What to do when your air conditioner breaks

July 1, 2013 7:25:18 PM PDT
With triple-digit temperatures baking the Bay Area, air conditioners are working overtime. So what do you do if your air conditioner conks out on a hot day? 7 On Your Side takes a look.

Bay Area Consumer's Checkbook has just looked into air conditioning repair companies. It found this kind of work is not cheap to get done, but here in the Bay Area we have some great companies to consider.

We looked at an air conditioner being installed in San Ramon. It was baking out there on Monday and, thank goodness, they had this work done a couple weeks back.

"The top-rated companies we found they are just as likely to quote low prices as the poorly rated companies. So there isn't the price/quality relationship most people think there is," said Kevin Brasler from Bay Area Consumer's Checkbook.

And when it comes to replacing the air conditioning unit, take some time and make some calls.

"You can save $1,000 or more by just calling three or four companies. You might have to spend all day waiting around for them to show up to give you the estimate, but for most consumers $1,000 or more in savings is worth taking a day off of work or working at home," said Brasler.

This San Ramon job was being done by Air Quest Heating and Air Conditioning -- one of the top rated companies in Consumer Checkbook's latest guide. So what's the company secret?

"I don't try to push people on a whole new system for them. I try to fix everything and when I can't fix it, it can't be fixed," said Scott Raykiewicz from Airquest Heating and Air Conditioning.

Raykiewicz owns Airquest and says it is hard to find someone good, so go with recommendations and reviews.

And his advice to air conditioning guys is to "take care of people. Make a living. Make a living and go on to the next day."


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