MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Time to turn up the heat in Minnesota.

It is also time for a winter furnace tune-up. But the Better Business Bureau has a warning for anyone choosing an HVAC contractor.

The BBB says this is a time of year when homeowners could be taken advantage of, paying for unnecessary repairs — or replacing furnaces that don’t have to be replaced.

Rich Sahli, the service manager for Owens Air Conditioning and Heating, says business is booming.

“Whenever there’s a cold snap, people who haven’t turned on their furnaces immediately start,” Sahli said.

His company is A+ rated by the BBB, but not all are rated so high.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s a good time to ask if technicians are salary or commission, though we like to think most companies are ethical doing things the right way, but there are some on a commission basis that may recommend services or systems that are more expensive and cost you more money,” said Dan Hendrickson of the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota.

Hendrickson says just because your furnace is red-tagged doesn’t necessarily mean you need a replacement — and always get a second opinion.

“It’s just like seeing a doctor,” Hendrickson said. “You go to one, they suggest this course of action, you go to another, they may have a different take all together.”

Here are some other BBB tips:

  • All contracts can legally be canceled within three days as long as they are signed in your home.
  • New energy-efficient units may get you tax credit.
  • And remember — many warranties require you to schedule yearly maintenance. That maintenance may be worth it, as some systems last 20 years.

Click here to read the BBB’s full new release with advice.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

Comments (5)
  1. It says don’t pick anyone who works on commission. You realize that just eliminated every one person company as they are all commission. Look for online reviews and that will help you find a great company.

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