Broken Heater

I have a unit that has a heating and air conditioning package unit on the roof. Each year, at the beginning of the cold season, the heat does not work. The unit is 13 years old. Last year, I had a home warranty, and the repair guy came out and fixed the unit. This year, my home warranty is not in effect. The heating repair guy who came out this year said that my carbon monoxide levels indoors were too high; his detector showed 1-2 PPM. The repair guy attributed this to a heat exchange unit that may be cracked or leaking. When I go online, I find that houses with natural gas stoves have 5-15 PPM, and that average levels in other homes range from 0.5 to 5 PPM. Are these people BSing me? They want to either change out the heat exchange unit for $1400, or put a new unit in for around $7000. This is a 2.5 ton package unit (Lennox). It really doesn’t snow where I live, how long should these things last? The home warranty people said that I could renew my home warranty for $500. I’ll bet I could renew my home warranty and get this thing fixed, but I don’t want to create an unnecessary fire hazard or liability problems.

I would call another HVAC contractor and pay their service fee ($69 or whatever) for a 2nd opinion

Second the second opinion.

Third the second opinion. I have found if contractors/companies know that I have 2-3 other people putting in bids besides theirs, they come down. I had a painter bid a job at $1,300 until I told him that another painter bid much lower. He said he would beat the price by $100 no matter what it was. He did the job for $750. Get another bid!!!

Here’s an update. The company that initially came out had a “design engineer” who called me about 6 times in two days. He would talk about the families that “go to sleep and never wake up” due to carbon monoxide poisoning. He would talk about the energy efficiency of the new unit, he would talk about the easy monthly payments available through the utility company financing. Every time we talked, the cost of repair had a new issue come up, by the last time I talked with him, his repair bid was $4000. I called around, I finally found a company with someone who sounded like they knew what they were talking about. Their repair guy came out. He explained that he was not on commission, but that a lot of heating repair people are on commission, not just for units, but for parts also. He attributed the carbon monoxide levels in the unit to the gas stove, but said that I should get a CO detector. He fixed the unit in less than 5 minutes with less than $10 worth of parts. He said that the heat exchange units almost never go out on this particular Lennox model (the model is 13 years old, and they don’t make this particular model anymore), when the heat exchanger does go out, it makes a lot of noise. The first repair guy charged me $95 for the service call, and $45 for parts that he never installed. The new repair guy charged me $85. It’s too bad that one must search so diligently to find competent honest people.

It’s too bad that one must search so diligently to find competent honest people.


I hope you reported this guy to the authorities for theft and also took him to court…Otherwise, he’ll just go on finding other customers to rip off…