As of September 23, autumn is officially here, and while the truly chilly weather is still on its way to Texas, now is the time to know where to turn for heater maintenance and repairs. It’s important to know ahead of time who you want to go to in case your furnace wears out. When you’re stressed, cold and in a hurry, you may not stop to think if a repair person is truly trustworthy. So far in 2019, more than 3,300 complaints have been processed by BBB regarding the Heating and Air Conditioning industry. Those complaints ranged from issues with billing, contracts and warranties to problems with customer service, deliveries and the products themselves.
Use these tips from Better Business Bureau serving the Heart of Texas to keep your system running smoothly and choose a technician that works for you:
• Maintain your system. Regular maintenance prolongs the life of your system and can help save you money. Replacing disposable filters as needed and cleaning the permanent ones are things you can do yourself.
• Know when to call a pro. You should have your system checked out every year by a qualified technician. Spring and early summer are the best times for cooling systems, while late summer and early fall are ideal for heaters.
• Read the warranty. Annual checkups may seem excessive, but some warranties require them to stay in effect. Check your warranty to see if this applies to your heater.
• Check for carbon monoxide. When having your system checked and cleaned, ask the contractor to check for carbon monoxide. The gas is odorless and can become deadly if too much is released.
• Do your research. You can search bbb.org to find accredited contractors or view ratings and complaint histories on a company’s business profile. Get multiple written estimates for repair work before making a final decision, so you can get the best price and value. You can also ask for a list of references, so you can ask past clients about their experiences working with that contractor. Hearing about another person’s experience can help you avoid the issues mentioned previously.
• Verify licenses. Be sure that the contractor you choose has all the proper licensing and insurances required in Texas to perform the work you need done on your heater. If you want to be sure the license they present is valid, you can go to www.tdlr.texas.gov.
• Know how old your furnace is. The average lifespan for a furnace is 15 to 20 years. If you’re having problems and your heater is around this age or older, it might be time to buy a new one.
To learn more and find business profiles, visit us at bbb.org. From everyone at BBB serving the Heart of Texas, happy autumn.
Emily Gaines is a public relations coordinator with the Better Business Bureau in Austin.