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Hagerstown Heating & Cooling Blog

2 Major Furnace Repair Scams to Be Aware Of

HVAC Maintenance Bill

Your furnace isn’t working and it’s cold outside. You’re desperate for someone to come and fix it. You’ll approve just about any repair they suggest since you’re so eager to get the heat back on in your home. What you’re feeling is natural and anyone in your shoes would react the same.

Unfortunately, this is something that unscrupulous HVAC contractors know and will take advantage of. That’s why it’s important to be aware of some common repair scams that shady companies will try and pull. When you need heating service in Williamsport, MD from a company whose motto is “Honesty at Its Best,” we’re the team to call.

Cracked Heat Exchanger

We don’t want to downplay the seriousness of a cracked heat exchanger. If a heat exchanger develops cracks, it’s a potentially hazardous situation. 

If you have a gas-powered furnace, heat exchangers can develop cracks when a furnace is old or hasn’t been properly maintained. However, this is also a common furnace repair scam because the danger of a leaking heat exchanger is the carbon monoxide gas that’s potentially leaking into your home—which the shady contractor will point out.

It’s human instinct to immediately approve a repair that’ll keep your family safe—and they know this. If a technician says the heat exchanger is cracked, ask if they’ve detected carbon monoxide (CO) leaks. A reputable HVAC company will carry combustion analyzers and CO meters with them. If they can’t produce proof, it’s worth it to get a second opinion.

Replacing a heat exchanger is a costly repair, and it’s generally not worth the cost for furnaces that are old and outdated. The unscrupulous repair person might suggest you purchase a new furnace instead of replacing the heat exchanger.

Selling an Oversized Furnace

A common furnace installation scam is selling an unsuspecting homeowner a system that’s oversized for their home. You may be thinking, what’s so bad about that? Isn’t bigger always better?

Well, not when it comes to HVAC systems. A system that’s too large for the home it’s installed in will have efficiency problems. It’ll cause huge temperature swings in your home. Certain rooms will be too hot while others will be too cold. It’ll waste energy, drive up your heating bills, and short cycle. 

All these things exacerbate wear and tear and you’ll be looking at an early replacement. It’ll also need service more frequently, which cues the dollar signs in their eyes.

The bigger the furnace, the more expensive it’ll cost, and the more expensive it’ll be to install. That’s why shady contractors will try and push the biggest system they have with no regard for the size of your home. 

Properly sizing a furnace requires taking many factors into consideration beyond just your home’s square footage. That’s why it’s essential to work with an experienced, reputable HVAC company who knows what they’re doing.

If you’re ever presented with a repair estimate that just doesn’t sound right, trust your instincts. Give us a call for an honest second opinion.

At Hagerstown Heating & Cooling, we want to protect customers from Google and other contractors. Honesty at Its Best. 

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