It’s too often that you hear people how their car mechanic cheated them during their last regular checkup. Like with the car service industry, the HVAC business also has its share of dishonest representatives that try to make an extra buck by taking advantage of their client’s inexperience and trusting nature.
Instead of giving them a fair deal and quality service so they’ll get a long-term client and probably even some word-of-mouth advertising, these shortsighted HVAC providers choose to scam their clients. Here are several ways to tell if this is being done to you.
Paying Cash Upfront
No reputable HVAC provider will ever insist that you pay cash upfront before they provide you with their service. If they do, be wary that they can take the money and run. It’s advisable that you only deal with professionals that provide you with transparent and fair policies that don’t involve upfront payments or any hidden fees.
Talking Payment Over the Phone
Similarly, try staying away from HVAC contractors that give you a price before they even look at your HVAC system. Reputable providers will come to your home, inspect the system and only then offer you an estimate.
Those that don’t, however, will sometimes try to bait you by first giving a low price, only to raise the costs after the job is complete, stating that your system had more problems than previously anticipated. Among other reasons, this is why it’s so important to get everything in writing, including the estimate.
Replacing Good Parts
One of the most common scams in the industry is when a contractor tries to convince you that a functional component is faulty and requires replacement. Now, granted, this is somewhat hard to determine if this is true or not, especially if you have no experience with HVAC systems.
Some may even go as far as offering to do a replacement on the spot, saying they happen to have another used one with them. Never accept such an offer since used components will not last and will only add more strain on your system. If you feel that the technician is dishonest, it can be advisable to ask for a second diagnosis from another contractor.
Refilling on Refrigerant
There is a common misconception going around that HVAC systems use up their refrigerant over time. If there isn’t anything wrong with your system and there aren’t any leaks, you don’t need extra coolant. So, if the provider suggests adding more refrigerant but does no other repairs, you are most likely being scammed.
The Oversized HVAC Unit
Shady contractors will sometimes try to sell you the idea that a larger HVAC unit will be more efficient and advantageous. Do, however, keep in mind that this is only true if the space they are meant to heat and cool is of proportionate size. Also, large units are also more expensive and costlier to install. Such a large unit on an average-sized home will heat the house faster, but they will also turn on and off more often, increasing energy consumption and putting more strain on the system. Most units provide this information in their specifications sheet.
At Frederick Air, we pride ourselves in providing our clients with only the highest quality services possible. If you have any questions, need a second opinion, or are looking to do some repairs on your HVAC system, we are at your service. Contact us directly at (301) 663-0300 or fill out our online form.