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Heating and Air Conditioning Repair

By: Mike Thomas

The prospect of dealing with heating and air conditioning repair at home or at your business sends a shiver down the spines of most people faced with the possibility. It can be a costly venture. But if you take preemptive steps, you can reduce the chances of a breakdown.

Avoid Emergency Repairs if Possible

One of the best ways to avoid costly heating and air conditioning repair bills is to sign up for an annual or semi-annual maintenance program. Regular maintenance can eliminate surprises down the line. It's probably happened to you at some point. Your furnace or air conditioning system seems to fail at the worst possible time, usually in the middle of a cold spell or during the hottest weeks of the year. That usually results in a call for emergency service for which you pay a premium. The key is to find the right company. 

Locate a Reliable HVAC Company

The first step is to locate a reliable and trusted service company in your neighborhood. Often you can ask friends and neighbors for a reference. If that fails, use your search engine to locate one in your geographic area. Interview a couple of heating contractors. Ask if they are licensed HVAC technicians. Do they have references? Find out about their emergency service policy. If you are satisfied with the responses, schedule the first maintenance appointment.

What to Expect

The company technician should show up at the appointed time. His truck should be clean and orderly and stocked with normal repair parts and tools. He should show his ID. Often the first visit can be arranged for a special "New Customer" price. The tech will clean and inspect your furnace and AC unit, adjust components, change filters and check your thermostat. The ignition system and the heat exchange should also be inspected for cracks and leaks. If the need for any repairs is indicated, make certain you get an itemized estimate before any work is started.

Replace or Repair?

Depending on the age and past history of your furnace and AC unit, the cost of heating and air conditioning repair should be weighed against the cost of replacing your system. Today's modern technology offers HVAC systems that run much more efficiently than models dating back 12-15 years. With that new technology in place, your cost of operation can be considerably less. Before you proceed, be sure you have all the facts and prices in hand. For an easier solution, consider getting a home warranty to eliminate the stress and hassle of appliance maintenance and repair.

  

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†Average repair and replacement costs as reported in a nationwide survey: A Study of Homeowners Appliance and Home System Service Experiences Decision Analyst (2011) and reprinted with their written permission.

Home protection plans are subject to exclusions and limitations including repairs or replacements of covered home system components and appliances. See contract for details.