Although we all rely heavily on our air-conditioning to keep us comfortable, when it comes to how they actually work, most homeowners don’t know their compressors from their condensers, leaving them vunerable to being taken advantage of by unscrupulous repairmen.
The best way to avoid this is to try to gain at least a rudimentary knowledge of how your system works. But, if you’re not technically inclined, or don’t have the time or inclination to do this, the next best thing is to know how to spot the tricks used by dodgy repair companies and avoid them. Here are some of the most common AC repair rip-offs.
Pricey Unnecessary Replacements
When a piece of technical equipment stops functioning as it should, it’s not unreasonable to assume a part might be broken and need replacing. And when the repairman confirms this suspicion, most people fork out for the new part without a second thought, making this the favorite AC scam. So, unless you are dealing with an established, reputable company such as Chills, always get a second opinion before replacing anything.
A big red flag is when the repairman says you need to replace more than one part, or the cost of the replacement part is so high that you’d be better off buying a whole new unit.
Too Good to Be True
As the man said, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Be wary of any offers that fall into this category, especially if they come unsolicited. Offers of heavily discounted or even free service are usually nothing more than an attempt to get a foot in the door.
Once they gain access to your home, unscrupulous repairmen will use the opportunity to “discover” all sorts of critical problems with your system, even though it appears to be functioning perfectly, and squeeze you for as much as they can get.
Recharging Refrigerant Rip-Off
Refrigerant is the lifeblood of your AC system and, just like your blood, it circulates round and round the system without getting used up. If the levels have dropped, it means you have a regrigerant leak, which needs to be located and repaired before any recharging is done.
Any repairman who starts a routine maintenance call by talking about refrigerant top-ups or measuring refrigerant levels is trying to rip you off.
Repairmen Scare Tactics
In most cases, AC malfunctions are not immediately life-threatening (the exceptions being if the unit is actually on fire or pumping visible clouds of refrigerant into your home). If your repairman starts to tell you there is no time to lose and you’re in imminent danger if you don’t agree to costly and complicated repairs NOW, politely show him the door and call a more reputable company for a second opinion.
If you want to be on the safe side, disconnect the unit from the power supply while you wait.
These are the most common AC repair scams around nowadays. Of course, only a minority of AC companies are dishonest and short-sighted enough to try them on.
If you want to avoid getting ripped off, do your research and make sure the company you choose is well-established and has a good reputation. Look at their website, check out their reviews, and ask your friends and neighbors if they know anything about them.
Or, if you live in the greater Miami Dade, Broward, and Sarasota Counties, just book an appointment with us at Chills Air Conditioning, for service you can trust at a price you can afford. Thank you for reading and we hope you found this blog helpful.