Our home has a downstairs major heating and air unit, and an upstairs heating and air unit that is much smaller. Our downstairs had recently been very cold and we could not get our heater working, so we checked the newspapers for any coupons for free inspections, because it cost around $100.00 just for someone to tell you what was wrong in the first place. Well, we found One Hour Heating and Air had a coupon for a free inspection, as long as you had them repair or replace the broken unit, so we contacted them, and they came out and were very friendly. But, being friendly is what salesmen are good at, right?
The man talked to my wife while I was at work, and she texted me everything that went on. The man had told her that animals below our home had shredded the ductwork and that was ruined. The compressor, which was the most expensive part of the unit, around $1500.00 to replace, was broken and not working. The unit was so filthy it was a health and fire hazard and should not be used anymore. The fan was broken and would not turn on. It seemed like such a terrible mishap that never should have happened, we had JUST purchased this home 5 months ago, and the unit was just 16 years old. We were first time home buyers. Easily manipulated apparently.
The representative said that it would cost more to repair than to replace, almost, so it was well worth buying an entirely new unit, which would run around $8,000.00 and they tried to finance us for that, but Wells Fargo is a jerk and doesn't want to help anyone, so they declined us for some reason (I work two jobs personally, so we have plenty of money for monthly payments, thank you very much). So they told us the information, and then charged us the $100.00 anyway since we couldn't repair it and couldn't get financed right then and there for a new unit, which was probably part of the scam.
So we called our realtor, who is a sweet church-going man. He had a friend from his church come over and help us out, who worked for an honest company and did solo work for heating and air, as well as other household appliances (he fixed our dishwasher for free while here, which took like 2 seconds). So, here is what the really nice church repairman told us:
1.) The compressor was indeed not broken at all, it did not need to be replaced even.
2.) The heat and air breakers had been turned off, and the only way that could have happened was for the salesman from One Hour Heat and Air to have done it, just to be sure it apparently would never turn on (to force us to buy a new one from them).
3.) A new unit you can get for an entire HOUSE, up and downstairs for around $5,000 or less. They were trying to scam us into getting a new unit when we didn't need one.
4.) The filth was in fact not a health or fire hazard, he said the only real hazard was if we had a gas heater and gases were leaking, but since we didn't, it was not a hazard at all. He cleaned it up just to make it look nice for us though.
5.) The animals under the house had been ripping the duct work up, but he said it did not cost very much to run new duct work under the house, and in total would be pretty cheap.
6.) The fan was not broken. He cleaned it and did some quick maintenance and it was up and running like that.
So all in all this guy really helped us out because he was an honest, church-going man that sincerely wanted to help people in dire straits. One Hour Heating and Air is a greedy company that not only overprices their units, but sabotages your own unit and lies about what is wrong with it to force you to have to purchase one of their units. Also, their coupons are lies as well, so don't trust them, they are just trying to hook you.