hvac scam

Don’t Get Burned by These 3 Hvac Scams

This blog is posted by Trophy AC in San Antonio

When your furnace breaks in the middle of a cold spell or your air conditioner quits at the height of summer, getting the appliance fixed fast will likely be your top concern. Though most HVAC repair companies operate with integrity, there are a few rotten apples in the barrel. Here are a few HVAC scams to look out for and what you can do to avoid being burned.

Phantom Part Replacement

In this scam, the perpetrator convinces the owner that the unit needs to have a part replaced but doesn’t actually install anything. The person is usually able to get away with this because a homeowner typically does not stand over the technician’s shoulder watching while he or she pretends to fix it. Alternatively, the contractor may overcharge for the part or replace parts that don’t need to be fixed.

To combat this problem, always get a second opinion from another top-rated HVAC company. Ask for a written estimate of the costs associated with the repair, and use the Internet to search for the average price for your area and compare it to the quote to ensure you’re being charged fairly. If the technician says he or she has to install a replacement part, ask for the old one to make sure you got what you paid for.

Black Mold Scam

Another scam that homeowners are often hit with is being told they have black mold in their air ducts that must be cleaned out right away. In some cases, the unscrupulous person may even show the homeowner a picture the individual claims he or she took of the inside of the ducts as “proof”. Often the person will engage in high-pressure sales or scare tactics to get the homeowner to agree to pay hundreds of dollars for air duct cleaning.

While it is possible to have mold growing in your air ducts, it’s not a common problem. No matter what the technician says or how aggressive the person is, decline the service and have your ducts tested by a professional mold tester to verify or dispute the individual’s claims.

Impostors

Another growing problem is scammers who pretend to work for reputable HVAC companies in the area. One person recounts his experience of having a scammer obtain a cell phone in the business’s name and pretend to be the company when calls were mistakenly routed to him. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) also recently released an advisory about impostors operating in the northwest who would call unsuspecting consumers pretending to be area businesses.

Use the Internet or other resources such as the BBB to look up a company’s official phone number to avoid mistakenly calling an impostor. Be wary of unsolicited phone calls, especially if you’ve never done business with the company previously.

HVAC technicians must have a license to operate, which a scammer is unlikely to have. Ask for licensing information and either call your state licensing board or visit the state’s verification site to check that the license is valid.

Most HVAC contractors are legitimate businesses who only want to help customers. If you think you’re getting scammed, contact a reputable company like Trophy AC for a second opinion.