If your air conditioning unit stops working during the dog days of summer, when temperatures seem bound and determined to hold steady in the triple digits and your home interior is so hot and humid that the walls actually appear to be sweating, you’ll probably pay just about anything to regain the cool and comfortable atmosphere that your AC unit provides. And yet, just because you’re in a pickle doesn’t mean you should have to pay through the nose to have your air conditioning system returned to working status. But how do you know if you’re getting a fair price when you don’t have a ton of time to spend on comparison shopping? Here are just a few tips to figure out if the price you’re being charged is fair and what you can do if it’s not.
First and foremost, you should call the company that normally services your HVAC system. If you’ve been using the same vendor for a while and you feel that the company and its technicians are trustworthy and reliable, there’s no reason not to assume that their past performance would carry through to the repairs you currently require. Unfortunately, the people you normally trust to fix your AC may be swamped with service calls ahead of yours and unable to schedule you in a timely manner. Or you may have yet to find a company you like for annual air conditioning and furnace inspection, maintenance, and repair. So what do you do now?
One place to start is by turning to trusted sources for referrals. Call your mom, your brother, your best friend, the lady next door, or your coworkers to find out who they use for AC work or who they can recommend. Anyone they refer you to is bound to have delivered good service or your family and friends would not recommend them. After all, they would probably feel pretty badly if they found out the company they sent you to ended up taking advantage of your situation and overcharging you for repair work. This is not to say that it can’t happen, but it’s a lot less likely when your loved ones send you to someone they like.
Or if you can’t seem to nail down a solid lead, skip the Yellow Pages and opt for listings on Yelp or Angie’s List. With plenty of reviews that can give you an idea of what other consumers have experienced, you should be able to find a fairly reliable service that will charge you a fair price for your job. As an added precaution, you could always check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau to make sure you’ve chosen wisely.
After that fact, you might want to put in calls to a variety of AC repair businesses in your area to ask what they might charge for the type of repair you had done. This should help you to figure out if the price you paid was fair or if you got bilked. If it happens that you overpaid by a large margin, you can simply take your time finding a new vendor that you like, one that won’t take advantage of you during a future AC emergency. Whether you’re able to secure the services of your preferred vendor or you go with a referral for Bryant air conditioning and heating products, just for example, selecting a trusted company is always your best option. But if you have to go with an unknown in a time crunch, at least take a few minutes to do some research online if you want the best chance of having your AC repaired at a fair price.