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Could that free offer for an AC inspection be too good to be true–what’s the catch?

It’s finally spring and time to use your air conditioner! It’s also time to get maintenance service on your air conditioner to make sure it’s ready for the hot summer season. However, a word of caution about the scores of reminder ads for air conditioning services in your mailbox and the unsolicited calls on your phone reminding you of the importance of servicing your air conditioner and offering free AC inspections. Before you respond to one of these ads be vigilant about unsolicited offers for air conditioning services that are free or simply seem too good to be true.

In a recent publication for heating, air conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC) contractors, it was noted that one of the common scams this time of year is a phone call by an alleged HVAC contractor advising consumers that it’s time for their free inspection on their AC system. Basically, once the homeowner sets the appointment for the free AC inspection, the opportunity for financial gain is open for the scammers. Once one of these disreputable HVAC companies gets into the home, they can create a whirlwind of financial opportunity and problems for the homeowner. This is such a common occurrence that Dateline investigated, aired, and exposed these scams by unlicensed air conditioning repair men and unethical HVAC companies.

Air conditioning repair scams can include:

  • Your system is bad and needs to be replace
  • Your HVAC system needs unnecessary and costly repairs
  • Your HVAC systemis leaking Freon

The Dateline report exposed that the quality of these AC inspections is so low that it’s obvious that the only goal of these scammers is to create a costly repair problem and try to convince the homeowner to replace their HVAC system. Most of the air conditioners looked at in the investigation were older and their efficiency was low– but operationally the systems were sound.

What I find most disturbing is…who is really in your home? Do you know if they had a background check?

Here’s how you can shut down the opportunity of becoming a victim of an unethical contractor. Work with a HVAC company who:

  • Is known in your community
  • Has been in business for a number of years
  • Is licensed and insured
  • Employs NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certified technicians

The bottom line– nobody likes being taken advantage of. If you’re faced with high pressure sales or a costly repair– get a second opinion! Get peace-of-mind by calling a company you know and trust.

Have questions about the service and maintenance needs of your AC system? Call M.E. Flow. With office locations in Alexandria, Leesburg, and Winchester, we have an AC repairman in your Northern Virginia neighborhood.  ME Flow has been serving the area since 1951 with quality heating and cooling repair services. Now providing HVAC and plumbing services to West Virginia too!

Check out this blog post for other credentials to look for in an HVAC contractor.

Watch for our next post when we answer the question, “What are the benefits of a service agreement maintenance plan.” Like this post? Please Like, Share, or Tweet!