Common HVAC Scams in Northern Utah & How To Avoid Them!

HVAC scams are unfortunately common in northern Utah, which is why you need HVAC experts that you can trust!

Although the vast majority of HVAC companies throughout northern Utah employ dedicated industry specialists and are generally trustworthy, there are always a few bad apples in the marketplace—just like most industries.

In recent years, several HVAC scams have occurred throughout our region that have caught home and business owners off guard. This is why it’s so important to be well-versed with alarming issues like HVAC scams, and below we’ll be detailing some of the most common types of scams that people fall victim to!

Bait & Switch Scams

Bait and switch scams are essentially very deceptive marketing tactics that entail HVAC companies advertising their products and services at unrealistically low prices—just so they can get their foot in the door via appointments. These disreputable HVAC teams typically assume that people don’t know enough about their HVAC equipment and service costs to detect any wrongdoing.

Once these HVAC technicians arrive at a home or business, they’ll eventually inform you that their advertised prices are no longer available—or don’t apply to your unique system. They’ll then offer a higher price for their products/services, which is the type of switch that’s actually illegal and enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

This means that you should always be cautious of too-good-to-be-true deals, and this includes advertised free services as well. The odds are that these scam artists will make sure that you pay a lot of money once they’re at your property, and one of the best ways to avoid these scams is to seek out a second opinion from a reputable contractor when you suspect that something seems shady.

Cracked Heat Exchanger Scams

Cracked heat exchanger scams are also unfortunately very common in northern Utah, and this scam essentially entails a con artist HVAC technician convincing property owners that their furnace is leaking dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide. This of course creates the sense that there’s an emergency repair situation playing out, which scammers tend to take full advantage of.

It’s important to remember that heat exchangers certainly can crack, but that these repairs are usually very rare. Heat exchanger life expectancy is around 15 years or so, which is the same for your property’s furnace. And because heat exchangers are so expensive, it’s often a better investment for people to invest in a new furnace—as opposed to a new heat exchanger that goes into a dwindling furnace.

Scam artists will hope that you panic and agree to this type of repair, so it’s a huge red flag when someone suggests this type of project without asking about your furnace’s age. And the worst part is that homeowners often won’t ever realize that they were scammed, because their heat exchanger wasn’t displaying issues in the first place.

This is why you should ask to see heat exchanger cracks when you’re informed about them, and this is particularly important when your HVAC system is relatively new. Reputable HVAC technicians will be more than happy to show you evidence of these cracks, and they’ll also do whatever is necessary to ensure that you take advantage of your manufacturer warranty’s coverage.

Dirty Filter Scams

There’s also a dirty HVAC filter scam that some industry charlatans use on home and business owners in our region, and this scam entails a technician brining a filthy filter with them to appointments in order to falsely claim that the filter came from the client’s system.

They’ll then take advantage of this deception by trying to sell top-quality, expensive air filters—and they might even try to convince you that you need to install a whole-house air purification system.

HVAC Contractor Doesn’t Provide a Price Breakdown

Another common HVAC scam is when a contactor purposely forgets to provide a price breakdown while simply saying things like the repair job will be “expensive”. There are even scenarios in which shady con artists will advise property owners that they need a whole system replacement through providing wildly exaggerated estimates that don’t entail specific labor and parts costs.

Reputable HVAC teams will help you compare the costs between repairing and replacing your system, and they’ll also provide written estimates that provide in-depth, easy-to-follow details.

Upfront Cash Payments

No reputable HVAC company will ask you to pay for their services upfront, so be sure that you don’t fall for this common scam.

One way to avoid these types of dilemmas is to ask for a written agreement prior to paying for anything. Verbal agreements simply aren’t enough, but getting everything in writing will help guarantee that there are no misunderstandings.

Written agreements can also help you from a legal standpoint in case a scam artist tries to mislead you or take your money.

Refrigerant Recharge Scams

When your HVAC unit is low on refrigerant, it usually means that there’s a leak. Some shady HVAC contractors might try to charge you for a refrigerant recharge, even though they know that this will waste your money by not actually addressing your underlying issue. The leak is always the real problem in this scenario, and HVAC technicians should be equipped and ready to help you fix these leaks.

What also often happens with this scam is that the HVAC company will call you in the future to see if you need additional refrigerant refills, because they know for a fact that you’ll eventually need these services again!

Team Up With An HVAC Company You Can Trust!

At Beehive Heating & Air, we pride ourselves upon maintaining trusting relationships with the residents of Salt Lake City and the entire northern Utah region.

We provide comprehensive HVAC services for both homes and businesses, and we’ve worked tirelessly to build a top-rated team full of highly experienced and trustworthy technicians.

Reach out to us online or give us a call at 801-849-3860 to receive reliable HVAC services in northern Utah!

Scroll to Top
Need Plumbing? Click Here!