With temperatures dropping rapidly, the last thing you need is a broken furnace! Unless that’s a big repair bill that turns out to be a scam. But how do you protect yourself from scammers? Check out our tips for identifying and avoiding heating repair scams.
Do You Know How to Spot a Scammer?
Look for the following signs:
No printed brochures or business cards
You can’t find a company website
No valid Tennessee contractor’s license
They’re not insured
No ratings on sites like HomeAdvisor, Angi, or Thumbtack.
They also use high-pressure sales tactics and demand:
an immediate yes/no decision
full payment before starting work
Is Your Contractor Ripping You Off?
Even some legitimate heating repair companies can use dubious practices. They take advantage of the homeowner’s ignorance to pad the bill. They may tell you they need to replace parts that still work or sell you on unnecessary services.
Heating Repair Scams to Beware
A few unscrupulous contractors play on your fears to force you to make a poor decision.
Cracked Heat Exchanger
A cracked heat exchanger means that your furnace needs to be replaced. However, some scammer will force you to make a quick decision to use their services by telling you it’s leaking carbon monoxide, which is dangerous.
While it does need to be replaced, it doesn’t mean it’s leaking CO2 into your home. Unless the contractor can provide proof, you shouldn’t be pressured into using their services.
Some contractors quote highly inflated repair costs that make the price of replacement look more attractive. Steering you to a new unit rather than fixing the existing one is often a better deal for the repair person. They may even receive a kickback on the financing.
Part of the con is to give you no chance for a second opinion. They tell you the cheap price of the replacement is only valid during the service call.
Avoid Heating Repair Scams with One Simple Trick
One way to arm yourself against scammers is to keep detailed records of your HVAC system maintenance. In this way, you’ll know whether or not your service tech is padding the bill.
Another Way to Avoid Heating Repair Scams
Scammers prey on you when you’re at a disadvantage. You don’t have to put yourself into a vulnerable position.
Find a reliable HVAC contractor for annual maintenance checks. These don’t just prevent system failures; they also provide you with written documentation on the condition of your system and all its repairs and maintenance.
It also lets you assess the technician when you’re system is operating just fine. Once you find a technician you can trust, you know you can rely on them when there is an emergency in the future.Make an appointment now with the experts at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning in Chattanooga for your annual maintenance. They can assess your existing system and help you create a maintenance routine that puts you in charge.