Most people are not known for thinking twice during an emergency, so it is understandable that sometimes people make the wrong decision when it comes to who they hire for emergency heating and AC repair. The only thing they can think about is getting their furnace or their AC working again when they should be focused on making sure they get their furnace or AC working correctly again. A shortcut or a stopgap measure will only hold for so long and oftentimes causes big problems in the long run. This is why it is important to thoroughly research any company that you are thinking about hiring.
The best way to protect yourself is by doing a little research before letting anyone from any company into your home. It is now simple to look up and read reviews about companies online, so take an extra second to do so. While looking, also make sure you click on their website to ensure they are licensed, insured, and bonded. All of these things will protect you and your HVAC unit, so it’s worth it to take 15 minutes to look at the qualifications of any HVAC company you are using.
In most cases, if you are calling for emergency heating and AC repair it is because your furnace or your AC has quit working. While this is understandably a reason for concern, in most cases nothing is going to change by spending 15 minutes researching a company. 15 minutes isn’t going to make your house incredibly warmer or incredibly cooler, so take the time and make sure you make the right choice. If you skip this step, then 15 minutes can lead you to a terrible HVAC company that ends up causing a great deal of damage in your home.
Don’t believe it? Take a minute to read the following horror stories that document just how terribly wrong things went for a few homeowners who forgot to do their research before calling an emergency HVAC company. When you don’t know who you are working with, things can and often will go horribly wrong.
Quick Repair Turned into a Ghosting Situation
Addison woke up one night extremely uncomfortable, it took her a minute to figure out why, but after kicking off the covers she realized it was extremely hot in her Texas home. Cleary the AC had stopped working and now she was practically boiling. She woke up her husband who reported that the air vents were not blowing cold air. They had a small infant in the home so they didn’t want to have the house too warm for too long. Addison went to check on the baby while her husband Tim called an emergency heating and AC repair company.
Tim didn’t spend a lot of time looking at options, his only concern was that they were open 24/7 and were able to come out tonight. He knew Addison would not be comfortable until the air was working again with the baby in the house. The first company he called didn’t answer the phone, but the second one came to the phone and told Tim that they could come out within the hour. Feeling immediately relaxed, Tim said that would be fine and went to find Addison to tell her that the problem would get solved tonight.
When the emergency heating and AC repair company arrived at the house Addison explained that she had woken up about half an hour ago sweating and knew something was wrong. No one had heard any sounds or noted anything weird about the way the AC was running the rest of the day. Tim had already checked the thermostat and it was set to cool even though it wasn’t working. Addison had been home with the baby most of the day and said that she didn’t notice any problems at all. In fact, the unit wasn’t that old so they were surprised that anything happened to it at all.
The technician took a few notes and then went to check out the indoor and outdoor units to see if he could figure out what was going on. He was gone for about twenty minutes and then came back to tell them that Freon had run out on the unit. All it needed was some new refrigerant and it would start to cool down the house again. Tim and Addison were relieved that the solution was so simple. They asked if it was leaking, and the technician said he didn’t think so and that it was just a weird thing that they had run out of refrigerant. The two didn’t know what to make of that, but it was the middle of the night and they were just glad that there was a solution.
The HVAC technician topped off their AC unit and then wrote them an invoice that included the costs of the refrigerant along with a diagnostic fee and an emergency heating and AC repair service. The price was a little steep given he had only been there for an hour, but Tim recognized that he had to get up and out of bed to come help them so he let it go.
After the service the home cooled back down and everyone went back to bed. Everything was fine for a few days until Addison started to hear some weird noises coming from the unit. She immediately called Tim to ask him what to do and he said to call the emergency heating and AC repair company again. Prior to their visit there had never been any odd noises, so it was odd that they would start suddenly. It was the middle of the workday and Addison attempted to call them three times and no one answered the phone.
At this point, she wasn’t sure what to do. She knew from the little bit she had read that if her unit was making noises it needed to be explored, but she wasn’t sure how to actually explore the issue anymore. She didn’t want to go with another company because the first company had already started the job and if this was something they did she wanted them to fix it. Tim also tried to call a few times from work, but he had no luck until the end of the day. Finally, he got through to a receptionist who apologized and said they were very busy and backed up. He said he understood that but explained the problem and said he needed someone to come out to his home to look at his AC right away.
She told him that this didn’t fall into an emergency heating and AC repair visit, but they could make an appointment for the following day for someone to come out. She added that if the AC quit working again between now and then, Tim could call the emergency line to get help again. Addison was home from work with the baby, so Tim went back to work and Addison stayed home all day waiting for the HVAC company. By 6 pm it was clear that they had no-showed with absolutely no explanation. No one answered the phone when they called so they had to wait until the next day to try again.
Once again they struggled to get a hold of someone all day, and when they finally did get someone they just said that they were busy. Tim and Addison were quite upset by this point, and they were very concerned about the fact that now they had a leak as well. They saw the leak on the floor near the indoor unit and were very concerned that it was refrigerant. They had never had a leak before so now they were very concerned about their AC unit and what could be possibly going on. The unit was only four years old, so it seemed unlikely that everything was falling apart at once.
They really needed an emergency heating and AC repair company to come out and take a look, but now they didn’t know if they trusted the one they had used before to fix the problem properly. In fact, at this point, they were concerned that the company might have actually done the damage that was causing their current situation. They had no idea what to think. Addison and Time were discussing what they should do when the situation got even worse.
The AC quit working again altogether and they had no idea what to do. Addison wanted to choose another HVAC company to get it done now and was tired of messing around with the old company. Tim didn’t want to lose the money he already put in with the old company and felt like they needed to come back out and either fix their mistake or admit that they didn’t really find the real cause of the issue. It had been less than a week, the AC unit should not have broken again.
Tim said they would try to call a few more times and then move on thinking that if he got someone now he could say they really did have an emergency heating and AC repair situation. He really wanted to just go down to their shop and talk to someone, but when he Googled the company he found that they really didn’t have a website or a physical address somewhere. In short, he had no idea how he could actually find someone to talk to which presented a problem in itself.
While he was waiting for someone to call him back he saw an incoming phone call from an unknown phone number and got excited. He thought that finally, someone was calling him back from the plumbing service on a private cell phone number. However, when he picked up the phone it was some other repair company. They told him that the owner of the first service had passed his number onto him and that maybe he could help. Now Tim was angry, who gets ghosted by their AC repair service and then gets passed off to another company without even a simple reply.
Tim and Addison were now in a sticky spot, both in the sense that they were sweaty and no closer to getting their AC fixed, and that they would probably have to find a new company to help. It was clear that the old company didn’t care about follow-through or anything they had done. They didn’t stand by their work and they had no regard for Tim, Addison, and the situation they had caused. Had they spent a little time reading reviews they may have seen that a lot of people in their neighborhood had complained about the HVAC company’s poor customer service.
15 minutes of research may have meant that their AC would have been fixed right the first time. At the very least, it might have meant that the AC company they called would have been more responsive and they wouldn’t have spent an entire week trying to make contact with someone. That is why it is so important to look into anyone that you are thinking about hiring to handle repairs on your home. Learn from Tim and Addison’s mistakes and make sure that you do a little research next time so that the only thing you need to worry about is enjoying the flow of cool air in your home.
The Installation That Turned Into Its Own Emergency
Marie was used to taking care of household tasks. Since her husband had died ten years ago she was the one who was in charge of everything. That is why when her air conditioning unit died she didn’t panic. She simply whipped out her phone and called the first emergency heating and AC repair company she saw. Marie didn’t believe in moping around, she believed in taking action which is why she was quick to make the call and quick to take the advice of the men who came out to her home.
It only took the emergency heating and AC repair company about an hour to come out to her home, and after chatting with her for a bit and discussing the age of the unit the company recommended that she replace her unit. She could see the logic in the argument, after all the AC unit was put in before her husband died, so it was at least a decade old and she didn’t want this to become the first of a long stream of late-night emergency service phone calls. She knew friends who had made a lifestyle out of dealing with AC repairs. She didn’t want to do that. Marie preferred to just fix the problem and move on with life. She had plenty of other problems and things to focus on outside of an old AC unit.
Marie signed the paperwork for the new unit and was told that they would try to get the new unit to her as quickly as possible since her current AC was not working, but that it did take some delivery time and there was no way around that. She didn’t like that at all, the late spring heat had set in and summer was coming soon. The heat was already thick enough that it was going to be uncomfortable throughout the day, even if she opened up the windows. Still, she understood that there was nothing you could do while waiting on the manufacturer to send an item so she agreed and signed the dotted line.
It took almost two weeks for the new unit to be delivered, during which Marie called repeatedly every couple of days to check on her new unit. She had already put down a down payment and did not want to be forgotten since the HVAC company now knew that they had her business. She had heard of this happening and wasn’t going to be forgotten. Every single day in the thick heat of her home reminded her that she was waiting on a new AC unit. While she tried to be patient, she also didn’t want to be forced out of her home into a hotel and wanted that new AC to be installed before the heat got to that point.
Finally, the company called to set up an installation date and told her that they would come out the day before to remove the old unit. Marie was overjoyed, things were happening and she was going to get relief from the hot sun. The day before the installation the company came to take her old unit out which went smoothly for the most part. After they removed the old unit they forgot to seal off the duct into the house. Marie discovered it after they left so she went and got some foil and duct tape. It was an unconventional approach, but she didn’t want wildlife to sneak into her home overnight and it wasn’t the kind of thing that she felt warranted an emergency heating and AC repair phone call.
It did make her a bit uncomfortable that her new unit was not even in yet and she found a marginally large mistake, but she wasn’t going to judge. She had pledged to wait patiently, and she got this far and she was ready to go to bed and get up so that she could let in the HVAC technicians and get this process moving. She was slightly relieved though in the morning when a new team of HVAC technicians showed up for the installation. Maybe this team wasn’t as prone to silly mistakes. She pointed out to them the mistake of the team before they got started and they all had a good laugh at her duct tape and foil solution. Satisfied that these guys seemed to know what they were doing, Marie went back into the house and counted down the hours until the installation was complete.
Finally, about six hours later she was relaxing on her sofa with cold air circulating throughout her home. Marie was so relieved that this was done and over. While the price tag of the replacement was a bit larger than she initially had expected because the crew stated that they had to rewire a few things for the system to fit correctly, she was still pleased with herself. That was one more item crossed off her to-do list that she no longer had to worry about. She hated when things were hanging over her head.
Things were great for about two weeks, and then suddenly the unit stopped working and Marie found herself back on the phone waiting to talk to someone about the AC emergency she was experiencing. At first, the company told her that if she wanted to use her labor guarantee that this couldn’t be applied to emergency heating and AC repair visits, but she was insistent all the way up to the boss that something needed to be done. It wasn’t her fault that her brand-new AC system had broken down after two weeks of use. Why should she have to wait until it was convenient for them to come to fix the unit that should have been functioning just fine. It took a lot of arguing, but eventually, they agreed to honor the service contract and come see what the problem was.
It turned out that the drain pipe had not been installed correctly, so instead of flowing down the drain the water was backing up and sitting in the condensate pan. Enough had been getting down that the AC unit was able to keep working for a few weeks. Eventually, however, the pan got filled up which tipped off the kill switch and kicked the entire AC unit off.
The good news is that the kill switch had worked, which prevented flooding from occurring. In a lot of situations where the drain backs up the water ends up all over the floor and then the homeowner has to deal with water and mold damage as well as emergency heating and AC repair. Marie took a bit of comfort in that, although she wasn’t happy that she needed repair so quickly after installation. The whole point of buying a new unit was that she wasn’t supposed to have to deal with emergency AC repair, but here she was only two weeks later.
To top the situation off, she had to argue extensively to get someone to come out to her home quickly for repair. She wasn’t sure what good a labor guarantee was if she had to argue so much to get it enforced. She had been second-guessing her decision to use this company since the open-air duct issue, and this wasn’t making her feel any better about anything. However, the new unit had already been purchased and she had a nine-month labor guarantee so she didn’t want to move to another company now. The company fixed the drain pipe and told her that they had also performed a free drain cleaning for her trouble. She supposed that was better, but she was hesitant to leave them a review. At this point, she wasn’t sure what she thought.
A few more weeks went by and once again the AC unit quit working. At this point now Marie was angry. She had never heard of anyone having this much problem with a new unit, and last time the problem was installation related. If the company had done its job right she wouldn’t be in any of these messes or dealing with living in the hot heat AGAIN. Before calling the company for emergency heating and AC repair she practiced exactly what she would say, because she had a feeling they were going to argue with her again over getting someone out quickly.
Marie wasn’t wrong, the company told her that it was now their busy season, and were stretched thin. She was going to have to wait a few days for someone to come out to her home and check out the AC unit. She was livid; she didn’t care that it was their busy season. She had a guarantee and had purchased a brand new unit from this company, they owed her a quick visit to figure out what was wrong. There was no way she should be calling them a second time for repair anyhow.
The company apologized but told her that the soonest emergency heating and AC repair visit they had available was tomorrow. She questioned how something could be called an emergency response time that took 24 hours to happen, but she accepted because it didn’t sound like she had any choice. There was only so much she could argue with the receptionist and then the manager, and she needed it fixed. She certainly didn’t want to go in circles with a new sales representative in the morning.
Marie’s only concern now was the thick heat. It was close to the middle of summer at this point and things were terribly uncomfortable at night. Marie decided that she would attempt to make it through the night with fans blowing on her and the dog. She really didn’t want to get a hotel for one night, especially because she was concerned about leaving her dog behind. This way she could keep an eye on him and leave the fans running so that everyone could be comfortable. Once again she found herself repeatedly telling herself that it was only one night. It seemed that since she started to work with this emergency heating and AC repair company all she did was reassure herself that it was only one night. Unfortunately, it seemed that it always turned into a lot of “one nights.”
When the technicians finally showed up they isolated the problem to an electrical wire. They said that there was an electrical wire that kept shorting and that the wire would have to be replaced before they could attempt to turn the AC unit back on. Marie was quite upset because she wanted to know why that wasn’t noted when they first installed the unit. Surely they had looked at the surrounding electrical wires to make sure that they would support the needs of the system.
The HVAC technician didn’t have a good answer for her, but he reiterated that the wire would need to be replaced before they could safely turn the AC unit back on. After all, they didn’t want to risk electrical shock or a surge that would damage the system. This part Marie understood, but she didn’t understand how this felt outside of the labor guarantee. They stated that since the wire was a peripheral component of the HVAC system and not part of the actual unit, the warranty did not extend to it. In her mind, all of these should have been properly taken care of.
After all, this was the second repair call within a month of installation. She had never experienced such bad service immediately after purchasing a new appliance. However, when Marie thought about it the bad experience actually had nothing to do with her AC unit. It all had to do with the installation of the unit, and the failure of the installers to actually properly install her AC. This made her angry, but there was nothing she could do now except hope that nothing else was going to go wrong. The last thing she wanted to do was put more money into an installation that was supposed to be behind her.
The only positive thing that Marie could positively say came out of her experience with the emergency heating and AC repair team is that she learned more about how to troubleshoot AC problems. Before she would have never thought about kill switches, clogged drains, and bad electric wires, but now she knew a few things to look for if her AC unit ever quit in the future. She was hopeful that she wouldn’t have to deal with anything for another decade, but if something did come up again she knew a few things that she would certainly look at.
The only lucky thing to come out of this experience was that neither problem resulted in too much damage. Just a few days after Marie’s second poor experience with the HVAC company she went on Yelp to leave a review and noticed a few other similar reviews. It turned out that she wasn’t the first customer to have a new AC installation go terribly wrong. However, she was luckier than most because she just had to wait. A lot of people in her town had actually had serious problems working with the same HVAC company.
One man stated that he also had a problem with the drain pipe. It had not been properly installed so it sagged creating a natural backup. Only the AC unit that was installed in his home didn’t have a killswitch so he wasn’t as lucky as Marie. His system did not automatically kick-off and he had all types of water damage to the flooring of his utility closet. He also had to deal with property damage as the water had leaked into several boxes of supplies he kept nearby. It was a mess and required a plumber and a mold remediation company to resolve it.
Now Marie was intrigued, this story sounded a lot like the first time that her unit stopped working. She knew that she was lucky, but after reading this man’s story it seemed that this emergency heating and AC repair company frequently made mistakes. She kept reading, anxious to see what else she would find in the reviews. The next negative review she found talked about how they messed up the electrical writing in the home of the person that they were supposed to be helping. Now the person had to pay for an emergency electrician in addition to the heating and AC repair company before he could get his AC to power back on safely.
Now Marie was very intrigued. It seemed that everyone who worked with the heating and AC company had some type of issue. While this should have made her angry, it actually helped soothe her ego that she wasn’t the only person that was taken advantage of. Another customer a little farther down the list complained that the owner was not great at honoring the labor guarantee, another complaint that she also had already dealt with.
While it was great for Marie to find other people she could commiserate with, what would have been more helpful is if Marie had taken the time to research the emergency heating and AC repair company before they came out to her house. She could have saved herself a lot of problems if she had just read the reviews and realized that they were not a competent company. Marie knew that she had managed to skip a couple of bullets, but the best way to have dodged all of the issues would have been by proactively choosing to work with another company.
She had never understood what people meant when they said that it was best to research any company you were thinking about working with before signing any contracts, but now she got it. If she could go back in time to when she was first looking for an emergency heating and AC repair company she certainly would have handled the process much differently. In the last month, she had spent almost two weeks sleeping in the hot air because her AC unit was broken. 25 more minutes in the heat following the initial breakdown would not have changed anything but could have prevented some of the problems that she found down the road.
Marie and Addison/Tim both experienced a host of issues because they didn’t take the time to properly research the emergency heating and AC repair company they hired to help get their AC units back on track. In both cases, they were told that they would have to replace their unit, at which point they didn’t take a minute to think about how they hired for the installation. The installation process is actually one of the biggest predictors of lifespan, so this would have been a good time to step back and think about what company the homeowners should choose to do it.
It is important to note that just because an emergency heating and AC repair company tells you that you need to replace your unit doesn’t mean they have to be the ones to do it. In general, it won’t matter who you go with, nearly every HVAC company is going to need to order a new unit. Therefore, there is going to be a wait whether you wait a few minutes to do some research on the best company or not. It makes more sense to step back from the issue and do your research so you can make sure that you don’t end up with a spiraling list of problems like Marie or playing a one-sided game of hide and seek with an HVAC company that no longer is willing to take your phone calls.
A new AC unit is a big investment, and it is one that you should carefully consider. Even in an emergency situation, it pays to think clearly. If you are in need of emergency heating and AC repair and want a company that you can trust, save yourself some stress and contact One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas.
See our recent blog on this topic here.
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