Educational Consumer Tips

Air Conditioning

Author: Better Business Bureau
Published:

Air conditioning needs can be divided into two categories:
equipment servicing and equipment purchasing. When having
equipment serviced inquire about additional charges (such as
travel charges) prior to servicing; ask if technicians are paid
on an hourly or commissioned basis. Consider annual servicing to
prevent future problems.

The purchase of an air-conditioning system involves both cooling
capacity and efficiency. The system must be correctly sized for
the home; an air-conditioning contractor or the local utility
company can provide information about the appropriate size for
your home. The system's efficiency is expressed in its "SEER"
rating, which indicates the amount of cooling per watt of
electricity used. The higher the "SEER," the more efficient the
unit. The availability of ductwork and electricity will also
affect the overall cost of installation. Altering or installing
ductwork or rewiring to handle the additional electrical load can
substantially increase the final cost.

When purchasing a new air system be sure to get two or more bids.
Make sure bids are comparable in terms of equipment and services.
Ask for local references and inspect finished work. Be sure that
the firm is licensed; The license number should be clearly marked
on the service truck. Many air conditioning firms offer service
contracts covering annual inspections and emergency repairs.
Before purchasing such a contract, compare existing warranty
coverage with the service contract you are considering; don't pay
for the same coverage twice.

Should you be interested in finding out if a new air conditioning unit is tax deductible go to: http://www.ahridirectory.org/ahridirectory/pages/home.aspx and try to print your tax deductible certificate by the unit number you are thinking of buying. Give this certificate to your CPA to use with your tax return.