HVAC repairs: Avoid scams and bad service

CINCINNATI (Paula Toti) -- This time of year it's so cold if your heater goes out you might be tempted to make a quick repair. Make sure you are not being scammed or oversold. Local 12's Paula Toti has some advice. Sometimes when homeowners are feeling scammed it just may be that the repair person doesn't have a lot of experience.

It's an industry where those in it tell us meeting the minimum requirements doesn't say much about doing a good job. So their advice is to not only use a company with a good reputation, but also ask a lot of questions of the technician. If they seem inexperienced and what they're saying doesn't make sense, move on.

If you like the tech, ask that the same person come the next time you have a service call or tune up. Also, use someone who is trained in servicing the brand of furnace you have.

If the repair is going to be over 300 dollars consider getting a second opinion. If you have time and need several thousand dollars in work get a third opinion. Certainly in this harsh weather it's tough. If you don't have heat ... It's an emergency. In that case at least get a second opinion if you don't have a relationship with the company. Whatever bad parts are being replaced should be left for you to inspect. Sometimes a repair is so expensive a new system is warranted. A lot has to do with age. A furnace has a life expectancy of 15 - 17 years, the same with an air conditioner.A heat pump has a life expectancy of 12 - 14 years. It's a good time to hook up with someone you trust while you don't have a problem. Your system should still get a tune up every year. Ask friends who they trust. Check Angie's list, those are customer reviews. Also two industry organizations have strict standards for companies they recommend, the "Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance" and "The Efficiency First Greater Cincinnati".Follow Paula Toti on Twitter @paulatoti, and LIKE her on Facebook.Follow us on Twitter @Local12 and LIKE us on Facebook for updates!


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