HELPFUL TIPS TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF BY HVAC SCAMS

Replacing HVAC - What To Watch Out For

The aftermath of flooding is emotionally and financially draining because there’s so much you have to do to rebuild your life and your home. Among all the repairs you need to do around your house, fixing an HVAC system, which is badly hit by flooding due to severe storms, can be expensive.

As an HVAC unit is something you can’t fix on your own, you have to call in the experts. But sadly, at times like this — when you are most vulnerable and are in a hurry to get things fixed — you’re more likely to be ripped off by some unscrupulous HVAC contractor if you’re not cautious. To help you avoid being cheated in such situations, we’ve put together some tips that will allow you to stay away from scammers who pose as HVAC repair contractors. Before going through a check list like, always check that the contractor you are talking to has a “verified website” with a Google “verified mailing address”. If you are convinced that you are not dealing with a storm chaser proceed to the below list…

  1. Do Your Research

You may need a new part or you may not. To avoid being tricked, go on the net and search for the signs of damage or malfunction. If your HVAC is showing the same signs that your contractor suggests, then maybe you have to replace that part. But it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, be thorough in your research and then give the go ahead.

  1. Get a Second Opinion

If your contractor mentions some major repairs which could be quite expensive, get a second opinion from another firm or contractor. This will help to confirm whether you actually have to replace that part, or your contractor is trying to make a few bucks off you.

  1. Be Careful of Low Prices

Don’t be rushed into making a decision. Your contractor might offer you low prices as a ‘today only’ offer. But in most cases, these are simply tactics practiced by shady contractors to force customers into hiring them without doing any research.

Take time to at least get your HVAC system checked by another contractor, compare quotes and make a list of repairs that each contractor has given you. You might find that some repairs are not necessary at all.

  1. Insist on a Detailed Quote

A reputable contractor will give you a detailed quote but an unscrupulous one might even try to dismantle your unit without giving you any details. Never allow a contractor to do that until you agree to their prices and terms that have been laid out clearly.

  1. Beware of the Fake Parts Scam

Your alarm bells should start ringing if the contractor says that the part has been replaced and the unit should be functional in a couple of days. In the HVAC world, replacements show instant results. A good contractor that you’ve hired after a proper research will always get original parts for your system and you’ll see the results as soon as the fixes are done. A good way to avoid scammers is to avoid those contractors who talk about delayed results.

  1. Ask for Detailed Documentation

Before shelling out your money, ask for a clearly spelled out documentation sheet which should mention details such as gas and air pressure levels, electrical draws etc.

  1. Never Buy Used Parts

Many HVAC repair contractors may try to lure you with on-the-spot replacements. Avoid them because in most cases, they use fakes or used parts, which simply won’t last.

Hire a contractor only after you have researched about them, either online or by asking friends and acquaintances who have used their services. Following these tips and being alert will save you from being ripped off by any dishonest contractors.