Milwaukee, Wis., July 15, 2011
– There’s no worse time for your air conditioner to go on the fritz than when the thermometer climbs near the century mark. Before you hire a contractor to make repairs, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises taking the time to check contractors out carefully, even when your patience is evaporating.
Rushing to find a cooling contractor can burn a hole in your wallet instead of keeping you cool. Heating and air conditioning companies were the subjects of 162 complaints to the BBB in the last year. Some of the most common mistakes consumers make when looking for repairs are hiring the first contractor they find, not doing the proper research and not getting all the details of their service or repair in writing.
“BBB Business Reviews
give consumers a lot of information on contractors and how they treat customers,” said Randall Hoth, Wisconsin BBB president and CEO. “By checking a company out with the BBB first, consumers often can save themselves the grief of hiring unreliable or unresponsive companies.”
If you are in need of a repair or just need a yearly check-up, the BBB recommends the following:
- Research company background and licensing. Visit www.bbb.org for the Business Review of any company you plan to hire to learn more about its reputation and history of complaints. Ask if the company and its employees are licensed and insured.
- Compare prices and service packages. Get at least three estimates for any air conditioning replacement, repair or maintenance work. All bids should be in writing and should provide 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 and 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 significantly more energy efficient than others. Some units may be eligible for tax credits. Make sure you get the necessary paperwork to cash in on those savings.
For more information or to check a company’s BBB Business Review
, go to www.bbb.org
or call 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (NE Wisconsin), 608-268-2221 (Madison) or 800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin).