Myth 1: Hire your air conditioner technician through Craigslist.
The internet has gifted us with a variety of options to go to look for an A/C system service technician, but be careful because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a contractor is accredited depending on their organization’s history and practices, other sites are accessible to anyone who wants to post an ad. For example, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad promoting their services, despite whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and experience.
If you choose a company or individual without getting to confirm their qualifications and expertise, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the tech doesn’t have the knowledge to properly repair your actual air conditioner, you may end up needing a different, more experienced contractor to correct their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple Trip Charges.
Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.
Contracting with small businesses can be good for some small fixes – it’s great for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and probably even good for your wallet. But use caution: small operations or one-person companies could leave you in a lurch. If something fails, they may simply disappear and not be there to fix it, or they may not have the resources to get to you quickly, which is a problem if your AC malfunctions in the extreme temperatures of summer.
Budgeting a little bit more for a bigger, more reputable and reliable company can come with benefits that help provide you with more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the assurance that they’ll be a call away if you ever require their services.
Myth 3: It’s fine to use any type of refrigerant in your AC.
With the government putting an end to the making of R-22, many homeowners are noticing the price of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like an easy fix to just substitute a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician recommends this, you may want to get a second opinion.
Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is designed for, and prior to 2010, it was typically R-22. Despite the extreme decline of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and using a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your AC system, it could invalidate your warranty. An invalidated warranty could cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to potential damage.
Myth 4: You don’t need routine AC maintenance.
Many people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioner may believe they don’t really need annual maintenance. It’s operating fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that a routine AC tune- up is priced around $79 while the cost of a repair averages around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers require yearly maintenance to continue your warranty, so foregoing your yearly tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, meaning a huge payout if your AC decides to die on the hottest day of the season.
Myth 5: Finding out about the company isn’t important.
It’s important to ensure you do your research before choosing an AC service company, especially if you feel a particular company is intimidating you. As we said in Myth #1, some domains don’t require a company to be qualified to market their services. You need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service twice.
Website reviews, referrals from family, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of business you will be trusting your business to and help you choose if they are ideal for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all wonderful review sites to start your research process. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for prior customer references. You may have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning company, so invest some time and research to ensure they are the right company for you.
Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat higher while you’re not at home.
Over time, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature all through the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are gone. It usually will not require an excessive amount of extra energy to get your home comfortable once you enter, depending on your home.
A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be changed from a mobile device so you can just adjust the temperature cooler before returning home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you get home. This decreases your energy throughout the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Always running ceiling fans will help keep your home cool.
Fans help cool people, they don’t actually decrease the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is causing your fan to run creates heat, which can push heat into the air in your family’s home. A good ceiling fan does help level the temperature of your room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person below the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already on. So turn off ceiling fans when there is nobody in the room and more air circulation is not needed.
Myth 8: Don’t worry about where the thermostat is installed.
Thermostats read the temperature surrounding it to decide whether it needs to start up the air conditioner to cool your home. Installing a thermostat in the bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once the bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will go off and the rest of the floor or home could be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a warm window or an appliance, it might continuously think the temperature is much higher than the living area actually is and keep running your air conditioner, upping your energy bills.
Myth 9: Excessively lowering your thermostat will help it cool faster.
Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioning system work longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really feel better at 75, then put it at 75 and it will run until it reaches that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, costing you money and energy.
Myth 10: It’s ok to replace your air filter once every twelve months.
Depending on the health conditions of the home’s occupants, and the type of air filter you use for your air conditioner, your air filter may need to be changed as often as every 30 days. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only makes your air conditioner to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory conditions 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 free in-home consultation.