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Is Getting the Cheapest HVAC repair a Good Idea?

Has your air conditioner gone out or developed problems? With plenty of hot weather still left in the season, now is not the time to be left without an air conditioner. But with an unexpected expense looming, you’re probably shopping around for the cheapest HVAC repair you can find.

But wait! By hunting down the cheapest quote, you may actually be setting yourself up to pay more than you would otherwise. A popular tactic for many less-than-reputable HVAC repair companies is the bait-and-switch, where they offer low cost repairs that are later switched out for expensive replacements you just “have” to have. Remember, f it seems too good to be true, it really may be.

Did your HVAC repair company quote you a price significantly lower than the competition? Here are a few tricks to watch out for.

Replacing Parts Unnecessarily

A favorite trick is to quote you a low price for a quick check and a tuneup, and once they’ve set eyes on the system, to “find” serious problems like failing components. Chances are they’re claiming they need to replace parts that don’t really need to be replaced, usually for a huge markup and a much pricier install than is necessary. If you haven’t had cooling problems and haven’t heard or smelled anything amiss, the technician may be taking you for a ride. Refuse the repair and get another opinion before spending money on an expensive replacement.

Replacing More Than One Part at Once

Another red flag is if the technician claims you have a number of parts that need to be replaced. Statistically, it’s just not very likely. If you’ve been having problems with your air conditioner, as long as you addressed the problem promptly there’s usually no reason for multiple parts to need replacing. Refuse the repair and get a second opinion and some quotes before allowing a technician to replace half of the components in your air conditioner.

Replacing the Entire System

Let’s say you really have been having air conditioner problems, or maybe you haven’t and your system is just an older one. Disreputable HVAC repair services like replacing an entire AC system, because they get to charge for a pricier install, mark up the price much more than individual parts, and possibly even upsell you on a new furnace as well. They can make it seem more appealing just to replace the entire system by pricing the repairs you need so high that it starts seeming like the smart choice just to get a whole new system. If you’ve been told your AC needs to be replaced, get a second opinion before making such an expensive commitment.

Recharging the System Instead of Fixing Leaks

Sometimes it’s a case not of an HVAC company trying to upsell you on something you don’t need, but just of getting what you pay for. Any time a technician says that your AC just needs to be recharged, it’s time to start asking questions. A sealed system shouldn’t need to be recharged all the time, so if yours does, that’s a sign you have a leak somewhere. By recharging your system regularly without fixing the leak, the technician can make it seem like they’re saving you money, but really they’re just ensuring that they’ll have to come back regularly, charging you another repair fee each time. On the other hand, many leaks are not repairable and your component will have to be replaced.

Showing a Lack of Expertise

Sometimes a cheap HVAC company isn’t trying to pull a bait-and-switch on you at all. Sometimes they’re just trying to undercut the usual market prices so that you’ll choose them instead of another company. Unfortunately, that’s usually a sign that they don’t have the same experience, training, and expertise of the other companies, or they would value their services more and charge market rates. Watch out for these repair companies, as any mistakes they make could actually cost you more in the long run.

HVAC Repair You Can Trust

Sometimes saving money isn’t worth the potential headache that you could create by going with sub-par or dishonest services. If you want a technician whose shoulder you don’t have to look over, call Maeser today, and we’ll connect you with someone you can really trust.

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