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8 Tips To Avoid HVAC Repair Scams

Beware of Air Conditioning, AC Repair, Air Conditioning Contractor, Air Conditioning Repair Service, HVAC Contractor ScamsHVAC (heating and air conditioning) repair can sometimes be pretty expensive, especially if you encounter dishonest contractors who charge unfair prices. Unfortunately, HVAC scams are common which is why its important to stay alert while shopping around for a repair service.

Dishonest HVAC repair companies have been caught on camera by numerous TV stings. Watch these videos and youll be amazed by what these companies try to pull! 

Here are some tips to protect yourself when examining or hiring an HVAC contractor in your own area:

Ask for the Old/Broken Part that Was Replaced: If the repairman informs you that they had to remove a broken or old part from your HVAC unit, tell them you would like to have that part. If youre skeptical about the work performed,  take the part to a certified HVAC repair company and ask for a second opinion.

Watch Out For the Phrase Free Tune UpWhen Looking for a Contractor: As noted by the Better Business Bureau, many HVAC repair companies offer free estimates, which is nothing out of the ordinary. The companies you need to avoid, however, are the ones that offer free tuneup services. These may sound like great deals but in reality, these companies are attempting to trick you into ordering an unnecessary service that is extremely costly. If you ever notice this, move on and continue your search.

Beware If Contractors Want All the Money Up Front: Some contractors or companies might ask you to make a down payment before the repair begins then make a second and final payment when the repair is complete.  This is nothing out of the ordinary, however when a company asks to be paid all up front before the repair even begins should be a red flag. These companies have the reputation of charging an absurd amount and then doing a poor job on the repair.

Be Skeptical About a Low Price Offer with a Time Limit Attached: The limited time low price offers may sound like a great investment when in reality, its just another scam. Like mentioned by Angie’s List, contractors that state if you buy now youll save this muchare probably not telling you that it will cost even more money when they have to return to fix the HVAC unit a second time. This is just another scam in their playbook that you need to avoid.

Investigate the Contractor and Ask for their License: When looking for a HVAC repair contractor or company, make sure theyre licensed. You can even ask to see their worker license when they come to the door. Also check out customer reviews online to see how they rate against the competition. If you find a lot of negative comments on their performance, its safe to assume that this isnt a company you want to do business with.  

Receive a Written Estimate: By asking for a written estimate before the job begins, youll have proof of the agreement between you and the company: a copy of what you paid the company to work on. This can be beneficial if the repairmen dont complete the job they were hired to do. If this happens, present the estimate to upper management and explain the situation.

Get a Second Opinion: HVAC repairs can be expensive but sometimes it isnt as expensive as one would think. If you receive a large estimate from a company, call another company and get a second opinion. This is especially crucial if one company tells you to replace your entire system. (Some companies use their repair teams as salespeople to sell new units.) You may be surprised to learn that the work you need done wont cost as much as you expected.

Make Sure Your Contractor is Certified to Work on Your Exact System: You want to make sure that the person working on your HVAC is certified and experienced to work on your particular model. Check their website to see the units theyre qualified to fix. You can even call the manufacturer who built your HVAC unit to ask if they know anyone in your area certified to repair your unit.

Having a broken A/C or heater is not a pleasant experience and having someone scam you makes it even worse. So when looking for a company or a contractor, remember these tips so you can hire someone trustworthy, honest and qualified to fix your unit.

What do you think of these tips? Did we forget any? Write comments below and tell us your experiences when looking for an HVAC company or contractor.


This article was written by Brandon M. with  Arctic Air Service, an air conditioning repair and maintenance service serving in the Sarasota/Bradenton, FL area. Follow on Facebook.

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  1. This is indeed a valuable information. If you don’t want to get scam follow these tips on how to hire an HVAC contractor. Also check for their background on the internet, this will help you a well.

  2. Definitely get an estimate on paper if you can. My friend Blake didn’t get an estimate written down and one company tried to wring him for a LOT more than he was told. It’s really unfortunate that we can’t just do business and pay a reasonable fee. These tips are great and everyone should be aware of some of the things going on these days.

  3. What’s up colleagues, its wonderful piece of writing oon the topic of teachingand fulkly explained,
    keep it up alll the time.

  4. I took a brand new part off a guy that reset my AC claiming to have replace the part and charged me $200 bucks. He’d replaced a one year old capacitor that had just been replaced the previous year with an old rusty one. Another told me my programmable thermostat was broken and replaced it with a $10 model he charged me $75 bucks for. I neglected to ask for the thermostat he’d replaced.

    The guy that replaced the old rusty capacitor said he had to check my thermostat wiring but I stood and watched and he didn’t even open it.

    You should make a video that shows how to reset an airconditioning unit which is usually all that’s necessary if it goes out after a power outage.

  5. Thanks so much for this article. We will be hiring for peoria, IL. heating and cooling and wanted to do our research. Well this article helps so much. We have plenty to go off of now. Thanks so much

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