air conditioner, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, a bigger unit will not only cost you more upfront, but it will cost more to install and cost more to operate over time, leaving you with higher bills than you want. If a contractor tells you your home should have a large HVAC unit, get a second opinion – your home may be perfectly fine with a smaller one.
The “Calling on Behalf Of”
Sometimes, non-reputable contractors will call homeowners posing as a contractor for a larger, more popular company. They’ll often offer a free inspection or free maintenance and if you decide to set up an appointment, pay attention to the van or truck they arrive in and what they’re wearing. If there’s no company logo that’s clearly visible, it’s likely a scam.
The “I Have a Used One”
If a contractor comes to your home to inspect your HVAC unit and finds a faulty part, they may tell you that they have a used replacement part that they can install that will save you money. Used parts may cause strain on other parts, may reduce efficiency, or may not last and an honest, trustworthy contractor won’t offer them.