PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A word of warning this morning: act now or you might find yourself a little chilly when the really cold weather finally arrives.
When hard frost hits, it always reveals problems in home heating systems.
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“The first day it gets cold, our phones will ring nonstop and we’ll be full for three weeks,” says Rocco Florio of Air Pro Heating and Cooling.
Florio says your device may have worked fine all summer, but the coolness in the summer doesn’t guarantee the heat in the winter.
“There’s a lot of electronics in furnaces like igniter flame detectors that soil deteriorating igniters, which you wouldn’t use in the summer because you’re only using it for air conditioning,” he says. .
Florio says the first thing to do is change your filter.
A dirty filter slows down the air flow.
“Without the airflow, it will stop right away,” he says. “It’s going to start at the limit because you’re building up too much heat in there.”
He says replace the one-inch filters every month during the heating system. According to him, the more technical elements inside the oven should be checked at least every two years.
If you call someone at home, they tell you to be careful of upselling.
“Basically your furnace was working fine last season and they’re starting to talk about you know you’ve got this problem and your bills are over $ 900, you have to call someone else,” he says. . “I mean, get a second opinion. “
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Caitlyn Driscoll of the Better Business Bureau said that nationwide, they received 2.5 million inquiries about the HVAC industry in the past year.
“We have also handled over 3,000 complaints about this industry,” she explains. “Common types of complaints usually include substandard work. Another issue with contractors never completing the job they start, as well as an issue with billing expenses that weren’t discussed with the owner up front.
She says check the contractor on the BBB website before hiring them.
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Then ask lots of questions as the fees often exceed the advertised price for cleaning and checking.
For example, she says that some “charge what is called travel costs to help offset their travel costs, then they charge for their actual service.”
And that’s not all.
“Some contractors may even charge diagnostic fees that could cost you hundreds of dollars before you’ve even done actual work,” says Driscoll.
Ask if they charge an hourly or flat rate.
Driscoll says that just because they offer 24 hour service, “it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be paying a lot more for these types of times, as opposed to normal service.”
None of these charges are illegal, but if you don’t ask the question, they can come as a surprise.
“Get everything in writing, any type of agreement, any type of payment information, any warranty information. “
Also note if your supplier starts talking about delays in obtaining certain major parts which may very well be legitimate.
Florio says for some of the bigger pieces, or assembled units.
“It takes about two to three weeks of waiting to get this equipment,” he says.
Driscoll says, “It’s a pretty unfortunate problem for consumers and businesses to be able to get the supplies to do the job.
And Florio warns, “The further into the season we’re going to see it get worse before it gets better.”
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This is another reason to have your furnace checked before the fast approaching cold snap.