Don’t Get Cheated: What Unethical A/C Techs Won’t Tell You

When we hear about unethical air conditioning service, it really gets us hot under the collar. After coming behind other companies and being asked for second opinions, we have seen and heard of many air conditioning and heating scams. That’s why we want to arm you with knowledge so you can spot them faster. Many unethical contractors tell a very similar story! Here’s what to watch for:

When they don’t offer a repair, only suggest replacing

If your air conditioner or heater is less than 12-15 years old, it often makes better financial sense to repair it. If a part has gone bad when your air conditioner is young, it may be under warranty. Even though warranties don’t cover the cost of labor, it is still less expensive than replacing your entire system. And, you may not even need to replace your entire system. (See our post on warranties.)

When your system was working fine, until the tech got there

We have heard this familiar scenario, too.  Homeowners called an air conditioning company for a “performance check,” and magically, the HVAC system is “broken” or needs complete replacement.  What you need to know is that HVAC companies that advertise really inexpensive air conditioner or heater performance checks are losing money before they step into your home. This is why they are incentivized to find something wrong or worst case scenario, they unplug something or declare the system in need of replacement.

When your technician refuses to show you the damaged or failed part

A technician should always be prepared to show you the damaged or failed part and answer all of your questions.  That part belongs to you after all. Sometimes it is very obvious when a part has gone bad because there are burn marks or other physical evidence to be seen. If a part is being fixed or replaced under warranty, many times the manufacturer will require the faulty part to be returned to the factory so they can test it. If the part turns out to be good, the warranty will be denied and the contractor will be charged the price of the part, shipping and handling, and a fee for testing.

When an HVAC technician is not specific about the equipment going into your home

If you are getting a new heater or air conditioner, make sure they itemize the HVAC equipment you expect with model numbers so you can be sure you are getting what you pay for. Some contractors use very generic terms, such as “Installation of 16 SEER System.” There are a lot of different types of 16 SEER systems to choose from, and some are of higher quality and more energy-efficient than others. Would you purchase a 4-door sedan sight unseen without asking questions? Make sure you know what you are buying and are comparing apples to apples before pulling the trigger on a new HVAC system. Most manufacturers like Carrier offer different levels of system — value model (Comfort Series), mid-line model (Performance Series), and high-end, ultra energy-efficient models (Infinity Series). A reputable HVAC contractor should be able to answer all of your questions and offer you options that fit your needs. Because we repair a lot of systems, we can tell you which ones need repairs less often.

We Can Help

If you need a second opinion on an air conditioning or heating repair or installation, give Rob and Kenny at Terry’s A/C and Heating a call at 281-495-7830. As a Carrier Factory Authorized dealer, we have earned a reputation of fixing systems others say can’t be fixed. We use flat-rate pricing to incentivize us to use time wisely, and we do not operate on commission. Our family-owned business is founded on treating others as we would want to be treated. This means we get the job done right the first time and aren’t finished until you are satisfied. We serve the West Houston and surrounding communities like Katy, Fulshear, and Richmond, keeping our customers comfortable year round.