No one will deny that during the extreme temperatures associated with cold winter months, having your furnace suddenly stop working can subject you and your family to extremely uncomfortable conditions inside your home, not to mention the distinct possibility of posing various health and safety risks. This is especially true in mountainous regions such as Colorado, Utah, and Montana. For these and many more reasons it is always advisable to make the effort to find a reputable, and trustworthy heating and cooling company, to get the problem addressed and fixed as soon as you notice it. However, home services industry is plagued by dishonest companies that will make faulty recommendations to get you to spend your hard earned money on their furnace repair or replacement services when the problem is actually something minor instead of the major problem that you’re being told exists. So as a wise homeowner, it is crucial that you beware of this furnace repair scam, actually a couple of them that this article is about to reveal.
Common Furnace Repair Scams To Beware Of:
Scam #1: The “Cracked Heat Exchanger” Scam
Quite a good number of homeowners have encountered this furnace repair scam, where the shady HVAC repair technician tricks you into believing that your furnace’s heat exchanger is cracked or broken and needs to be fixed or replaced to keep your home safe from carbon monoxide poisoning. A good example is this story about a furnace repair scam perpetrated against Jennifer and Reese, in which the repair technician actually put on a red tag stating “DEFECTIVE DO NOT USE” on the furnace. It turned out that no heat exchanger cracks were present after the couple decided to consult a second HVAC contractor. In this scam, the furnace repair technician is basically trying to threaten you with claims that your life is in danger and that your system needs immediate replacement.
You will find instances of this furnace repair scam on many local news websites, as investigative reporters have caught company after company misrepresenting the CO levels being emitted from a customer’s furnace.
While a heat exchanger that is actually leaking potentially dangerous levels of CO requires immediate attention to avoid the dangers posed by carbon monoxide poisoning, it might not always be the case so ask the repair technician for proof that the heat exchanger is actually broken before agreeing to a major furnace repair or potentially replacing your furnace altogether. In case you fail to see the crack for yourself on the technician’s camera, it
is always wiser to call another technician from a reputable HVAC repair company for a second opinion.
Scam #2: The Bait & Switch Scam
The other common furnace repair scam is where a dishonest HVAC technician will offer you an attractive or unrealistically low priced inspection, or maintenance offer. Some companies will even send a technician to your house to do the furnace inspection for free. However, once the repair technician enters your home and performs the ‘free’ inspection on your furnace, you will then be presented with a report indicating problems that don’t actually exist, or which are greatly exaggerated, and will cost you a fortune to fix. The low-cost or free offer was just a mere bait-and-switch to get their technician into your home. Always question any furnace repair deals and offers that sound too good to be true.
Scam #3: The Duct Cleaning Scam
In this scam, the repairman will insist that your ductwork needs professional deep cleaning as it is clogged and is an indoor air quality health hazard. Some of them will show you the air registers and trick you into believing that the ductwork is dirty too. Even though duct cleaning is actually an essential part of HVAC maintenance that has a couple of benefits, unscrupulous heating and air companies will threaten you with reports indicating mold growth in air ducts and severe debris buildup just to get you to invest in their duct cleaning services when it may be unnecessary. If you’re unsure of your HVAC Company’s experience and reputation, always get a second opinion when it comes to any recommended furnace repair.