Beware of Furnace Scams

To my horror, old man winter is knocking at my door.  There is snow on the ground in Boston accompanied by a howling wind with a wind chill of wicked, wicked, wicked cold. Did I say it’s wicked cold? It’s only 37 degrees but feels like 10 below. Frankly, I should live on an island in the pacific for more than one reason, and avoiding winter is one of them. I’m a very delicate flower.

Anyways, if you are proactive you should have already gone through with your annual maintenance regime with your forced hot air furnace, or forced hot water boiler.

In this process you may change air or water filters, clean out tubes, clean ducts, tighten up any water or air leaks, or flush the system of bad fluids. If you haven’t done any of this or have no idea what I’m talking about you may be a good target for furnace scams.

The most effective way not to be scammed is to do business with those you know, like, and trust. A referral by someone you trust who has a long term relationship with a licensed plumber or pipefitter is often the best way to get a reputable contractor to do maintenance or install a new system. Keep in mind any heat/cooling related work can cost under a $100.00 to several thousands. And if you don’t have an honorable contractor, they can easily fleece you.

Look for a license and confirm its validity with the local registry.

Be especially aware of duct cleaning scams. Do your research on how often they should be done and watch the contractors every single move. You want to see dirt and see dirt removed.

Confirm they are insured.

Don’t do business with anyone who does door to door sales.

Beware of scare tactics.

Always require a full proposal.

Get second and third opinions.

Get references.

Search them online and seek out any complaints with the Better Business Bureau.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to Home Security Source discussing home security and identity theft on TBS Movie and a Makeover. Disclosures.

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