In the sweltering summer heat, you can’t wait to get home and into a cool environment. But when you turn on your air conditioning unit, it doesn’t respond like it normally does. The house is still hot and humid. What do you do now? You may feel this is a rather small repair job that you can have a company take care of easily. However, quite often people end up spending more money than they anticipated because they chose the wrong AC repair company. Even if the repairs seem simple enough and won’t cost a lot of money, it is important that you choose the right provider from the word go. This guide will show you how to choose the right AC repair company the first time so you can save money and hassle.
How to Choose the Right AC Repair Company
Why you should use a checklist when hiring an AC repair service
If you hire an AC repair company whose employees don’t have the appropriate certifications, you may end up with an improperly installed system that could break down again in a few months. You may end up paying more than you should, too, if you go with a non-licensed contractor. In most states, contractors who work on residential properties are required to pay a licensing fee, which covers the cost of administering the exam and the administration of the licensing program. If a contractor doesn’t have to pay a licensing fee, then they likely don’t have the same level of experience and expertise as those who do have to pay. Also, be sure the company has workers’ compensation insurance coverage, as the law requires in most states.
Don’t be fooled by ads and marketing
You may think you are getting a great deal when a company advertises $19.95 for service calls. Are they really going to come out for such a low price? It’s best to avoid services that advertise for extremely low prices. First of all, it’s probably not a legitimate AC repair company. If it is, the services performed will likely be substandard and not meet code requirements.
Another thing to watch out for is marketing which is designed to scare you into doing something right now. An example of this type of marketing is the claim that your air conditioner is on its way out. This is simply not true. If your air conditioner is 10 years old and you replace it every 15 years, then it is likely not even close to dying. It’s best to ignore marketing gimmicks.
HVAC equipment certification is key
All technicians who work on your AC unit must be certified, but not all certifications are the same. For example, if the AC repair technician is certified for refrigeration work, but not for air conditioning work, you may end up with a system that doesn’t work properly. There are several certification organizations, including the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET); the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA); and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). You can ask for certification cards from your technicians, but keep in mind these cards can be forged. You can also check these organizations’ websites to see if the company has applied for certification.
Get more than one estimate
A good rule of thumb is to get three estimates if you need to replace your AC unit. If the bids are close, you can then go with the AC repair company that offers a shorter installation time. If there is a wide difference in price between the companies, you can ask why there is such a difference. You can also check online review sites and see what other customers have to say about the companies you are considering.
Ask to see the company’s license
You should always ask to see the AC repair company’s license and call your local municipality to confirm the company’s license is valid. If the company doesn’t have a license, then you should consider finding another service provider. While you can find out information about a business’s license online, it isn’t always accurate, so you shouldn’t take it as gospel.
Ask for references and check them
You can ask for references from the company, but be sure to follow up on them. If all of the references are from other businesses, you may want to ask why they don’t have any residential customers. You can also ask for a list of recent customers who had the same type of work done that you need. You can then call these customers to see if they are happy with the work and if they would use the company again.
Check the warranty and make sure it’s in writing
When you are shopping for a new system, you will probably see companies with a variety of long-term warranties. You may be tempted to go with the company that offers the longest warranty, but you need to make sure it is in writing. If the warranty is just verbal, then you may be out of luck if the company goes out of business or the owner retires and no one else can honor the warranty. If the warranty is in writing, then you can take the company to court if they don’t honor it.
Be wary of up-front payments
Some companies will ask you to pay a large amount of money upfront for a new system or to cover the cost of parts for a repair job. If the work is legitimate and you feel the company is trustworthy, you can request a down payment. However, if you are asked to pay for work before the work is complete, you should be very wary. That money may be gone for good.
If you wait until the last minute to find an AC repair company, you may not be able to find one that can come out quickly and do the work during the heat of the summer. It is best to start looking as early as February, so you have time to find the right company and have them do the work. It is best to hire a company that has been in business for at least five years, has a good BBB rating, and is a member of a reputable trade association. Look for a company that offers a wide range of services, including repair, replacement, and AC maintenance. We hope this AC repair checklist will help you choose the right company.
Palo Alto Plumbing Can Help
If you are looking for AC repair companies near me, you should contact Palo Alto Plumbing today. Do not wait for a scorcher to find out your system is not blowing cold enough air or is leaking money out the window. Call today!