With the summer heat approaching its peak, it would be dreadful to be left without air conditioning in your home. During this time of the year, heating and air conditioning companies are booming with business as a result of many homes’ systems breaking down.
In the heat of trying to find a repairman fast, it is important to be cautious of the company you choose. Many complaints regarding overcharging and poor customer service with HVAC companies have been filed with BBB in the past year. 112 Maryland consumers have complained to BBB in the past year. One customer said she paid $250 up front for a service that was never done and was unable to receive a refund after contacting the company multiple times. To be sure you don’t become one of these victims, you should do your best to find a reliable company.
Of course, the best way to deal with air conditioning issues is to prevent them from occuring. With proper maintenance and care for your A/C unit, you may be able to avoid a broken system this summer.
Maintenance Tips for Your HVAC System:
- Change the air filter monthly to make sure it stays clean.
- Have a technician clear the air conditioning drain yearly to avoid backup.
- Use air conditioner cleaner to clean the coils on your unit; make sure the power is off when you do this.
- Clear the area around the air conditioning unit of brush to make sure the unit can pull enough air in.
- Make sure the access panels are secure.
Energy Saving Tips:
- Keep your system well maintained and tune the equipment up yearly- the better shape your system is in, the more efficiently it will run.
- Get a programmable thermostat- with this, you can save energy when you are away from home by setting the thermostat to increase or decrease temperatures as you please.
- Seal your heating and cooling ducts- the less air that escapes your home, the better!
- Make sure doors and windows are shut and properly sealed as well.
- Update old equipment with newer, more energy efficient models to lower energy costs.
It can be very frustrating if your HVAC happens to break, especially in the dead of summer. If this unfortunate event happens to you, there are important tips to know before hiring a contractor to fix your system:
- Ask around for referrals on HVAC contractors, and check out trusted companies with your BBB at www.bbb.org.
- Make sure the company you hire has proper licensing and insurance- if they do not have these, the company may not be legitimate, and could end up blaming your for mishaps. To find out if the contractor you are interested is licensed and insured, you can go to MHIC’s website and perform a license search. Know the model of your system, and be able to describe the problem it is having- this will make it easier for the contractor you hire to diagnose the problem and fix it faster.
- Get a home evaluation and multiple estimates from different companies to find the lowest price.
- When you’ve chosen a contractor, be sure there is a written contract for you to sign regarding repairs and costs.