It typically costs less than $100 per visit to have your heating or air conditioning system inspected by a professional, and you won’t have to worry about the unit making it through another season.
Some contractors offer an annual preventive maintenance agreement, which will cost a few hundred dollars a year and typically includes a fall and spring inspection of your HVAC system and discounts on repairs and equipment. In most cases, it’s no cheaper to sign an annual maintenance agreement than it is to hire an HVAC professional to come out and inspect your system once a year.
You can get a thorough maintenance check on your central a/c for as little as $59. But some would charge you $1,000 for a three-year service plan—for the same work.
But paying a professional to maintain your heating and cooling system is worth the money. Qualified, licensed service technicians have all the specialty tools and equipment required to spot problems that most homeowners would overlook. They also carry replacement parts that commonly fail, with them, to keep your system running smoothly.
If you have your unit repaired, ask the tech to leave you any old parts that he replaces. You’re more likely to avoid falling victim to a common scam by the few unscrupulous contractors who will tell you that your unit or some of its parts have failed when they haven’t.
Some air conditioning companies require their techs to meet quotas by selling a certain amount of replacement parts whether the customers need them or not. Others pay techs a commission on replacement parts, which can tempt them to lie to homeowners about the condition of their systems.
Bottom line: Do your homework before inviting an a/c tech into your home and do business with reputable contractors who won’t push you into a contract that will cost you more than the a la carte service. Check your contractors out. Find out how long the company has been in business in Arizona and whether the tech has a license from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. Ask to see proof of insurance and bonding. Ask family and friends which ones they trust. Do some comparison shopping. And rely on Rosie to steer you to the most reliable, trustworthy contractors. Find a list of the a/c techs Rosie trusts and recommends here.