Tips on how to fight winter allergies

VICTORIA, Texas–Texas weather tends to be unpredictable, and this winter is a perfect example. Unpredictable weather can result in a higher possibility for allergies to affect your daily life.

According to, furnaces and air conditioners need their filters cleaned and changed every couple of months. A dirty filter can also increase energy costs and damage equipment. So while your allergies may be caused by cedar or mold, regularly maintaining your home’s heating and cooling systems can improve the overall air quality of your home, cut energy costs and help alleviate allergies.

If your AC needs a bit of work or isn’t cooling properly, annual spring maintenance can help improve efficiency and prolong the life of your unit. Common air conditioner problems include a low or leaking refrigerant, issues with the thermostat, a clogged drain or a dirty filter.

Last year, BBB received 4,850 complaints against heating and air conditioning businesses nationwide. Most complaints against heating and air conditioning businesses report issues with guarantees/warranties, customer service and services performed by the business.

Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin offers the following advice when looking for a trustworthy HVAC contractor:

Consult your owner’s manual. Before doing anything, check the warranty on your current air conditioning unit to determine whether any tuneups, repairs or replacements may be covered. Know the model of your system and the problem – this will make it easier for the contractor to find the source of the problem and fix it faster. Hire a professional to maintain your heating and cooling system. Arrange for annual maintenance with a qualified technician. This includes checking the airflow through the evaporator coil, testing for leaks and for the correct amount of refrigerant, checking the accuracy of the thermostat and ensuring proper airflow to each room. Research the business. Visit for the BBB Business Profile of any air conditioning service company or contractor you plan to hire to learn details about the company, like its history of complaints. Also, ask around for references. Check licensing. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation requires a license for heating, ventilation and air conditioning technicians and electricians. Ask to see a copy of the license before work starts. Compare prices. Get at least three estimates in writing. All bids should provide a full description of the services provided and the materials used. When you have chosen a contractor, be sure the contract is in writing.