Don’t make a heated decision

Published 11:24 pm Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Anyone who has gone a day without a working air conditioner in the summer knows what desperation truly is. Unfortunately, so do AC repairmen. The number of AC repair scams has risen faster than the heat index.
Routine maintenance and repair can add years to your AC, but there are three common scams to look out for: if a tech says you need a black light to kill mold; if you call for a tune-up, have no symptoms and the tech tells you there is a coolant leak; and if the annual tune-up is free.
Be sure to do your homework when looking for an AC repairman. Check the company’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau, ask friends for recommendations and eliminate any repair company that does not list a physical address in phone listings.
When you contact repairmen, ask for references. A reputable company will not balk at the request.
Seek multiple quotes for any repairs. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is. A second opinion is especially important when your AC tech finds an expensive repair or says you need to replace multiple parts.
Do not accept repair quotes over the phone. There is no way of identifying an AC problem without checking the unit. And never pay upfront for a repair.
If you follow these tips when choosing a repairman, chances are you will not end up steaming.