In the last year or so, there have been two separate instances where I have had a heating and cooling company tell a client that they have a cracked heat exchanger. If you are not familiar with this problem, allow me to explain. The heat exchanger is an important component of your furnace, and if it is cracked – it can be a very dangerous situation because it can leak unhealthy flue gases into your house. Really the only fix for this is, you guessed it, a new (expensive) furnace! At this unsettling news we decided to get a second opinion, and surprise, surprise, no crack! Now, I’m not one to judge so I don’t know if these guys are just having a bad day or what, but either way – get a second opinion especially if you feel uneasy about the situation.
Of course this isn’t the only industry where this sort of thing happens – chimney companies have been known to loftily diagnose some pretty pricy issues too, so be diligent and beware when the company that inspects also services you. That is one reason why we hire independent home inspectors for real estate sales. They do not work on homes, they don’t recommend contractors – they are completely unbiased and have no interest beyond the inspection.