By Jeremy Ross

CHICAGO (CBS) — With temperatures soaring into the upper 90s, homeowners need to be wary of getting ripped off by huge air conditioning repair bills.

Cleaning and maintaining AC units is a dirty job, but finding the right person to do it is the question.

Jose Cruz is trying to get ahead of the summer swelter by getting an annual check of his system because not doing so in the past with a different company has been too costly. He said he feels he’s been fleeced in the past.

Paul Rontos teaches subjects including air conditioning repair at Coyne College

“If they walk in and the first thing the guy says, ‘It’s no good, we need a new one,’ that’s not the company you want,” Rontos said.

Homeowners should ask how often a unit needs its air filters changed and system serviced. Also, they should get a second opinion for a high dollar repair quote.

Consistent maintenance is key.

“Keep up with the unit,” Rontos said. “Do not wait till the last minute until the thing breaks down. It’ll cost you an arm and a leg to get it going the way it was.”