As a homeowner, finding a reputable HVAC specialist can be a daunting task, especially with the increasing number of scams and fraudulent activities online. It can be even more difficult for first-time homeowners who have never had to maintain their own HVAC system. It's essential to be diligent and take the necessary precautions to protect from online HVAC pricing scams. But don’t worry - Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar is here to help you.
There are a few things for which you can look to spot an HVAC pricing scam. These include:
- Extremely low prices: If you see an HVAC contractor offering significantly lower prices than all other suppliers, it's a red flag. Legitimate contractors typically charge competitive prices based on the cost of materials and labor.
- High-pressure sales tactics: If a contractor is trying to pressure you into signing a contract right away, it's a sign that they may be trying to scam you. Legitimate contractors will give you time to think about your decision and will not pressure you into signing anything.
- Unsolicited phone calls or emails: If you receive a phone call or email from an HVAC contractor that you didn't initiate, it's likely a scam. Legitimate contractors will only contact you after you've expressed interest in their services.
Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Many of these supposed “deals” have significant hidden fees for which you are on the hook. In more extreme cases, those offering the deal have no intention of providing the product or service for which you’ve paid and instead, take your money and disappear.
How to Get a Fair Price for Your New HVAC System
Avoiding HVAC pricing scams and getting a fair price for your new HVAC system requires spending time comparison shopping. Start by researching different HVAC contractors in your area and checking their credentials, experience and customer reviews. When considering reviews, look at more than one review website, such as Google, Yelp and Angi, to get a clearer picture of who they are as a company.
If you cannot find reviews, ask the company you are considering to provide you with references. A legitimate company that stands by its work will be able to provide you with clear, honest references from satisfied customers.
You will also want to research the average cost of the HVAC system you want. Look at the most common brands, makes and models to familiarize you with their standard pricing. This information can be invaluable when you start speaking with HVAC installation companies. If a price is higher or lower than you expect, ask them to explain their pricing structure and what comes with the service you are purchasing.
Showing up armed with knowledge is your best weapon for avoiding scams and getting a fair price for your new system.
We also suggest you ask around for recommendations from people you trust. Ask friends, family, and neighbors who they have used and whether they were happy with their choice. Talking to your friends and family can also help you get a feel for what you're looking for in a good HVAC specialist as well as the types of services you will need to complete your project.
Quick tips for avoiding online HVAC pricing scams:
- Be wary of any company that offers prices that seem too low or dramatically lower than all the other reputable HVAC companies in your area.
- Do your research before hiring an HVAC contractor. Check their credentials and reviews.
- Get multiple estimates before making a decision.
- Be sure to get everything in writing, including the price, the scope of work and the warranty.
- Don't pay for anything upfront.
- If you think you've been scammed, contact your local Better Business Bureau or the police.
At Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar, we know how important it is to get a good value for your money. However, the last thing with which you want to deal is being scammed by a dishonest online HVAC company and losing hundreds or thousands of dollars. With this in mind, we always provide honest guidance and transparent estimates to our clients.
Our top three tips for finding a reputable HVAC technician:
- Hire someone local and well-established in the community.
- Hire someone who is licensed, insured and bonded.
- Hire someone with a customer satisfaction guarantee.
May 2023 at Valley
This month, we are getting ready for summer and tackling some household projects that seem small but have a high payoff once completed. For example, finally replacing burned-out bulbs around the house and fixing the flickering lights over the dining table. Flickering light fixtures often take a low priority as they tend just to be an annoyance. However, chronic flickering and pulsing lights may indicate a larger problem with your wiring. Check out our blog to learn more.
As warmer weather approaches and the sunny days of summer are on the horizon, we are also looking for ways to keep our electric bills under control. With greater demands being placed on our cooling systems as temperatures rise, we typically see a jump in our utility bills starting around May or June. For homeowners with solar PV panels, installing a backup battery is one way to begin storing excess solar energy and use less grid-supplied energy during peak periods. Review the Valley blog to discover how backup batteries work.
Have more questions for the HVAC, electrical and solar experts at Valley? Call us at (408) 868-5500 or message us online. We’re always standing by to help.