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How to Find a Good Air Conditioning Contractor

Your air conditioning system is an essential part of the comfort of your home, especially during those long summer months when the heat and humidity combine to make things sticky and miserable. If you’ve ever suffered through a stretch of hot weather with your air conditioner on the blink, you know how important it is to have an air conditioning repair company you can rely on for quick, efficient and affordable repairs or replacement.

Finding a reliable air conditioning repair contractor is essential for a number of reasons. First, you want to know that the repairs made will be up to code and safe for you and your family – faulty installation can be dangerous as well as costly. You also want to find an air conditioning contractor who will give you an honest, fair quote for an air conditioning system that will be powerful enough to cool your home properly when you’re ready for a new unit. There are a few things you should keep in mind when looking for an air conditioning contractor that will ensure that you find the right company or individual for the job.

Look for air conditioning contractors who belong to professional organizations. There are several organizations that focus on the HVAC industry; each of these has strict guidelines and expects their membership to keep up to date on industry changes through continuing education. Look for ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers), AMSE (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) or ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors Association) membership.

Interview potential contractors. You can do this by phone or in person; the important thing is to ask the right questions. You should ask them:

•    Are you and your employees bonded and insured? Even if the contractor is an individual air conditioning repair specialist, he should be properly bonded and insured to protect both of you.
•    Do you have referrals from recent clients? Ask for names and phone numbers of recent customers – then call them and ask what they thought of the service they received.
•    Can you provide a quote free of charge? A good air conditioning contractor will be happy to provide you with a quote for the job. The quote should be itemized, with each part clearly described and priced separately.
•    Take note of the questions they ask you when discussing the work you need done. The more detailed their questions, the more accurate their quote is likely to be. At the least, they should ask about your home’s size and dimensions, the amount of insulation you have, number and placement of windows, etc.
•    Ask if the contractor is a licensed distributor for the air conditioning unit or units they recommend. Those who are licensed distributors can often offer a better warranty directly from the manufacturer.
•    Be sure to discuss the timeline needed to complete the work.
•    Check websites and do some research. Legitimate air conditioning contractors will usually either have a website of their own or have a detailed listing with a professional contractors’ service website. These will provide information on the services provided, links to additional information and contact information for the company. Be sure you check to see that all information is current and accurate.

Finally, when you’ve narrowed your choice down to a few air conditioning contractors who you feel will do a good job for you, check with the Better Business Bureau to see if they have a history of complaints. And remember, a good air conditioning repair or replacement contractor will always be willing to put their agreement with you in writing!

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