Stay Warm . . . And Avoid Furnace Scams

Baby, it’s cold outside!

As I write this, the temperature outside is -5.  That’s five degrees below zero.  Last night, the low got down to -15.  I’m thanking God for a functioning furnace, and wondering what people did before the advent of modern home heating.

I’m also thinking about the people whose furnaces aren’t working.  Right now would be a terribletime to lose the ability to heat your house.  In the winter, it’s hard to imagine a more important system in your home than the heating system.

And, unfortunately, there are people out there who know that, and who are looking to make a buck off of your fear of freezing.

Last month, Channel 31 News here in Denver ran an investigative report on furnace scams in the Denver area.  I watched it with interest, because I’ve seen these kinds of scams first hand.  Recently.

I had buyers who made an appointment to have their furnace cleaned in their new house.  The technician, however, didn't clean the furnace.  Rather, he informed then that it was leaking dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide and needed to be replaced immediately.  Then he sat down and started working up a contract for them to purchase a new furnace, from him on an extended payment plan.. 

They called me, understandably freaked out.  I thought that the whole thing sounded a little fishy, especially since the inspector had tested the unit for CO leaks and had found none.  So the inspector went back out and re-tested it.  No CO leak.  Then they brought out an HVAC company from my Very Impressive Providers List to inspect it.  Again, no leak.  The furnace is old and needs some repair, and it will probably need to be replaced within the next few years.  But it isn’t leaking anything, and doesn’t need to replaced right now.

This isn’t the first story I’ve heard like this. It happened with one of my listings last year. Other agents are reporting it happening to their clients  HVAC companies are telling homeowners that their perfectly good furnaces need to be replaced, or subjected to expensive repairs they don’t need.

This is why I developed my Very Impressive Providers list.  I figure if someone I know is happy with a particular product or service, that’s usually a good sign.  I can’t guarantee it, but it’s a heck of a lot better than picking a name at random.

When you need something in your home cleaned or serviced, don’t just hire the first company you run across.  Ask around.  Consult my Very Impressive Providers list.  If you don’t see what you need, call me.  I know people who know people.  I can usually find somebody who somebody thinks is really good.

So, while you're staying warm this winter, you can stay smart and avoid scummy salesmen posing as HVAC technicians!

With lots of good wishes for a warm and safe pre-Christmas season,

Mary Beth

P.S. The market continues to hum along.  I saw it slow for a while in the early fall, but now it's gotten crazy busy again!  Inventory is still low, and good properties are still selling quickly.  And interest rates are still low, but they’re inching up.  If you’re interested in buying or selling, or if you just want to know what your house would be worth if you did decide to sell, give me a call.  As always, zero obligation!