How to Detect HVAC Inspection Scams (& Avoid Them!)
Installation, maintenance and repair of HVAC systems can be an expensive affair. Whether your system fails when it is hot or in the middle of winter, do not just call the cheapest HVAC repair technician or the first one you find. As much as you desire the comfort – especially quickly and affordably – take your time and look for a reputable home comfort expert to handle the system.
Avoid HVAC Inspection Scams
Use these simple tips will help you avoid HVAC inspection scams:
Nothing is free. Avoid providers that request for free tune-ups once you place your initial service call. Any trustworthy company will offer you a free estimate or a free site visit – but businesses need to make money. Scammers are interested in offering free service in order to come up with an expensive sales pitches and up-sells. You don’t need to bother with hagglers.
Trust your intuition. Some HVAC contractors will request a lofty down payment. This should cover spare parts and transport, which is fair. However, If you feel the down-payment is on the higher side, the provider might be taking advantage. Avoid so-called experts who request the entire payment upfront as they will never deliver on their promises.
Narrow it down. Make a short list of the best 5 local HVAC companies that you need to talk to. Do a simple background check to ascertain their capabilities. If possible, talk to their technicians and gauge their professionalism in handling your unique situation. Settle on one provider that you feel meets your specific inspection needs in a friendly and budget-sure manner.
Know the numbers. Collect at least 3 inspection estimates to make the right decision. This way, you will be able to compare prices with the market rates. Use your estimated budget to weight the available options. Only accept free quotes and estimates for comparisons – don’t pay for a maybe.
Do your research. Unscrupulous technicians target the most expensive parts of your systems. Some inspection contractors will trick you into buying expensive parts and end up not using them in your HVAC units. AC Freon is expensive and unreliable techs will try to up-sell these items to overcharge you in the final bill.
REALLY, do your research. Any HVAC system will come with a user manual upon purchase. Go through the troubleshooting section before requesting for inspection. This way, you will have an idea of any faults that your system may have. This way, any technician will know you have an idea on inspection and repairs of the unit. This protects you.
Lock it in. Before hiring a contractor, you need to have a written agreement. This way, you will both have a scope of work & avoid misunderstanding. Make sure this covers the time the project will take, materials required, and penalties if the timelines and standards are not met. This gives you peace of mind and offers some sense of accountability from the contractor or service provider.
Ask around. If the HVAC provider has a good online presence, check out their ratings and read their reviews. These reviews are written by real clients and can help you make a sound decision. You should be able to tell a genuine review from a paid one. Scammers will always have exaggerated reviews to mislead consumers.
If you’ve done your research, you’ll make the right decision and the rest will be easy. Go with the HVAC contractor that respects your budget, cares about home comfort, and understands your needs. Here in Dayton & Miami Valley, that’s Butler Heating & Air. We’re happy to serve the communities that serve us and our loved ones every day! Contact us for your HVAC needs.