AC breaking down? How to make sure you hire someone you can trust for repairs

By Diane Lee (WSPA)

It is that time of year when, a broken air conditioning unit will leave you desperate for a repairman who can get the job done fast.

Heating and air businesses know that, and some may try to take advantage.

Cameron Soper, the Director of Operations with George M. Hill and Sons warns, the heating and air business is full of repairmen who are not legit.

“HVAC technicians call them ‘One Truck Chucks,’ someone that isn’t licensed. They normally do installs on Saturday’s not during the week because they’re doing side work because most of them work at a different company,”

At best, they may try to cut corners by not getting required permits.

Then there’s the outright scams, repairmen who take money upfront for new units but never deliver.

When it comes to contractors of any kind, there’s no shortage of horror stories.

“He started it and then never came back and then informed us he wasn’t going to be able to finish it,” David Pearson, a Spartanburg County homeowner.

“We’ve sent messages after messages, calls after calls, to get them to come out there and fix it, and it’s been 3 years now,” said Brittany Harvel.

So how do you protect yourself?

For any contractor, always look online to make sure a company is licensed, bonded and insured.

The truck is actually a big clue as to whether the company is licensed. The mechanical number is supposed to be visible, as well as on the business’s paperwork.

Soper also says any time a technician has to open the refrigerant circuit or switch out a unit, the company is required to have a city or county inspector follow-up to check the work.

“Anytime someone doesn’t do an inspection, you should be suspect of that because it might not be to code, and that is for your safety of your home and of your family,” said Soper.

Passing that inspection can also help homeowners make sure the manufacturer’s warranty is not void.

CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO SC DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING AND REGULATION