Brown's Home Heating And A/C

Heating & Air Conditioning
1035 Toy Ave. Unit 17 Pickering ON L1W 3N9
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69%

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Reviews for Brown's Home Heating And A/C

Average customer rating:
7.8 10 (19 reviews)

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IvanJ in Pickering
IvanJ in Pickering
1 review Pickering, ON
0/10

Emergency AC Repair and Furnace Tune-up DO NOT RECOMMEND

I hate to put 0 stars because it seems like I am overly angry/bitter in writing my review. I'm not. I just was not satisfied at all with the company and I would absolutely not recommend this company. Please read review as to why, might be items that do not matter to you.

I called Brown's for two service jobs:
1. Furnace check-up and tune up
2. A/C emergency repair

1. Furnace check-up and tune-up
I called Brown's to do an annual check-up/tune-up on my furnace at the beginning of winter. This is the first 'annual' tune-up I did, so really didn't know what to expect.
- Felt like a sales called disguised as a tune up that I paid for
- Would not recommend service as no service was actually performed. THERE WERE TWO CRACKS IN THE FURNACE THAT WERE LEAKING CARBON MONOXIDE AND NOT CAUGHT BY THE CHECK-UP
- I would caution based on my experience and reading some other reviews that technicians create a disingenuous sense that they are looking out for your best interests as a sales tactic (I.e. to increase the likelihood of sales as well as to limit the likelihood that you will look to obtain a second opinion and/or quote).
--> To combat this:
1) Consider whether the technician is genuinely advocating for your best interests or just saying things to make you feel a false sense of trust. This is easy to test because it is always in your best interest to get a second opinion/quote. Even if the technician is saying to get a second opinion, consider whether you are being made to feel guilty about getting that second opinion/quote (example: "you could get a second opinion, they will tell you the same thing and charge you a heck of a lot more").
2) Regardless of any feeling of guilt: get a second opinion/quote. There should be no hard feelings about you doing this.

2. AC Emergency Repair:
My AC stopped working over the weekend and, with no other technicians I knew to call, I called Brown's (regretfully).
- Diagnoses was based on interview questions of me rather than inspection. Completely misdiagnosed the problem.
- Abruptly started ripping things apart. See above, misdiagnoses = ripping out things that didn't need to be ripped out.
- Did no work and charged nearly $200
- Was supposed to call back the next day to set confirm what was wrong and what next steps were. We are 3 days after the EMERGENCY call and still no call back.
- Ended up going to another technician. $200 down the drain.

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Company Response

Hello Ivan ... in response to your review and the several inaccuracies in it ... We attended your house Nov 1 2017 for a tuneup, and you wanted advise on wiring for the thermostat, which needed a wire added (per work order 5804). Our technician was concerned about the safety and state of your 20+ year old furnace, noting that parts were worn and it was likely to fail. This was why he talked to you about getting a new furnace. He spent a lot of time talking to you and going through your furnace, even making a diagram of it and the plenum. Notes that the technician made on the work order (which you received/signed) indicate that both the ventor motor and sealed bearings were worn, which he discovered as he cleaned your furnace. At the time of the precision tune up the carbon monoxide levels were acceptable, but then the furnace ran for another full winter and, as predicted, continued to fail. If the furnace had a crack and carbon monoxide levels were unacceptable at the time of the tune up, then a red tag, forcing the unit to be turned off, would have immediately been issued by our technician. It appears that 8 months later you did have to replace the furnace as parts did fail (possibly causing the problem with your AC, see below) - I understand you got a new furnace within the last week or so. I am sorry you feel that a technician advising that a failing, 20+ year old furnace should be replaced was somehow a "disingenuous sense that we are looking out for your best interests as a sales tactic", but it was his best professional opinion, one which turned out to be absolutely true. We do many, many furnace and air conditioner tune ups, and very few are referred for replacement.
Regarding the call on Sunday July 1st (Canada Day Holiday, 40+ degrees out, original call received after 5:00PM), you sent the message that "the blower isn't working and there is water leaking from the furnace". We attended the next day (Holiday Monday) and found that the blower motor (which is in your furnace, see above) failed, causing your AC coil to freeze and the TX valve needed replacing. I am not sure why you are saying we "abruptly started ripping things apart". We were called to investigate, and we had to disassemble the equipment to trace back what had gone wrong and to allow the air to get at the wet, damaged parts. That is what we were called to do. Then you claim we did no work.
This wasn't a diagnosis over the phone as you state, as evidenced by the hand written cheque dated July 2nd you gave to the technician when he was at your house. You say that we charged you $200 .. this isn't true, you were charged $150 for coming to your house on a holiday, investigating the cause of the problem ("ripping things apart") and diagnosing the fix, and ordering replacement equipment. Your cheque is for $169.50 (which is $150 plus $19.50 tax as shown on your work order, which also identified what went wrong and what parts needed replacing). As the 2nd was the holiday Monday and all suppliers are closed, parts were ordered on the 3rd, and we called you on the 4th when the parts were in. You didn't return the call and posted this review the next day.
On reviewing your file it appears that the technician did everything properly, gave correct advise, responded in a reasonable time frame, and worked at all times in your best interests.

Private User
Private User
Private User reviews Pickering, ON
0/10

Furnace and Heat Pump service

This company did work from Feb. 2 in our home and our issue still wasn't fixed as of April 5. I paid them $1498.00 originally and they wanted another $409.31 from me. I had to call another heating company to come and fix the issue and paid them $1405.72 since the technician at Brown's couldn't actually fix out issue after several trips to our home and actually left gauges attached to our heat pump that drained our entire refrigerant. You will see the gauges in the picture attached. When I called and asked for him to come and remove the gauges it took over a month before we heard back from them. I was told by someone in the office that perhaps he left the gauges on so he could get readings over a period of time. The gauges were not installed correctly which resulted in the leaking of the entire coolant from the unit. We were told that the main board on the heat pump needed to be replaced. When I asked why, I was told because the battery in our thermostat was corroded and blew up the main circuit board. I also told him it should be under warranty but he said no since it was the battery in our themostat. He also quoted me to install a new Ecobee thermostat at $300.00 but I was charged $450.00 plus labour. We have since found out that there is nothing wrong with our old thermostat and it still works. We were misinformed by the technician and this company and they refuse to reimburse us for items under warranty or the additional costs that we paid due to them damaging our heat pump. We had to send many phone messages, texts and emails to get a response from them and they are totally unprofessional. They are now not even responding to our emails so trying to dodge their responsibility of reimbursing us for bogus charges and extra charges that we should not have had to pay another company.

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Company Response

Letter sent to homeowner:
On Feb 2 we attended and the service diagnostic found that the Olson oil furnace needed a new board as a result of the batteries leaking and corroding the terminals on the thermostat. As the thermostat was corroded the technician recommended that the thermostat should be replaced with a wifi stat because it had desired feature. At that time, you were accepting of the wifi thermostat. The reason given was that it was requested to give peace of mind when your family is away as you could check the status of your heating and cooling systems, and as there was a rebate through GreenOn program. It was installed a week later with the heat pump, so there was ample time to change your mind.
We also diagnosed that the heat pump required an outdoor temperature sensor (not a flame sensor … not sure if this was on the invoice done up at the office, but if so the terminology was incorrect). Diagnostic $150
On Feb 5 the board for the Olson was installed. ($287.50 for the board $190 labour) You have asked for this money back under warranty, but the Olson furnace warranty has expired.
On Feb 9 we returned to install the heat pump sensor, which had arrived from the distributor. The sensor for the heat pump should have been covered under parts warranty, so we will refund the $83.97 for the part.
We also installed the Ecobee thermostat at this time ($425.)
Feb 23 we received another no heat call. The bad vent safety switch on the Olson was replaced. Diagnostic fee ($95) and labour to replace the part (190) and the part itself (77.22) for a total of $409.31 (still outstanding). This furnace is not under warranty. At this time someone asked the technician to check the heat pump operation, which was done. The pump was operating to specification, but he left the gauges.
The total billed to you, including tax was ($1498.91 + $409.31) for a total of $1908.22.
The amount you have paid is $1498.91.
The amount we are returning is the sensor ($83.97 plus tax is $94.89) for the heat pump part, plus $1405.72 billed to you by the other company for refrigerant and checking the work done, for a total of $1500.61.
Calculating the difference, $1500.61 less the amount owed ($1908.22 - $1498.91 = $409.31) leaves us with a balance owing you of $1091.30. Enclosed please find a cheque for that amount.
Again we apologize for the problem with the gauges. As the technician who checked the equipment has confirmed that all equipment is now running properly, we hope that you get many more years of service out of the equipment you have.

Ken
Ken
1 review Whitby, ON
0/10

Substandard Unprofessional Installation

I hired Brown's to install a new tankless water heater bought from Home Depot, an authorized retailer. I chose Brown's as they are authorized licensed contractors of Rheem tankless water heaters.

Not only do the issues described below speak to the lack of skilled workmanship, they speak to the lack of professionalism in addressing them.

- After the installation, I read the user’s manual and discovered the service valves were incorrectly installed in the reverse configuration. The end with the union nut should be attached to the water heater. Instead, the unions are attaching the service valves to the flex water lines. Moreover, the purge valves should adjoin the water heater, while the main line valves should adjoin the water lines. The reverse configuration is true in my case. See attached picture.

- Black iron pipe was used to connect the Pressure Relief valve to the hot water service valve. Iron will corrode when subjected to water, which likely explains the next issue.

- Dirty brown water is running from the hot water (pictures attached). As it was evident the discolouration was not going away, I informed Brown’s on Dec 14 2017. I received no word from Brown’s, so I notified Brown’s a 2nd time by phone call (Dec 19) and was given the runaround with the fault pointed at the water heater. I was directed to talk to Home Depot. Issues with the water heater should be handled by the contractor directly with Rheem, not with Home Depot. This is outlined in the owner's manual, and was previously confirmed by Brown’s. The correctness of the installation should first be investigated before pointing fingers at the water heater.

- The Pressure Relief discharge line should end at the floor drain so as to avoid hot water sprays that could damage property or scald people. Brown’s installed a single 3ft tube that ends 6in short of the floor. The floor drain is another 5ft away laterally. The concern is with scalding sprays if anyone is in close proximity should the pressure valve activate. The same concern applies when I stand beside the water heater to manually trip the valve lever in order to test its proper function (repeated annually).

- Brown's is still in possession of my old water tank. They have yet to return it to an Enercare drop-off location. Until it is dropped off, Enercare continues to bill me the rental fee.

- As another HomeStars reviewer noted, Karen (titled "Needed and New A/C unit and new Furnace Air Cleaner"), Brown’s left a mess in the work area in the basement. Furthermore, a single drop cloth was used for covering only the carpeted stairs, yet leaving hardwood and ceramic flooring unprotected. I requested for more drop sheets, but the technician only had one. Outdoor dirt and leaves were left on the hardwood and ceramic, as well as the mess in the basement. When asked for it to be cleaned, the reply I was given was that he is a technician and it is not his job.

This experience with Brown's has been unpleasant. Until the issues are fixed, we do not trust the quality of the water in the house (e.g., to drink, to cook with). The standard of installation does not measure up to highly-skilled licensed tradesmen, and the services rendered have been unprofessional.

---

Reply to Company's Response:
Christine,

While I had plans scheduled during the Holidays, I still tried to work around my plans just so I could get the issues fixed ASAP. There was contaminated water running through my home, which caused stress and mental anguish from possible exposure to any adverse health effects.

That said, even the appointments you proposed were inconvenient for yourself. For example, in reference to the Saturday appointment you noted, I had asked your representative what time the technician would be able to drop by. He said he would confirm after talking with the technician. In fact, I never heard back from anyone at Brown's.

So you can see I tried coordinating with Brown's, all the while inconveniencing me and my plans in order to work around your schedule, which as it turned out, you could not even keep. I have a transcript of this exchange between your representative and I, which I readily can share if you would like to read for yourself.

Along similar lines, you chose to believe your technician that I asked him to sweep the entire basement. The truth of the matter is that I asked him to clean only the mess that he created in the basement (outdoor dirt, leaves, wood chips, PVC pipe shavings, wire clippings, screws on the floor, etc). Your installers should be expected to clean up the mess he/she created, and come prepared with whatever equipment is necessary to perform the cleanup (cloths, broom, shop vac, etc). Your technician was set and ready to leave if I had not stopped him and asked if he was going to clean up. And when I did, the response he gave was that it was not his job to clean up and he did not have a broom. It wasn't until I further pursued this matter with your salesperson that he himself agreed to come by to clean up. This seems to be a recurring issue with Brown's, as I see another customer experienced the same issue and wrote a HomeStars review about it. See the review from Karen (titled "Needed and New A/C unit and new Furnace Air Cleaner").

You claim to stand behind your customers. Rather than you determining the cause of the contaminated water with your licensed trade skills, it was left to me to determine the exact faults in your installation. I relayed my findings to you in more than one occasion. Instead of apologetically correcting the issue right away, you passed-off responsibility and accountability onto the manufacturer, Rheem.

As authorized licensed contractors of Rheem tankless water heaters, you already have a relationship with Rheem and should be familiar with their products and policies. Your excuse of not having the owner's manual, or not being the supplier of the tank exhibits a message that is opposite to your statement of "standing behind your customers". Rather, it is evident of your lack of accountability. Furthermore, the manner of your response shows the lack of professionalism in owning up to your mistakes and the lack of accepting responsibility.

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Company Response

Hello Ken. When the issue of the brown water was brought to our attention we did offer 3 appointment day and times (including Saturday) which were not convenient for you. We subsequently offered you three different times for a visit, again none of these were convenient. You did agree to another day and time, and we attended at that time and made some changes which have resolved your issue.
We suggested that you talk to the place that you purchased the water heater from because as a consumer that is what I would do. As we did not have the owners manual, we didn't know that that was what it recommended. As we didn't supply the tank if there was an issue with warranty we would not have been able to process it or register that there was a problem.
Regarding the pressure relief discharge line, it was correctly installed according to the current code book. In fact the code states that the relief valve MUST end between 5 to 12" from the floor.
Regarding your comments about the possibility of getting scalded, the water temperature for the tankless system is set according to Canadian and municipality safety guidelines. Your water temperature has been set according to those guidelines, so scalding is extremely unlikely. The water temperature that would come out of the tank is the same temperature that would come out of your taps. The water temperature in the conventional tank that you had prior to this tankless system would have been set to 140 in order to control bacteria, but the tankless system we installed is set to 120 (factory settings) because there is no standing water and so the required set temperature point is lower.
Your old water tank was returned on your behalf to the depot in Whitby in December (prior to you writing this review). Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help if Enercare continues to bill you.
Your floors were swept up ... in fact the sales person returned personally to do this because you asked the technician to sweep your entire basement, but refused to let him use your broom to do this because you have an "upstairs broom" that you said can't be used in the basement.
As a small, family run company, we stand behind our customers by making things right, wherever possible, if you are not happy. I believe the problem you were experiencing has been resolved, and I hope that I have address all of the concerns you have raised here. If there are any outstanding issues, please don't hesitate to contact me at the office at 905.428.0146 and I will do my best to make sure that they are addressed.
Thanks, Christine

lori in Pickering
lori in Pickering
1 review Pickering, ON
9/10

Furnace Tune-up & Honest Opinion on my 17 Year Furnace

Used Brown's Home Heating for my Yearly Furnace Tune up for the first time ever. We are totally satisfied with this company and the employee who serviced our 17 year Furnace. Being a home owner of 16 years and owning 2 homes, this is the first time a company has actually explained step by step what they were doing. Down the road this is a company I value for my new furnace, due to the company/employee "honesty" that my furnace was showing signs it was still ok for now.

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Private User
Private User
Private User reviews Ajax, ON
1/10

2 Issues of Poor Installation

Very disappointed with my experience with Brown's and would not recommend them. I had purchased a hot water tank from them and had them install it. The owner Stephen sent 2 inexperienced guys who put the heater on a cart and rolled the cart with dirty wheels down my carpeted basement steps without using a tarp of any kind. They assembled the exhaust with the incorrect glue, (even I could tell by the colour that it was the wrong cement). I questioned it and the owner Stephen agreed and sent a senior installer to my home to reinstall the exhaust. I gave Stephen a second chance and hired him to install a gas line for my BBQ. The owner sent a young installer who didn't tighten the gas valve on the meter. My neighbour complained about a strong smell of gas, I called Stephen who arrived and tightened the valve. He drove off without any apology or acknowledgement of the carelessness of his installer.
I recently had a new furnace installed by another company who advised me that the installers of the hot water tank (Brown's) recognized a red flag with the installation. A flexible hose from the main gas pipe to the water heater was used instead of metal pipe. I paid for these installers to fix again another mistake made by Brown's installers. The reason I am writing this is that I don't want other consumers to experience the problems I did. This is a natural gas installation, there is really no room for error by an installer. If this company is willing to pay me the $150.00 I had to pay the other installer to fix their installation mistake, I will be happy to remove this poor rated review.

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Cam Burrows in Toronto
Cam Burrows in Toronto
1 review Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON
10/10

Had a Heater Installed, then changed to a furnace

We had Brown's Home Heating come and first put in a heater in our separate garage/work shop, but then were told we could change it to a Furnace - which we did. It works amazing. There were a few little bumps along the way, but it has all been corrected.

Thanks for the professional service.

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Gord in Pickering
Gord in Pickering
1 review Pickering, ON
10/10

Home Heating

I had a technician come over to check on our Furnace. As I had a bad experience with another Home Heating company I was more than pleasantly surprised when the technician arrived. He was more than honest and told me what he was doing every step of the way.

I'll be using Brown's Home Heating for my furnace and air conditioning needs in the future. Thanks for a fast, honest response to my furnace problems. PS I don't usually write reviews like this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Company Response

Hello Gord, and thank you for your business. We are so happy that your experience with Brown's was positive. If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact us.

Karen
Karen
22 reviews Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON
10/10

Needed and New A/C unit and new Furnace Air Cleaner

I hired Brown's Home Heating and A/C to replace my mothers old Air Conditioner and also replace her Furnace Air Cleaner. My mother was happy to have a new air conditioner, as the old unit was about 15 years old, so it was time. Next summer she won't have to worry about her A/C stopping in the heat.

Review has 2 previous versions
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Company Response

Hello there ... We understand that you were not happy with the work that was done at your house and we did return to fix the problems. We have dealt with the technician responsible for your original install and that situation should never happen again in the future. We apologize for the inconvenience that was caused and if there is any outstanding mess would be happy to return and make whatever changes/cleaning is required. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or unresolved issues. Regards, Christine

The reviews on this page are the subjective opinion of the Author and not of HomeStars Inc.

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