Posted on: Apr 29, 2019
Heating and air condition play a critical role in all homes so failures can result in a variety of serious and expensive issues. Given that the majority of homeowners are unfamiliar with the details of their HVAC system, they rely on the assessment and judgment of professionals to be honest, and efficient. However, a major HVAC issue, especially during the weather extremes of summer, can result in homeowners making snap decisions thus becoming vulnerable to deceitful sales approaches and scams. Luckily, there are three tactics to avoid air conditioning scams during the summer:
Do your homework
Contractors and AC maintenance professionals always advise, doing your due diligence on the work that needs to be done and resist pressure for the work to be performed immediately. On the largest items, consider a second opinion. By doing so, the second opinion may determine that the repair is minimum which could have been an oversight from the initial contractor or it could have been a scam. Homeowners should always react skeptically to the lowest prices within the time frame.
Statements from contractors like, “if you buy right now, you will save this amount of money,” are usually indicative of dishonest sales pitches. This high-pressure sales tactic forced you to make a purchase without fully researching the problem and other contractors so stay aware of them. A reputable AC maintenance professional will not utilize such tactics.
Know your contractor
This leads to the next point: know your contractor. Nothing beats an established relationship with a trusted HVAC contractor because the relationship is more than simply the product. In many instances, homeowners will proceed with the lowest priced option, but the contractor may be a guy working from home and when there is an issue down the road, the technician will not answer the phone thus eliminating any type of warranty.
The most trustworthy AC maintenance professionals arm their customers with as much information as they can. Also, good contractors show you exactly what the issue is and how they are fixing it. They educate their consumers to prove why they should be doing the job. Always ask them the cost to repair instead of replacement after you have been given the right information. The best contractors will also provide a detailed, written quote from a contractor. For instance, a company should never dismantle equipment without explaining why so you understand exactly what you are paying for.
Question additives and details
Homeowners must also pay attention to what is being introduced into the HVAC system while avoiding pitches that add performance-enhancing products. For instance, leak-stops and refrigerant additives can be terrible for a refrigerator system. Many of these additions are not manufacturer approved, so they may not have been validated. Another issue experienced during the summer is utilizing incorrect refrigerant levels which may not be a scam but can still wreak havoc on the system. The best AC maintenance professionals know how to accurately measure refrigerant levels.
To ensure the best AC maintenance professionals are bonded, licensed, and insured despite not being a legal requirement. While this does not prove that the contractor is good, national certification proves that technicians have passed specific training and qualification levels. Another detail to consider is if their license plate is local and search for a marked truck that links them to a reputable company. Also, a generic email address typically means they are not up to par with the more reputable AC maintenance professionals.