Summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21, but sweltering temperatures will be here before you know it. To minimize skyrocketing utility bills, BBB offers some tips to help you stay cool without breaking the bank.
“Regular AC maintenance is important to keeping your system running smoothly”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas. “A yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort, and pre-season check-ups can prevent future problems and unwanted costs”
BBB recommends consumers do the following to prevent a breakdown when repair contractors are bombarded with other emergency calls:
Change your air filter regularly. Depending on the type of filter you use, plan to change it at least once per month. If it looks dirty, change it. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you cool. This wastes energy and leads to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.
Tune up your HVAC equipment yearly. Before the summer heat really sets in, have a qualified contractor come out and do a tune-up. Nationally, BBB received nearly 1,000 complaints against residential air conditioning service companies in 2013, so it’s important that you choose a contractor with a good reputation and track record by going to bbb.org. Finding potential problems before they arise will save money on costly repairs down the road. Scheduling a tune-up now might prevent a breakdown when it really gets hot from June through August.
A typical maintenance check-up should include:
By having these key items reviewed by a professional, the majority of the most common air conditioning repair calls can be eliminated.
BBB also advises consumers to keep in mind that while most air conditioning service and installation companies are reputable, some companies may advertise “free” air conditioner tune-ups with the intent of charging for unnecessary repair work or equipment sales and reminds consumers to do their homework before selecting a company to inspect their AC unit.
For more tips on being a savvy consumer, go to bbb.org. To report a fraud or scam, call the BBB Hotline: (903) 581-8373.