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Halloween Edition: HVAC Horror Stories

Halloween HVAC: Scary Installation and Repair Stories That Will Lower Your Inner Thermostat

Here at Air-Tro we only have happy endings to your heating and air conditioning challenges, but out in the wilds of the Internet, it’s a different story entirely. As the weather hopefully cools down and the leaves begin to change, our thoughts turn to the spooky season that is Halloween.

In the spirit of the season, here then is a brief sampling of the scary stories consumers have posted about their experiences with unlicensed, incompetent, and possibly otherworldly HVAC and heating companies! And one from a young oil furnace salesman, about a customer who liked talcum powder.

HVAC, air conditioning
It’s that time of year again.

The Haunted Heat Pump

From Reddit, a proactive homeowner decided to replace the 30 year old heat pump in his Boston condominium before the weather turned cold. Referred to two companies by his HOA, he asked for bids. He decided to go with the cheaper estimate, and the HVAC company of his choice came out to replace the part. Only after they left did he notice too that his expensive thermostat (purchased separately and installed by the homeowner himself) had suddenly stopped working. Assuming it was a problem with the thermostat itself, he called the manufacturer, who sent out a technician immediately.

Upon arriving at his home, the professional and polite thermostat tech informed the homeowner that the heat pump for which he had paid several thousand dollars…wasn’t really even a heat pump. And so began four months of negotiating with the HVAC company, throughout one of the coldest Boston winters in history.  After blowing cold and hot air intermittently, short cycling for 3 minutes and switching off, and costing the homeowner thousands of dollars and hours of his time, another HVAC company finally replaced the part altogether, burying the old one in the cemetery of regrettable customer service experiences.

The American Horror Story

From a Houston HVAC customer forum, poster Margaret described having purchased a new central air conditioning unit to boost the resale value of her home. She asked specifically for an overflow kill switch, having endured the consequences of a leak several weeks earlier. The HVAC company assured her the system they sold her indeed had one, and installed it within her house. Only a few weeks later did she hear the drip, drip, drip of water.

Upon investigating, she found a significant leak. The raised platform upon which the AC unit was placed had bowed from water damage. Her new wooden floors were also buckling. Her plans for putting her house on the market were put on hold indefinitely. According to Margaret, she is now considering a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the unit, and the HVAC company who installed it.

The Talcum Powder Tale

This anecdote also came from Reddit, but from a sales representative for an oil furnace company. One afternoon, he made a house call to a potential new customer who had called to request a price on a new oil furnace. Arriving at the ordinary looking suburban home, he was met at the door by the homeowner, who was clad only in his underpants, bare chested. Large and tall, he had an unusual high pitched voice, and a peculiar smile that along with his outfit immediately made the young salesman uneasy.

Nevertheless, the salesman politely asked to see the existing furnace. Humming a wordless tune to himself, the unusually clad homeowner showed the salesman inside, through dark rooms that seemed untouched from the 1950s. Following the man down a winding stairs in a pitch black hallway, the young man was ushered down into the ancient basement, where an old, crusted oil furnace stood leaking in the corner. Looking around, the salesman said later he had to suppress a scream.

In the eerie half light of the room, illuminated only by a tiny, dusty window in the corner, he saw that everything appeared to be covered in an inch of what looked like snow-a fine, white powder that strangely had a familiar smell. The young salesman put his finger to it and then to his nose. Before he could remark upon it, the homeowner smiled. “Baby powder,” he said. “It’s safe for babies. I put it everywhere.”

The salesman quickly wrote the estimate.

Remember, stay safe this Halloween and always. Don’t let an inexpensive problem turn into a costly nightmare by hiring less than the best.  Trust Air-Tro for all your heating and cooling needs.

Happy Halloween, and go easy on the baby powder!

HVAC, air conditioning
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