You know your furnace needs attention but don’t know how to find a reputable contractor. The sad truth is that there are fraudulent people out there waiting to take your money. So, what is a furnace repair scam, and how do you detect one?

A typical scam is being told that your whole unit needs to be replaced when it doesn’t. Or someone may tell you that your ductwork is fragile and old and needs to be removed and replaced when, in fact, it merely needs cleaning. Or you are charged for a new part which wasn’t even replaced.

Here’s how to recognize a furnace repair scam and avoid becoming a victim:

  • When you find a potential company, write down its name, address and license number. All contractors must have a license, and they are obligated to give you the license number if it is requested. Do not work with anyone who will not, or cannot, provide this information.
  • Verify the license through the Bureau of Building Codes, the Better Business Bureau or other state offices.
  • HVAC contractors are required to carry insurance and, if requested, provide proof of this. If it can’t be provided, there’s every chance that a furnace repair scam is at work.
  • Go with your gut. If you get a bad vibe from someone, or think they’re not being honest with you, give them the boot.

Finally, the easiest way to detect a furnace repair scam is when a person comes knocking on your front door without being called. Why? Well, any reputable contractor doesn’t need to drum up business in this way.