More than 36,000 inquiries about air conditioner contractors spark BBB warning to over-heated consumers

July 29, 2014

July 29, 2014 - CALGARY, ALBERTA - With temperatures forecasted to peak in the low 30s this week, BBB is urging consumers to keep a cool head while searching for the right air-conditioning contractor. And, they are. With more than 36,000 inquiries and more than 120 complaints in the last year about air conditioning and related businesses, consumers are making sure their investment doesn't end up as hot air.

"It's tempting to look for a quick and inexpensive fix when it comes to installing an air-conditioning system," says Sandra Crozier-McKee, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay. "Though it may only be used a few months during the year, it's crucial to invest the time to research a trustworthy contractor who will ensure the efficiency of your installment and safety of your home."

BBB and The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) recommend keeping the following in mind when hiring an air conditioning installer:

  • Get it in writing. Ask for at least three different written estimates from three different contractors. Each estimate should include the kind of equipment to be installed, warranty information and safe disposal procedures of the old devices.
  • Check licensing. While the law does not require every contractor to carry liability insurance, HRAI contractors are required to carry municipal licensing, liability insurance and workers' compensation. Also find out what your home insurance will or won't cover so you won't be left with surprise costs.
  • Ask for proof of qualification.  A certification of qualification is issued to those who pass a provincial examination and complete an apprenticeship program. If the contractor cannot provide proof of their claimed qualification, it could be a red flag.  
  • Maintain your investment. Changing furnace filters once a month will help keep energy consumption low and maximize your cooling efficiency. Also have a qualified air-conditioning technician come out to inspect your system annually.
  • Start with trust. Check for qualified, trustworthy air-conditioner installers.


For tips you can trust, visit  

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Media Contact:
Leah Brownridge, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay
(403) 531-8793 or

About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at There are local,independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, which was founded in 1954 and garners more than one million instances of service annually. 

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