Why you shouldn’t always trust the experts
|January 16, 2011||Posted by thefrugalvegan under Home Maintenance|
Before we installed our wood stove insert in our fireplace, we were signed up with a local oil company to deliver oil and service our furnace and tank. The price was higher but yearly maintenance was free so we assumed this was a good deal.
After we installed the stove, we used a lot less oil, therefore we canceled our contract and now have oil delivered for a lot cheaper from another local company. We went from spending about $2500 a year in oil to spending around $800 just from installing the stove. (Our house is about 2100 sqft)
To service the furnace, I went online to find a local independent person to clean and maintain it. After speaking with the contractor, we found out that a few things had never been done to our furnace which should have been done by the previous company. He also told us that he used to work for a big company and couldn’t deal with it anymore as they were often trying to scam customers.
Apparently, a furnace (out of its box) is 85% efficient. That is the maximum. Most people don’t know this. Companies would lie to customers by not even thoroughly checking the furnace and telling them it was 90% efficient which is impossible. We were also told that one company would go around filling people’s tanks when they knew the oil prices were going down a few days later. They wanted to charge the customer for the higher price. Wow.
He also told us that there were few young people working in his trade and most of the older contractors were not too concerned with eco- friendliness and furnace efficiency. They get the work done quickly then get out without offering advice or educating the customer. He also made a point of explaining everything he was doing as he was working, and why.
We had to get our boiler drained while he was here, as the pressure was causing some leakage (this was our initial reason for contacting him). The contractor told us how to do it ourselves next time, to save the cost of him having to come in, so we know he wasn’t telling us things to make a quick buck.
People often put a lot of faith in “experts” who come in and do services for us, whether it be furnace cleaning or fixing a leaky faucet. I have learned that we can not put any trust in people for everything and doing research beforehand is imperative. I already do this for some things, just not all.
If you need something serviced, do research on it first. Then ask friends and family for contractors they trust.
While I am happy that we spend little money in oil, I now know that I will be spending a lot less because of this contractor.
I also made sure to ask him for a dozen business cards to pass out to people if anyone asks if I know someone to maintain their furnace!