Be Alert and Avoid Furnace Repair Scams

You know your furnace needs serviced, but you don’t know where to start looking for a reputable contractor. It’s a dilemma many people are faced with each day. The sad truth is there are dishonest people that would love to take your money, and provide nothing but heartache in return. Here we’ll show you how to recognize a furnace repair scam and avoid becoming a victim.

There are many types of furnace repair scams, each one unique and in all likelihood, costly. Some of the more common types of scams include being told the entire unit needs replaced when it does not. A worker may tell you that ductwork is old and fragile and needs to be completely removed and replaced, when it simply needs cleaned. Or, very commonly, you may be charged a considerable fee to replace a part that is never replaced at all.

To avoid being targeted, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Do a little research – When you find a heating contractor that you are considering, write down their name and license number. Every contractor has a license number and must provide it to you. Many times, their business card will have the number displayed on the front. Do not work with anyone that cannot, or will not, provide this information for you.

Check it out – Each state is different, so find out the particular laws about license and insurance requirements for contractors in your state. You can verify a license through the Better Business Bureau, the Bureau of Building Codes, and other state offices.

Ask for proof of insurance – A heating contractor is required to carry insurance and provide proof of it upon request. If it cannot be provided, that is a very good indicator that there is a furnace repair scam involved.

Go with your gut – There’s a lot to be said about intuition. If you meet with someone and get a bad feeling about them, or suspect they aren’t being completely honest with you, there’s nothing wrong with deciding not to use them.

Don’t be lured in – Anyone can purchase advertising space. Just because you see an ad for ‘furnace repair’ in the newspaper or phone book, doesn’t mean this person is actually qualified to perform the work. Never make a decision based on the size or appearance of an ad.

Don’t answer the door – One of the easiest ways to spot a furnace repair scam is when they come knocking on front door. Do you really think a reputable contractor needs to knock on the door to drum up business? No way! In fact, when cold weather approaches, these businessmen have more business than they know what to do with.

Get it in writing – Don’t give anyone the opportunity to increase costs after the fact. Before the work begins, get it in writing. Cost, materials, completion time, and so on, should be written down and signed by both parties to ensure you aren’t taken advantage of later.

More from Jennifer Wagner

Costly mistakes people make when hiring a contractor

DIY Kitchen demolition basics

10 Home remodeling projects that pay off

Source: Personal knowledge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

four + 9 =