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A Cool Look at Air Conditioning Contractors

Air Conditioning and Cooling
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Air conditioning contractors are professionals who service, and repair, central heating and air, refrigeration, and ventilation systems and installations. If any of these malfunction or otherwise break down, it is a good idea to know what to look for when finding an air conditioning contractor.

What to expect from an air conditioning contractor

A licensed A/C contractor will not only have the necessary knowledge and skills needed to repair any of these (HVAC) systems, but also be able to design and install the correct system in the house, if desired. They will be up-to-date on the latest technological and equipment developments, and able to choose and install a system that will be the most reliable and efficient for the home.

Good air conditioning contractors should also be concerned about environmental safety. For example, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), once commonly used in air conditioners and as a heat pump refrigerant, have been classified as destructive to the Earth's ozone layer. Licensed contractors will not release the refrigerant into the atmosphere and are trained to properly recover, recycle, and dispose of used refrigerants.

Most contractors will provide their customers with information about how to properly maintain and care for an installation - explaining how to change the filter in an air conditioner or operate the thermostat, for example. They should also explain about common indicators of problems with the equipment, and when it should be professionally serviced again.

When looking for a contractor, search for those who belong to professional organizations. There are several such associations that focus on the heating and air conditioning industry; each has strict guidelines and expects their membership to keep current on industry changes through continuing education.

Keeping records and receipts

When dealing with air conditioning contractors, be sure to get a copy of the agreement in writing. Any reliable contractor will have no problem doing this, and it may become useful later on in case of a dispute or misunderstanding. Be sure to include:

  • The maximum number of days the house could be without heating or air conditioning
  • Start and end dates of the services
  • Specific costs of all known labor, supplies, and equipment
  • Costs for any situations that could arise during the repairs (ideally, the highest possible cost, with logical price increments as well)
  • Final payment after the work is complete, preferably with none of the costs paid up front

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