How to Spot DIY Heating & Cooling Product Scams
When shopping for a car, you must be aware of “lemons.” In this situation, lemons are not a citrus fruit with acidic juice, but slang for a car with many defects that significantly decrease its value, safety, and efficiency. Many often get unknowingly coerced into buying a lemon due to improper and incomprehensive research or a dishonest salesperson. Purchasing a lemon often leads to car problems such as costly repairs and makes the car borderline unusable.
The concept of “lemons” is not exclusive to cars. Without proper information and research, it is easy to get scammed regarding your HVAC services, products, and technologies. Read below to learn more about spotting DIY (do it yourself) heating and cooling scams!
Do Your Homework
The easiest way to spot heating and cooling scams is by doing your homework beforehand. Use the internet to your advantage and research for products that adequately meet your needs while staying adequately informed. There are countless different technologies available, such as ductless and window air conditioning units for your home or commercial building. There are also many brands and models available, each with a unique set of benefits and advantages over competitors.
One of the most important things to research throughout this process concerns the warranty. Many HVAC systems and models come with comprehensive warranties that cover extensive damages and repairs of all varieties. However, there is often a clause in the warranty stating that it can be voided due to improper installation or maintenance by a non-HVAC professional.
Make sure to read the warranty closely and make sure you follow all instructions to ensure it is still valid. Even if the seller says you can do the job yourself, beware of a potential scam. If you cannot install or repair the unit yourself, you must call a professional HVAC technician. It will end up saving you time and a large amount of money.
Bigger Does Not Equal Better
While researching, you must determine the location of your air conditioner within your house. Contrary to what you may think, bigger units are not always better. The size of air conditioners is measured in tons and expressed in BTUs (British Thermal Units). A BTU is a measurement of heat calculated by the amount of energy required to heat water by one degree Fahrenheit, and a ton is equal to 12,000 BTUs per hour.
The size of your unit must be proportional to the size of the room. Improperly sized units create many problems for you and your home. For example, an oversized mini split in a smaller room goes through a process called “short cycling.” Short cycling is when your air conditioner turns on, blows a blast of air, and then quickly shuts off repeatedly. This stresses the system, and it causes a decrease in the room’s comfort and an increase in your home’s energy bill.
To avoid problems such as short cycling, a higher energy bill, and uncomfortable thermal comfort, make sure you adequately research and determine the necessary size of your HVAC unit before purchase and installation. A licensed HVAC contractor can assess your area to confirm the adequate BTU sizes needed. Ceiling height, insulation quality, window quality, sun exposure are some of the many variables that should be factored in.
Repairs vs. Replacement
It is safe to assume the general population is unfamiliar with the intricacies of HVAC systems. If something goes wrong with their system, many often cannot determine if the unit requires minor repairs or an extensive restoration, or if it should be replaced entirely.
To avoid a scam while wasting time and money, consider certain factors when determining repairs against replacement of the system. The age and life expectancy of the system plays a major role. An older system will likely break down again soon after the repair, so it makes more sense to replace it entirely. Conversely, replacing a newer system entirely is probably unnecessary. It should work great after some minor repairs or part replacement.
You also must consider the efficiency. If your older system is already operating inefficiently, it is not worth the cost of repair. Replacing it with an entirely new system might have a higher upfront cost but will lead to long-run savings on your diminished energy bill. The room and your home will also feel more comfortable.
Finally, you should consider the condition of your unit. If it breaks down frequently, does not operate at peak efficiency, or has not been maintained regularly, it is worthwhile to consider replacing it entirely. Repairing an already below-average unit is a terrible use of time, money, and resources.
With proper research, you’ll easily avoid potential scams and downfalls regarding your HVAC systems, technologies, and products. Feel free to contact a product specialist at ComfortUp throughout the purchasing, research, or repair process. Their knowledge of HVAC systems is unmatched, and they can answer any questions you may have!