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As temperatures climb, Better Business Bureau warns of air-conditioning scams

7-Day Outlook ABC7 Chicago

Chicago won’t be cooling off anytime soon – the city will remain under an Excessive Heat Warning for the next two days, with temperatures climbing even higher.

Temperatures reached the low 90s Saturday and will linger in the low 80s all night after isolated evening storms, according to ABC7 Chicago.

On Sunday, Chicago is set to experience record breaking heat with temperatures remaining high all day and night.

Temperatures are expected to be in the mid to high 90s through Monday, and the humidity could possibly bring the heat index to 105 during afternoon hours, according to the National Weather Service.

Sunday’s predicted high temperature of 97 — the weather service says we’ll hit that mark about 3 p.m. — would set a record; the highest recorded temperature for June 17 is 96 degrees, back in 1957.

We’re likely to break another record once the sun sets. Temperatures are expected to remain in the 80s – the highest recorded temperature at night on June 17 is 77 degrees in 1984.

Saturday, though steamy, didn’t appear to cause a rush at the city’s official cooling centers; one of those locations, a senior center in South Shore, reported that it was pretty much like any other Saturday.

In addition to threats from the heat itself, The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers and business owners to be on the lookout for air conditioning scams this weekend.

Unscrupulous contractors often use scare tactics on homeowners and business owners with inoperable or poorly functioning air conditioners, according to the BBB. Some contractors will make unsolicited phone or door-to-door calls offering free services, and then will make recommendations for unnecessary repairs and upgrades.

The BBB has filed more than 200 complaints against heating and air conditioning companies in the last year in the area, it said. Another issue is scammers who pretend to be air conditioning experts.

“As in any other industry, air conditioning contractors are honest and fair, but there are some unethical contractors that will try to persuade customers to purchase unnecessary services,” Steve Bernas, president of the BBB of Chicago & Northern Illinois, said.

To avoid air conditioning contractor scams, the BBB is advising to research the company’s background and licensing, compare prices and service packages, review warranty coverage, never open the door to strangers or accept unsolicited offers to inspect air conditioning and never make any immediate payment using cash, a prepaid money card or wire transfer.

“Scammers impersonating air conditioning inspectors are looking to steal some cold cash, and in worst-case scenarios, gain entry to a victim’s home to steal additional property,” Bernas added.