Summer Tips for Avoiding Air Conditioner Repair Scams
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• Obtain Multiple Quotes: When faced with a pricey repair or new air conditioner purchase, get at least three written quotes before you make a final decision. Quotes should include a full description of the services and materials to be used so you can adequately compare them; this includes the air conditioners size and units of energy (BTU) as well as the calculated cooling capacity of your home. Also compare all available warranties. Not all warranties are the same so they should be included in your evaluation process.
• Don’t Pay Cash: Always pay by credit card if you can and avoid paying cash. If paying by check, make it out to the name of the business rather than payable to the employee or another individual. Some unethical employees and subcontractors steal from consumers by convincing them to write checks directly to them rather than the company that was hired. Consumers are still likely to be held liable to pay the company they hired to do the work. Depending on contract terms, they might also potentially face a lien on their property. A cancelled check is a useful form of evidence to prove you actually paid your bill.
Additionally, check that the company is insured against claims covering worker’s compensation, property damage, and personal liability in case an accident occurs on your property. Call to verify the contractor’s insurance coverage after obtaining the name of the carrier and agency. Ask the provider to send you proof of coverage for your records.
• Annual Inspections: Paying for an annual inspection with a qualified repair shop to check the compressor, moving parts, coolant levels, filter, and furnace blower can identify and resolve problems before they become expensive. Having work done before the peak summer busy season can be less costly than when air conditioning service technicians are in high demand.