Steer Clear from these Common Toronto HVAC Scams

Every year, thousands of Canadian home and business owners fall victim to fraudulent behavior and scams that cost the economy billions of dollars. Auto insurance scams are the worst with the Auditor General of Ontario estimating this kind of fraud costs more than a billion dollars each year. But smaller scams are prevalent, too, including those related to installing, repairing, and maintaining heating and air conditioning systems for Toronto homes and businesses. At Tropic Air, the leading Toronto HVAC company in the Greater Toronto Area since 1992, we’ve built our reputation and business on hard work, honesty, and delivering the most value for every customer’s hard-earned dollar. We also pride ourselves on educating consumers on how to protect themselves against fraud when it comes to HVAC systems.

If you’re in the market for a reputable HVAC company, here are several scams to watch out for:

  • A technician who tries to convince you there’s a serious carbon monoxide leak in your home or business, and the only way to fix it is by installing a new furnace or cooling system. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and can be deadly. But leaks are also pretty easy to verify, as affordable and high-tech carbon monoxide detectors are available at most home improvement centers.
  • An HVAC company that wants to add Freon to your air conditioner every year while performing periodic air conditioner (AC unit) service maintenance. Freon is very expensive but doesn’t need to be replaced or “topped off” annually. Instead, make sure to have the levels verified before and after having Freon added, that way you’ll know what to expect when told you need to get it recharged. Also, make sure the technician stays afterward after the air conditioner (AC unit) repairs to verify everything works as expected.
  • A company whose technician insists your heating and cooling system needs to have multiple components replaced to work at optimum efficiency. HVAC systems are pretty durable, and typically only a few components will show signs of wear and need to be replaced. If an HVAC company wants to swap out components, ask for a written estimate and shop the competition.
  • The “Too Good to Be True” Offer: Scammers may advertise absurdly low pricing or discounts on HVAC services or equipment, but after they get started, they may find new issues or assert that some things aren’t covered by the first offer. The price is then raised, leaving homeowners with unforeseen expenses.
  • Fake maintenance contracts: Scammers may contact homeowners and offer furnace maintenance-tune-up contracts at a discount while posing as representatives of real HVAC businesses. They can take the money upfront but not deliver the claimed services or just vanish.
  • Fake Credentials or Licensing: Always verify the credentials and licenses of HVAC technicians or companies before hiring them. Some scammers may present fake credentials or claim to be licensed when they are not, putting your system and safety at risk.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are more reputable HVAC companies than not, but here are some ways the professionals at Tropic Air recommend you consider to protect yourself against fraud: Be wary of a door-to-door HVAC salesman who shows up at your home or business without an appointment. Understand that you get what you pay for, and if you receive an estimate that is so low it’s hard to believe – then it probably is too low to be legitimate. In many cases, a rock bottom estimate is the result of used parts being installed, corners being cut, or some other shenanigans that scammers excel at in every industry. Finally, the best way to protect against fraud is to work with Tropic Air, the best HVAC company in the Greater Toronto Area. For more tips on preventing fraud or a free consultation, call us today at 416-492-7633 or visit us online.