The air conditioning industry was among the top 10 complained and inquired about industries of 2016. Keep in mind things such as years in business, reputation, services provided and number of happy customers. CONTRIBUTED

Stay cool finding an air conditioning contractor

Summer is here and staying cool is a high priority for most people. For home owners, it can be a heavy task to find just the right business to help with your air conditioning needs and letting someone come into your home to work on your air conditioner can be worrisome. Better Business Bureau offers advice for finding the right contractor.

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The ideal time to have your air conditioning serviced is before it’s necessary. Experts recommend having your system inspected annually to ensure it operates more efficiently. Plus, technicians can detect small problems before they become costly repairs.

In 2016, there were more than 340,000 BBB Business Profiles on air conditioning companies requested and almost 1,000 complaints filed with BBBs across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. In the Miami Valley, the industry was among the top 10 complained and inquired about industries of 2016. That being said, it’s important to weed out the unsatisfactory contractors to find one that’s right for you.

Here are some tips on finding a trustworthy air conditioning contractor:

• Keep in mind things such as years in business, reputation, services provided and number of happy customers.

• Get firsthand accounts from people who have contracted with businesses you’re considering. For instance, check with your family and friends. If they’re happy with the companies they’ve used, most likely you’ll be too. Also, ask the contractor for references.

• Get at least three bids and use the one with the best fit and price. Don’t settle for the lowest bid.

• Make sure the company you settle on is licensed, insured and bonded.

• Ask if the companies have 24-hour emergency service or charge overtime after a certain time.

• Determine if the company offers an annual maintenance program.

• Ask if the company belongs to any professional organizations like the Air Conditioning Contractors Association of America or Air Conditioning Contractors of Ohio. Also, check to see if the company employs NATE-certified technicians.

• Get everything in writing and read the contract thoroughly before signing. Don’t sign before you understand everything.

• Never pay upfront, a trustworthy contractor won’t operate that way.

• Watch out for a company using scare tactics or high pressure to force you into settling for their business.

• Be wary of those going door-to-door in your neighborhood. Do your homework before hiring anyone on the spot.

If you have any questions about finding an air conditioning contractor or you’re interested in our list of BBB Accredited Businesses in the industry, visit bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301. BBB can also provide Business Profiles on companies you’re considering hiring.

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