Doug Stephens owns and operates DallasAC.com He is also a real estate investor and Dave Ramsey Certified Coach in Dallas, Texas. His philosophy is Cool…Simple…Cheap
The title may be true. There are ways for consumers to minimize this problem or, hopefully, avoid it altogether.
The first suggestion is that you should never deal with unlicensed “contractors”. It is unlawful for them to conduct business and many of these guys are laughably ignorant of basic AC technology. Purchase and installation by unlicensed AC providers will also void most manufacturer’s warranties. Take a guess at whose sloppy practices will most likely cause early failure and replacement. That’s right, the guy that can’t provide a warranty.
Secondly, in your quest for max savings, think about what an AC company is promising. This might include Free Inspections, Free Bids, or a $20. Spring Tune Up. Sending a trained professional to your home is an expensive proposition. Do you think that the AC company expects to bill $20. or nothing? Do you think that this expense is tacked on to other services or equipment that they may provide? How can someone promise $5000. in savings on a new system before they ever talk to you?
The third step is to ask friends for a referral. Some of the best small players in the HVAC field never advertise. They rely on referrals from old customers to provide trustworthy new clients. Remember, the contractor has to trust the customer to pay when the work is completed. Referrals give these contractors the ability to minimize deadbeats and offer lower prices to their regulars.
Lastly, approach AC service as just that. Be reasonable about what you expect for “free” and hire a licensed professional. Some poorly installed and maintained systems cool for years while using twice as much energy (money) as they should. Unfortunately, the owners do not know that because their “contractor” is incompetent or worse, doesn’t care.
Doug Stephens TACLB34855E owns DallasAC.com and likes to keep things Cool…Simple…Cheap