CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Southern Piedmont area is in the middle of a heat wave this week High temperatures above 90 degrees could cause problems with conditioning units and may result in higher than normal utility bills.
The BBB has advice on how to stay cool during heat waves.
“Air conditioning units can be the most expensive equipment in your home,” said BBB President Tom Bartholomy. “Given the large number of contractors and companies that provide air conditioning, it is important to distinguish between the good and the bad.”
“In the past 36 months, consumers have checked out air conditioning services with the BBB more than 165,000 times,” Batholomy said. ” However consumers have only filed 283 complaints during the same time period because they are doing their research to find a company they trust.”
Emergency Service – Here are some tips from BBB if your air conditioning unit breaks and you need emergency services:
- Check out air conditioning contractors with the BBB. It only takes a few minutes to find a reliable company with a good track record for service.
- Make sure that contractor is licensed, bonded and insured.
- Be wary of unsolicited offers and high pressure sales pitches for air conditioning systems, windows, and roofing.
- Don’t fall for devices and products that promise drastic reductions in home energy costs.
BBB also has advice if you cannot afford to pay your utility bills.
- Ask your utility company about an annualized billing plan to avoid spikes in your bills during extremely hot or cold months.
- If you are on a a fixed income and have trouble paying your utility bills, contact your utility to find out about emergency assistance plans.
- Get help. Nonprofit organizations like Crisis Assistance Ministry help low-income individuals pay their utility bills.
Here are some other tips from BBB about making your home more energy-efficient year round:
- Have your air conditioning system inspected and serviced each year.
- Check your attic, garage and basement to make sure your home is well-insulated.
- Clean or replace air conditioning filters on a regular basis.
- Install a programmable thermostat and keep your home at a set temperature.