Be Alert to Furnace Scams
I bet if I tried to think of your favorite thing to do… it’s not going to be “invite a perfect stranger into your home and hand over a large sum of money.” Maybe you think, is this a furnace scam?
Most of us are going to need help with something in our home – whether it’s with major appliances, your roof, flooring, plumbing or the heating and cooling.
Any of these areas can fall into the “too big to handle on my own” category, but what’s an even bigger concern is the very real question, “Who do I trust?”
That’s not an easy question… especially when your money is involved and even more importantly, when your safety is involved.
It’s almost like, if you ever hear the words “trust me,” you’re going to want to watch your back. And sadly, the home repair business is where some of the biggest con artists like to set their sights.
You know, if someone tells you a simple repair is going to cost thousands and your internal red flag goes up, it’s probably time for a second opinion.
This can happen in the home heating business too.
Let’s say you have a problem with your heat, a company comes out, and looks over your furnace. Then they say the furnace can’t be repaired because of cracks in the heat exchanger putting carbon monoxide into your home.
That actually does happen quite often. But since the cost of repair and replacement are very different, it is sometimes the setup for a scam.
So, here’s what to do. If there are cracks in the heat exchanger, it’s true that’s quite dangerous. But they should also be able to tell you how these were found.
Just like when your doctor says, “I can see from your blood test… your x-ray shows… or based on the symptoms you describe…” In other words, there’s a diagnostic element at work. And with heating and air, the diagnosis could come from sophisticated equipment, fluorescent dyes or removing the back of the furnace.
So, if they say they ‘visually’ checked it and saw the crack, simply ask to see it too. If they can’t show you the crack or if you have any doubt, just get another opinion. Simple as that.
That’s why we use detection equipment, dyes or even video camera inspections to be completely certain before we recommend a replacement. Using a camera, we can show you exactly where the cracks hide, that would be very difficult to detect otherwise.
Other reasons to replace an old furnace is because of the energy efficiency of new ones, greater comfort, better reliability and longer warranties. But don’t replace one based on fear and deception.
No matter what, when it comes to your money and health: be safe, be smart.
If you’d like us to check the health of your furnace, just call PDM Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Since 1885. We’re here to help in the Joliet SW Chicago suburbs area.