Air conditioning problems are a headache whether its summer or winter, and it can be tempting to accept the bill from the first person who can fix it. Then again, making sure you’re getting a fair price and good service is important, even in the middle of an emergency. Follow these three steps:
1. Write down all the problems you’ve noticed.
Air conditioners usually go bad over time instead of in a sudden breakdown. If you’ve been looking for a contractor to fix rumbles and heating cycles that have been increasing in frequency, start to keep notes about everything wrong. Even if you’re not sure the problems are connected, more information can help the technician find the complete answer the first time. You should also go from room to room and make sure temperature-controlled air flow is reaching the whole house.
2. Get an estimate in writing.
Getting your air conditioning fixed is just like getting your car fixed. A reputable company will inspect the whole contraption and let you know about all of the problems they find before starting on repairs since the information helps you decide your budget before you’re trapped into paying. Get an itemized list of each repair, replacement, and expected hours of work. Then ask the technician which repairs need to happen immediately and what the consequences are of putting it off.
3. Make sure the proposal matches the estimate and that it’s binding on their side.
Contractors or technicians are generally more than reliable. But one bad experience can be a costly lesson, so make sure everything is agreed to — on paper, not just verbally — before services start and before you pay.