It’s still winter, so why worry about air conditioning? BBBrecommends planning ahead now, while temperatures are low, to make sure thatyour air conditioner is working properly when the temperatures are high.
Take the time to check contractors out carefully; rushing tofind a cooling contractor can burn a hole in your wallet instead of keeping youcool. Last year, BBB received more than 9,000 complaints against heating andcooling contractors and repair services. Some of the most common mistakesconsumers and business owners make when looking for repairs stem from hiringthe first contractor they find, not doing the proper research, and not gettingall the details of their service or repair in writing.
BBB recommends the following tips to make sure your inspectionand service go off without a hitch:
Research thecompany’s background and licensing. Visit www.bbb.org for the BBB Business Review of any AC service company youplan to hire. Learn more about its reputation and history of complaints. Alwaysconfirm that the company is licensed and insured.
Compare prices andservice packages. Get at least three estimates for any air conditioning repairwork or maintenance work. All bids should be in writing and should provide a fulldescription of the services to be provided and the materials to be used.
Review warrantycoverage. Find out if thecompany offers any type of warranty or guarantee. Make certain you understandthe terms and conditions of the coverage. Also, be sure to check the warrantyon your current air conditioning unit to determine whether any repairs orreplacements may be covered.
Ask about energyefficiency. Many new air conditioning units are manufactured to be moreenergy efficient than others. Look for the ENERGY STAR (ENERGY STAR) label to find out more about products that may cost alittle more up front, but save you in energy costs over time. Some models mayeven be eligible for a tax credit. Ask your HVAC contractor (heatingventilation and air conditioning) to verify tax credit eligibility and providethe Manufacturer Certification Statement for the equipment you plan topurchase.