Don’t Be Taken In By Leaky Furnace Scam
Here’s another fraudulent story to be aware of. This is the scenario: A contractor offers you a free or discounted inspection. After poking around your furnace for awhile, he tells you it’s leaking carbon monoxide and must be replaced immediately before the gas kills you. He then swaps your perfectly good unit with one taken from his previous victim.
The Better Business Bureau warns consumers that this sort of scam commonly takes place as temperatures drop. To protect yourself, don’t do business with a contractor who tries to scare you into any kind of service. Also, beware if the person comes to inspect your furnace without tools. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. It can only be detected with a CO tester or combustion analyzer.
Because faulty furnaces can leak carbon monoxide and cause other problems, it is wise to get your furnace checked by a professional before every heating season. A good technician will test for leaks and proper combustion, as well as inspect the venting systems for loose joints and corrosion and verify that flue gases are exhausting properly. Between visits, you can protect yourself by keeping the furnace filter clean, installing a CO detector and keeping a charged fire extinguisher on hand.