HVAC scams are nothing new, but as the weather warms up they are taking on residential areas in full force. Online review and consumer protection programs like the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List have made these scams easier to spot and avoid, but some homeowners still fall victim every year. Below are a few of of the more common scams popping up this year that contractors have reported to Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration News.
Afraid you’ve fallen victim to a scam? Get a second opinion! Contact Jack Lehr for a free consultation in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas.
“We’re in the neighborhood”
This common scam begins with a telemarketing call offering a discounted rate because the service technician is “in the neighborhood.” After gaining entry to your home, the scammers find various problems with the components of your HVAC system, including anything from outdated parts to toxic mold.
The best way to avoid this scam is to schedule regular maintenance checkups with a reputable company like Jack Lehr, and not fall for the dangling discount carrot. Saving $50 today isn’t worth paying $300 tomorrow to fix what the shoddy discount service either missed or broke. You rely on your HVAC system to heat and cool your home, and improper care can cause you big bucks in the future. Doing your research on PA and NJ heating and cooling companies and scheduling a consultation may be more time consuming than letting the contractor “in the neighborhood” into your home, but it will assure better servicing and will usually save you more money in the long run.
“It’s time for your free inspection”
ACHR reported that a popular scam this season is using the free inspection tactic to get inside the home and then condemning perfectly good equipment. A scammer will call your home insisting they are with XYZ Company and that it’s time for your “free” inspection. They will then perform a short inspection of your equipment, throw a bunch of HVAC technical lingo at you, and insist you get a replacement right away because repairs will cost you more money.
Many of these companies can get your personal information like telephone number and address through typical telemarketing tactics, so you shouldn’t assume that since you’re being contacted you must have given them your phone number at some point. Unless you’re signed up for a maintenance program like Jack Lehr’s Preferred Client Plan, you shouldn’t be getting told it’s time for your free inspection.
“You need a replacement”
This is one of the more common scams. The scammer uses technical HVAC lingo to overwhelm the homeowner, and then insists that a full-on replacement is the only way to go. In most of these cases, a simple repair is the solution, but the scammer relies on the homeowner not being familiar with their HVAC system. One popular version is to tell the homeowner the heat exchanger is cracked and will die shortly.
Jack Lehr: An Allentown, PA HVAC Company You Can Trust
You can always avoid a scam by trusting the honest experts at Jack Lehr. With every visit, you’ll get a comprehensive diagnostic and a written estimate for the work to be done, as well as second opinions if need be. If you’re afraid you’re being scammed, give us a call and we’ll come on out for a free consultation. Contact us today to learn more about our services and maintenance plans!