Educational Consumer Tips
Author: Better Business Bureau
The following comments provide general information for consumers, and do not necessarily reflect the practices or record of any particular company.
Get the name of several contractors from friends or neighbors. Get written estimates for the work that needs to be done. Your estimates should include a full description of the services to be provided. If the heating and air conditioning system needs
to be replaced, the estimate should include a full description of additional work required for the installation of ducts, registers, electrical wiring and repair of the adjacent surfaces.
Compare more than cost when examining the bids. Check the size of the equipment each contractor recommends and ask each contractor to explain how the estimate of the required heating and/or air conditioning capacity and equipment was determined.Make sure to check the written warranty offered. It's important to know what is covered in the warranty, how long the coverage is for and who will honor it. Keep a copy for your records. Find out if a service contract is available providing you with annual inspection and maintenance. Always read your owner's manual for details on routine maintenance you can perform on your own. Make sure you read and understand your contract before you sign it and keep a copy.
For more information on the heating and air conditioning industry, the Better Business Bureau has a brochure available upon request entitled "Cooling Your Home" and "Heating Your Home".