In the heat of summer, air conditioning isn’t just a matter of comfort – it’s often a matter of health, especially for people who are elderly or have medical conditions. This makes air conditioning a crucial home repair. It’s also a costly repair, and it’s important to hire a contractor you trust.
Nationally, Better Business Bureau (BBB) processed more than 4,300 complaints about heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) businesses last year. Common complaints included failure to perform work as contracted or issue a refund and delays in completing projects in a timely manner.
BBB is a great resource for finding trustworthy contractors. Consumers can find dozens of BBB Business Profiles on HVAC contractors at bbb.org; these profiles include a rating from A+ to F, the company’s history of complaints and how they were handled, and customer reviews.
“Problems with your air conditioning shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially when the temperature rises,” says Stephanie Garland, BBB Springfield Regional Director. “BBB can help you find a reliable contractor who will get the job done right so you can cool down.”
Consumers should consider the following when looking for an air conditioning contractor:
• Research the company’s background and licensing. Visit bbb.org for a BBB Business Profile on any service company you plan to hire. Learn more about its reputation and any history of complaints. Always confirm that the company is licensed and insured.
• Compare prices and service packages. Get at least three estimates for any air conditioning repair, maintenance or replacement. All bids should be in writing, with a full description of the services to be provided and the materials to be used.
• Review warranty coverage. Find out if the company offers any type of warranty or guarantee. Make certain you understand the terms and conditions of the coverage. Also, be sure to check the warranty on your current air conditioning unit to determine whether any repairs or replacements may be covered.
• Ask about energy efficiency. Many new air conditioning units are manufactured to be more energy-efficient than others. Look for the ENERGY STAR label to find out more about products that may cost a little more up front, but save you in energy costs over time. Some models may even be eligible for a tax credit. Ask your HVAC contractor to verify tax credit eligibility and provide the Manufacturer Certification Statement for the equipment you plan to purchase.
For more BBB tips or to check out a business, call 417-380-5074 or go to bbb.org.