Of air conditioning vendors, installers and technicians in your area, 99% are honest, hardworking people. They do a good job at a fair price because they depend on repeat business and positive recommendations. Just like any business sector, however, there is always an unethical minority trying to make a quick dollar for shoddy work.
The number one rip-off for unwary owners of air conditioning equipment is the low-Freon hustle. Very few homeowners know how to check the Freon level in their AC units let alone how to fill it. These scammers raise concerns that a low Freon level can damage your air conditioner – it will not – and offer to measure and re-fill the unit if necessary. Of course, they always find a low level in order to sell the re-fill service.
Often, these cheats do not stop there. They inform you that the unit must be leaking and insist the leak be repaired. They may dismantle your air conditioner searching for this phantom leak. Hours later, they will claim to have repaired it. You might be paying hundreds of dollars for nothing.
Replacing parts that are perfectly functional is another common rip-off. Since air conditioners are complex machines, a typical homeowner does not have the knowledge necessary to refute a technician’s diagnosis, so they pay for service that does not improve the unit’s operation.
With a few questions and a little investigation, you should be able to quickly spot if a potential repair or maintenance offer is on the level or not:
Even if the contractor passes on the points above, check them out on local review forums such as www.city-data.com/canada/. There may be happy or unhappy customer accounts for your particular contractor. These may give you a sense of whether or not the contractor is competent too. Do not overweight such opinions, however, as more people are apt to complain than leave praise.
If your AC is working, then you can evaluate contractor offers for maintenance at your leisure. When the summer heat is on and your AC shuts off, resist the temptation to bypass basic due diligence in order to get a quick fix despite the heat.
Contact Appleby Systems as your first quote for both emergency maintenance and regular preventative maintenance.