Get those AC units tuned up before it heats up!

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BBB offers advice for choosing the right AC repair company

Nice spring weather might be a welcome break from winter, but in Texas, it’s just a matter of time before warm days turn into blazing hot days.

Before that happens, Your BBB recommends that you get your air conditioning (AC) unit checked by a trustworthy professional to make sure it’s in good working order.

Don’t get burned by hiring the wrong service company. Nationally, BBB received more than 1,200 complaints against residential air conditioning repair and service contractors in 2014. Complaints against AC repair service contractors often allege problems with the final price or payment process, as well as complaints that the service was ineffective.

If you’re due for an upgrade, spending a little money on improvements can save you a lot over time. Air sealing is one of the quickest ways to cut your heating and cooling costs. Also, you can visit the Energy Saver website for DIY Savings Projects that provide step-by-step instructions on how to weatherstrip your windows and seal air leaks with caulk.

According to Energy.gov, turning your thermostat back from its normal setting by seven to 10 degrees for eight hours a day can save you as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling costs. Small changes have big results. Another way to save is by simply using a programmable thermostat and keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away.

BBB offers this advice when hiring a trustworthy air conditioning contractor:

  • Consult your owner’s manual. Before doing anything, check the warranty on your current air conditioning unit to determine whether any tune-ups, repairs or replacements may be covered.
  • Hire a professional to maintain your heating and cooling system. Arrange for annual maintenancewith a qualified technician. This includes checking the airflow over the coil, testing for the correct fluid (refrigerant) level, checking the combustion process and ensuring proper air-flow to each room.
  • Research the company. Visit org for the BBB Business Review of any air conditioning service or energy auditor you plan to hire to learn details about the company, like its history of complaints. Visit checkbbb.org for a list of Accredited Businesses.
  • Check Licensing. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation requires a license for heating, ventilation and air conditioning technicians and electricians. Ask to see a copy of the license before work starts.
  • Compare prices. Get at least three estimates in writing. All bids should provide a full description of the services provided and the materials used.

To find an accredited AC contractor that you can trust, go to BBB.org.

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