This winter season, just like every other, will see thousands of furnaces and boilers that are not functioning properly. Many of us know little to nothing about how these units operate, so we will call a professional in to get the heat back up and running. But, be careful who you call! Scam artists seem to have a sixth sense for detecting homeowners who know nothing about their heating system, and they take advantage of these people to the full extent. Four Seasons wants you to know what to look for in a furnace repair scam so that you can tell the difference between the bad guys who want to steal your money and the good guys who want to help you restore home comfort.
Common Furnace Repair Scams
- Cracked Heat Exchanger: If you ever have a technician tell you that the heat exchanger on your furnace is cracked, do not jump the gun and hand over a check for the cost of a new system. Stop, take a breath, and reconsider. The heat exchanger cracking is very serious because of the potential for a carbon monoxide leak, but you should get a second opinion before signing a contract. If the exchanger is really cracked, replacement of the system is recommended. Here at Four Seasons, we perform second opinions on heat exchangers and we guarantee that if there is a crack, our technicians will be able to find it!
- Payment in Full Upfront: You should never pay in full upfront for a service. If a technician is asking you to pay for a repair, in full, before it is completed, you should have another company come perform the services. When you pay upfront for a service and then allow the technician to leave to “order parts,” you are accepting the chance that he will never return to actually perform the service. He will most likely take your money and run. Putting a down payment on a service is one thing, but paying in full prior to service is defiantly not a good idea.
- Several Broken Parts: If you take good care of your furnace and have a breakdown, you should expect that the serviceman will find one maybe two problems with the system. Not five or six! When furnaces break down there is often one major cause to the problem, but scam artists like to see as many repairs as possible in one service. Their goal is to either get the hundreds of dollars for the multiple repairs or make you think that you need a new unit. If you find yourself in this situation, get a second opinion. Sometimes poorly cared for furnaces do need major repairs, but it is better to get a second opinion before you hand over your hard earned money.
Remember these fraudulent tactics the next time your furnace breaks down, and put Four Seasons to the test! Our name has stood for honesty and integrity since we began 40 years ago, and we guarantee all of our work 100%! Don’t take a chance with your comfort or your cash this winter, and call Four Seasons Heating and Air Conditioning.