My air and heating horror story started this past summer. My wife and I live in Mesa Arizona, which can get well over 100 degrees in the summer. Air conditioning is practically a must here, so when our air conditioner wasn’t working as well as it should we tried to get it fixed as soon as possible. Since there is no shortage of HVAC contractors who specialize in air conditioners and furnace repair near us, it was a simple matter of Googling someone in our area and have them come out to our home.
This turned out to be a big mistake.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with finding an HVAC contractor – or any other business – on Google. Being that it’s the worlds largest search engine it’s easily the best way to find anything these days. Our mistake was going with the first affordable contractor we came across who could (allegedly) fix our air conditioner quickly. Had we done just a little bit of research, we would’ve noticed that there were almost no reviews online of this company’s service nor was there any sign of them being licensed to operate in the state of Arizona. Should of looked at the Arizona Better Business Bureau.
The company we contacted sent a contractor to take a look at our air conditioner the following day. After taking a quick look and spending some time tinkering with our central air conditioning unit, the contractor said that we needed more refrigerant, something that he said would cost around $300. We thought this was a fair price, and after a little more work he charged our system and accepted our payment. He said that we wouldn’t notice any changes in the temperature right away, but everything should be working just fine in a couple of days. My wife and I know almost nothing about air conditioners or HVAC issues, so we believed him. After all, he was a professional (at least he was supposed to be).
A few days went by, we didn’t notice our house getting any cooler. We thought about hiring the same contractor to come out and take another look at our system, but by this time we had grown rightfully suspicious of his “service.” After pacing around the house cursing and probably giving the neighbors a new lesson in swear word vocabulary, cooler heads prevailed, and we did a little bit of research to find a licensed contractor in our area. This contractor had excellent reviews from satisfied customers on Google and the Phoenix BBB, and he was more than willing to show us his license and insurance when asked. He also came to the conclusion that our system needed more refrigerant, but he also said that our system was nearly empty. We don’t know what the first contractor did, but it wasn’t the job we hired him for. We were able to get our air conditioner recharged correctly, which caused our home to almost immediately feel cooler and more comfortable. The HVAC contractor during the second go around was Norris Air and their tech was amazing. Talk about being very resourceful and very professional. Norris Air is our go to HVAC contractor from now on.
Beware of Air Conditioner Scams
Even though we did end up with a perfectly functional air conditioner, we made a huge mistake in hiring the first person we could find. Had we done our research, we would’ve known that we were being taken in by someone running a common HVAC scam. This person didn’t do any of the work for which he was paid; he showed up, pretended to do his job, took our money, and left. He preyed on our ignorance and trust, and it cost us well over $200 when all was said and done. When it comes to air and heating service it’s not about cheap, it’s about quality.
If you ever find yourself with a faulty air conditioner in the middle of the summer, don’t make the same mistakes that we did. Always do your research to make sure that you are hiring a licensed HVAC contractor with a good reputation before you agree to pay anything.