A/C Servicing – Who to Believe

SRP has a program where you can schedule a 16 point service check-up for your air-conditioning system for $29.95. You call them up and they send out one of their contractors. We decided to do this since it would less expensive than having the service done by the company that installed our a/c system. They came out today and gave us a whole list of things that they recommend be fixed up to and including replacement of the whole system. We had him give us a written list of what he thought was wrong with the system. This is a system that is currently working. So, it is difficult to know if what they are recommending is really needed or not. So, here are our next steps:

1) Look up the company who did the service today at the Arizona Registrar of Contractors site. I can see that there are two resolved complaints and that the company has been in business since 2002. I strongly recommend that you look-up any contractor on this site for any type of work before signing a contract with them.

To look-up contractor by license number (license number is usually in ads and on invoices as ROC#)
To look-up contractor by name

2) Someone else from his company will come out in a few days to give us estimates on replacing the whole system or just the inside air-handler. The outside unit was replaced several years ago but the inside unit is original to the house. It can be difficult to replace an inside unit only and make it fit with the existing outside unit.

3) After we have this written estimate, then we will have the company that replaced the outside unit come out and review the recommendations and provide an estimate for any work they feel needs to be done.

4) If we feel that it is needed, get an estimate from a third company as well.

5) See what we can do to validate the information provided. For example, he said the inside unit was working harder than it should. We can compare our electric bill to the typical electric bill for a house our size. SRP sent us a year end statement that shows we are paying more than the average amount for a house our size. Is this due to the a/c unit or other factors?

6) Research incentive programs and tax breaks that might help off-set the cost if we replace the unit. We already found one – SRP PowerWise Cool Rebate.

We’ll keep you posted on our experiences. If you have any recommendations, please leave a comment.