Spot The Scam: How to Identify Common HVAC Scams | Columbia HVAC Portland
Written by Columbia Heating & Cooling

Spot The Scam: How to Identify Common HVAC Scams

As a homeowner, you know that your HVAC system is a big and important investment. Unfortunately, we live in a world where there are people who practice dishonest business and will do anything to take advantage and make money off of your investments.

The good news is that with a little extra time and research, you’ll be able to spot the scammers before they can enter your home. Doing the due diligence necessary to protect your investment will pay off in the long run. Here are 6 common tactics some HVAC companies use to try to scam consumers.

Unmarked Vehicles
Ever received a call from a well-known HVAC company offering a free inspection? If the HVAC technician shows up in an unmarked truck or vehicle, make sure to cancel the appointment. Nearly all honest and legitimate companies use marked service vehicles – never personal vehicles.

Offering Used Parts
Honest and smart contractors will not install used parts. Used parts may seem like a quick and easy way to save money, but installing used parts can cause strain on other parts of the unit, reduce overall efficiency, or worse. Often times these used parts won’t hold up for more than a few weeks which will cost you more money in additional repairs and new replacement parts.

Overpriced Parts & Labor
HVAC parts and labor aren’t something you shop around for every week (like you would with groceries or clothing) so it can be hard to tell when something is overpriced. Do your research and get quotes before having the work done.

Fake Repair Jobs
Replacements or repairs should be an instant fix and results should be immediate. You shouldn’t have to wait around long before seeing results. A common scam is for a contractor to claim to have fixed the problem or replaced a broken part, but hasn’t actually done the work. The only way to prevent this from happening is to do your research on the company ahead of time. Read their reviews and make a judgment call.

Diagnosing Invisible Problems
Watch out if your contractor is pointing out “bad parts” yet you don’t seem to be having problems with the heating and cooling of your home. It may be difficult to tell whether the contractor is trying to scam you, but you can always do a little Google research or get a second opinion before having the work done.

Too Frequent Service
We recommend tuning up your HVAC unit at least once a year, but not more than twice. Ideally you would schedule your tune ups for once in the fall and once in the springtime. This way your system will be prepared for the extreme temperatures of winter and summer. If a contractors are recommending more than two tune ups per year, question their reasoning. They may be trying to get more money out of you than you need to be paying.

How do you know your working with an honest, reliable HVAC company? It always helps to do your own research. Columbia Heating and Cooling is a local business that has served over 30,000 happy customers. We only carry top of the line HVAC products for your home, which are installed by our experienced NATE-certified technicians.

Have we convinced you to give us a call yet? If not, be sure to check our website for a list of our credentials and read testimonials from some very happy customers. We look forward to hearing from you!