Consumer Alerts: Air Purifiers & HEPA Vacuums

 
Consumer Alerts: Air Conditioners
As hot, muggy weather continues throughout the metropolitan area, potentially misleading flyers, ads and Web site promotions suggest that residents can receive "free" air conditioners and air purifiers. Some of these require upfront deposits and contracts, all with the intention of securing a purchase even before the resident is approved as eligible for reimbursement. If an air conditioner owned prior to Sept. 11 was damaged by dust or debris from the collapse of the World Trade Center, the applicant may be eligible for repair or replacement. However, such assistance may require an authorized inspection of the air conditioning unit prior to repair or replacement. See

If you get an email or store flyer that contains "EPA information" or "FEMA information" as part of a sales pitch, check that information against our frequently asked questions. Be aware that there are limits as to what FEMA will reimburse. Call the FEMA hotline: 1-800-462-9029 (TTY for the deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-462-7585) before making any purchases.


Consumer Alerts: Air Purifiers & HEPA Vacuums

Flyers have been distributed throughout Manhattan claiming that residents with air-quality issues could get "free" air purifiers and HEPA filter-equipped vacuums through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Many of these promote a special, non-FEMA number to call.

If you get an email or store flyer that contains "FEMA information" as part of a sales pitch, call the FEMA hotline: 1-800-462-9029 (TTY for the deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-462-7585) before making any purchases. See FEMA News Release:

Contractor & EPA Identification

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) and their contractors all require employees to carry official photo-identification and to produce that identification upon request. In addition, NYCDEP employees have and show official badges.

Some residents report being contacted by people claiming to be contractors working on EPA's Lower Manhattan Dust Cleanup Program. You can get the names of the legitimate contractors for the quadrant you live in at http://www.epa.gov/wtc/stories/091602.htm. EPA's contractors will be able to provide your confirmation number (the number you receive when signing up for assistance) as proof they are legitimate. Do not reveal your confirmation number to anyone who claims they need it. EPA, the city, and their contractors will never ask you for this number.