Tax refund time is usually the best time to invest in larger home systems for the house, like getting new windows, painting the home, or converting to refrigerated air. It’s also a time when scammers know there is a little extra cash and homeowners looking for services like heating and cooling replacements.
Here’s 5 tips on what to look for from a service contractor and how to avoid possible scammers:
Ask for Identification
When a service technician comes to your door, always ask to see a business card or company badge before letting him in. Most reputable technicians wear company apparel and drive branded vehicles. If the heating and cooling technician can’t offer you proper verification of its company, DO NOT let him in your home.
Ask for Contractor License Number
It’s okay to take it a step further and ask to see a copy of the company’s license and insurance certificate. Most heating and air conditioning employees carry copies of these documents and it’s your right to request you see them before any work begins. Hiring a service company WITHOUT the proper licensing and insurance can be a big problem for you if something goes wrong, like an accident on your property…or a code violation
Do Your Research and Due Diligence on the Contractor
It’s always good to do a little research on a heating and cooling installer before hiring them. Check out their company profiles online at the BBB, Google or Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, etc., and read the reviews. Spending an extra 30-40 minutes researching HVAC contractors could save you a lot of time, money and TROUBLE in the long run. If you cannot find any background information about a heating and cooling company, you may want to rethink hiring that particular contractor.
Never Pay Upfront. Pay After the Project is Complete
RED FLAG. Scammers are the only people who ask for a down payment on repairs or replacements. Do not give credit card or cash to any service company or technician BEFORE the work is completed. If you are purchasing a new heating or air conditioning system on credit, you may have to apply for a new line of credit first, but you should not owe any money until the installation is complete.
“I Do This on the Side”…is a Phrase That You Should Never Hear
Beware of ‘side jobbers’. It takes a lot of training and experience to become a licensed and reputable HVAC contracting company. Most people working on the side may claim their labor rates are cheaper, and there’s a good reason for that. These individuals aren’t equipped, trained, licensing or insurance to do the job.
Don’t Take the Candy!
Deals and offers that sound too “over the top” are big red flags. In short, if the ‘deal’ seems too good to be true, it probably is!
For a free estimate on converting to refrigerated air or replacing an older heating and cooling system, call Expert HVAC and Refrigeration at 915-598-1732. We have been one of El Paso’s top HVAC contractors for nearly 50 years! And, we are fully licensed, bonded and insured and will be happy to share that information with you!