Myth 1: Get your AC technician through Craigslist.
The World Wide Web has provided us with a variety of options to go to look for an air conditioning service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their organization’s history and practices, other websites are available to anyone wanting to post an ad. For example, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad for their services, despite whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and knowledge.
If you choose a contractor or individual without getting to verify their qualifications and competence, it might end up costing you more ultimately. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the skills to properly repair your particular air conditioner, you might end up needing a second, more experienced contractor to fix their mistakes and it could cost you multiple service charges.
Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.
Hiring small businesses can be wonderful for some minor home services – it’s great for the local business, great for the economy, and maybe even great for your bank account. But use caution: small operations or one-person operations could leave you in a lurch. If something fails, they may merely disappear and not be available to rectify the situation, or they could not have the resources to get your issue resolved quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioning system dies in the heat of the summer.
Paying a little bit more for a sizable, more trusted and reliable company can come with perks that help provide you with more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind that they’ll be a call away if you ever require their services.
Myth 3: You can use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioner.
With the government stopping the production of R-22, many people are seeing the fee of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant increasing. It may seem like a simple fix to just substitute a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician advises you to do that, you likely want to call for a second opinion.
Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the equipment is designed for, and previous to 2010, it was commonly R-22. Regardless of the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your AC system, it could invalidate your warranty. An invalidated warranty may cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to potential damage.
Myth 4: You don’t need routine A/C system maintenance.
A lot of people who are not currently having trouble with their air conditioning system may believe they don’t actually need annual maintenance. It’s running fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that a yearly AC tune- up costs around $79 while the cost of a repair averages around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers require routine maintenance to continue your warranty, so skipping your annual tune-up could cost you your warranty, which means a large payout if your AC decides to go out on the hottest day of the year.
Myth 5: Learning about the contractor isn’t important.
It’s important to ensure you do your homework before picking an air conditioning service company, especially if you feel a specific company is pushing you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some websites don’t demand a company to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You absolutely need to know their qualifications and history so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service again.
Website reviews, testimonials from friends, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of company you will be offering your business to and help you choose if they are ideal for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all great places to start your homework. Remember, don’t be shy to ask for past customer references. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning company, so invest some time and research to make sure they are the best company for your AC.
Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat higher while you’re out of your home.
Over time, it will increase your bills to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature throughout the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you’re away. It usually will not take an exorbitant amount of more energy to get your home comfortable once you arrive, depending on your home.
A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be adjusted from a phone or tablet so you can simply adjust the temperature back down before arriving home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you arrive. This reduces your energy during the day, as well as saving you money on your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Constantly running ceiling fans will help cool your home.
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 operate creates heat, which can push heat into the air in your home. An efficient ceiling fan can help level the temperature of your room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is under the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already working. So leave ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and additional air circulation is not needed.
Myth 8: Don’t worry about where the thermostat is installed.
Thermostats measure the temperature near it to decide whether it needs to turn on 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 on. Once that bedroom is cooled, the AC will shut off and the rest of the floor or home could be much warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it could constantly determine the temperature is much higher than the living area truly is and continuously run your system, increasing your energy bills.
Myth 9: Excessively lowering your thermostat will help it cool more quickly.
Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioner operate longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then set it on 75 and it will kick on until it gets to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 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 fine to swap out your air filter annually.
Depending on the health conditions of the residents of the home, and the kind of air filter you use for your air conditioning system, your air filter may need to be changed as often as every four weeks. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioning system to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.
Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for more information about your air conditioner or to set-up your free in-home consultation.