Is It a Quality AC Service, a Scam or Simply a Clueless Contractor?

Quality AC Service

Signs the AC Contractor Is a Fraud

• The contractor tells you that he can get the job paid for by insurance by stating the failure was caused by lightening damage.
• The contractor should not have access to your breaker before inspecting the HVAC system. Some scams involve tripping the breaker before saying it is shot, let’s replace the whole thing.
• Contractors who offer massive discounts should raise red alarms. Reputable HVAC contractors may have spare air conditioners in storage to sell to those with irreparable units, but they will not sell these units at a fraction of the list price “to move inventory” or “because I like you”.
• Be wary of anyone who offers free AC checks or $18 AC service calls. They are charging too little for their time to be legitimate. They may cut wires in the unit, let refrigerant leak or trip the breaker to get called back later for a more costly service call.

Signs of a Clueless HVAC Contractor

• The contractor’s first suggestion is to replace the whole unit instead of describing what is wrong and what components should be replaced. He may not know what is wrong but he does know the profit margin on selling a new system.
• Be careful of any contractor who cannot explain what a part does after stating that it needs to be replaced.
• Never use a contractor who does not understand what EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) is, what EER ratings are considered “Energy Star” and the energy savings of switching to a more efficient unit.
• HVAC technicians should know the refrigerants they are allowed to use in your jurisdiction, the chemical composition of the refrigerant and whether or not it can be used in your system.
• If the HVAC technician does not recognize the difference between a heat pump and an air conditioner, beware.
• Clueless HVAC techs will not be able to list the advantages and disadvantages of different HVAC equipment brands.

Signs of a Quality AC Service

• A quality AC service can tell you what items are damaged or broken, why it needs to be replaced and the options for repair.
• A quality AC service will offer you low cost repairs to get the system running and long term solutions that may be more costly.
• Reputable AC service providers will not push you to sign up for maintenance agreements as a condition of the repair job. They may give you a discount on future maintenance or a free check up in six months after buying a new unit.
• Quality AC service providers can give time and labor estimates due to their experience with similar jobs.