Myth 1: Find your air conditioner technician on Craigslist.
The interweb has provided us with a variety of choices to go to find an A/C system service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their organization’s history and practices, other sites are open to anyone who requests to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist will let anyone post an ad for their services, regardless of whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and experience.
If you choose a contractor or individual without having the ability to confirm their qualifications and expertise, it might end up costing you more over time. If the tech doesn’t have the qualifications to properly repair your particular air conditioner, you might end up needing a different, more experienced technician to correct their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.
Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.
Working with small businesses can be great for some minor home services – it’s great for the local business, great for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your pocket book. But use caution: small operations or one-person operations could leave you in a lurch. If something backfires, they may merely disappear and not be around to fix it, or they may not have the resources to get you taken care of quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner malfunctions in the heat of the summer.
Budgeting a little bit more for a larger, more reputable and reliable company can come with advantages that help provide you with more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified team of servicemen and women who provide you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind that they’ll be a call away in the future if you ever need them again.
Myth 3: It’s okay to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioning system.
With the government stopping the production of R-22, many families are noticing the price of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant going up. It may seem like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an AC service technician advises you to do that, you probably want to call for a second opinion.
Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is designed for, and previous to 2010, it was usually R-22. Despite the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioners are still designed for it, and using a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your AC system, it could nullify your warranty. A nullified warranty may cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to possible damage.
Myth 4: You don’t need yearly air conditioning maintenance.
Most people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioning system may think they don’t actually need routine maintenance. It works just fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that an annual AC tune- up is priced around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers demand annual maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, resulting in a large payout if your air conditioner decides to die on the hottest day of the summer.
Myth 5: Learning about the company isn’t important.
It’s crucial to check that you do your due diligence before picking an air conditioning service company, especially if you feel a single company is putting pressure on you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some sites don’t need a contractor to be qualified to market their services. It’s important to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to pay for the same service twice.
Website reviews, referrals from friends, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of contractor you will be offering your business to and help you choose if they are best for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all great review sites to start your search. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for previous customer testimonials. You may have to invest your hard-earned money with your air conditioning company, so invest the time and research to confirm they are the right company for your AC.
Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat up while you’re away from home.
Over time, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature all through the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It usually will not take an outrageous amount of additional energy to get your home comfortable once you arrive, depending on your home.
A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be adjusted from a mobile device so you can actually adjust the temperature cooler before coming home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you get home. This saves you energy over the course of the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Continuously running ceiling fans will help keep your home cool.
Fans help keep people cool, they don’t truly lower the temperature of the home solo. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is forcing your fan to function creates heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. An efficient ceiling fan does help level the temperature of your room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is beneath the fan to feel the breeze, all you’re doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already running. So leave ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and extra air circulation is unnecessary.
Myth 8: Where the thermostat is installed doesn’t matter.
Thermostats read the temperature around it to decide whether it needs to activate the air conditioner to cool the home. Placing a thermostat in your bedroom will only ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will go off and the remainder of the floor or home may be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is put near a well-lit window or an appliance, it may constantly determine the temperature is much higher than the home really is and keep running your air conditioner, raising your cooling bills.
Myth 9: Lowering your thermostat way low will help it cool faster.
Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioning system operate longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really feel better at 75, then put it at 75 and it will run until it cools to that temperature. Decreasing the thermostat to 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, wasting money and energy.
Myth 10: It’s acceptable to change your air filter once every twelve months.
Depending on the health issues for the home’s occupants, and the kind of air filter you utilize for your AC, your air filter may need to be changed as often as every month. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only causes your AC to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.
Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today if you have any questions about your air conditioning system or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.