Myth 1: Get your air conditioner technician through Craigslist.
The interweb has provided us with a variety of places to go to find an A/C system service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their business history and practices, other sites are available to anyone wanting to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist will let anyone post an ad providing their services, regardless of whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and knowledge.
If you decide on a company or individual without getting to identify their qualifications and competence, it might end up costing you more in the long run. If the tech doesn’t know how to properly service your actual air conditioning system, you might end up needing another, more experienced contractor to correct their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple service charges.
Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.
Contracting with small businesses can be good for some minor home services – it’s great for the local business, good for the economy, and likely even good for your bank account. But be careful: small businesses or one-person companies could leave you holding the bag. If something backfires, they may conveniently disappear and not be available to fix it, or they could not have the resources to get your issue resolved quickly, which is a problem if your AC breaks down in the heat of the summer.
Spending a little bit more for a bigger, more established and reliable company can come with advantages that help give you more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be available if you need them again.
Myth 3: It’s fine to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioning system.
With the government putting an end to the manufacturing of R-22, many homeowners are noticing the cost of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant increasing. It may seem like a simple fix to just use a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician gives you that advice, you may want to find a second opinion.
Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is produced for, and prior to 2010, it was commonly R-22. Despite the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioners are still designed for it, and replacing R-22 with a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your AC system, it could void your warranty. A voided warranty could cost you a lot more in future parts due to likely damage.
Myth 4: You don’t need annual air conditioning maintenance.
Most people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioning system may think they don’t actually need yearly maintenance. It’s operating fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that a routine AC tune- up is priced around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Also, most manufacturers require yearly maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so foregoing your yearly tune-up could cost you your warranty, meaning a large payout if your AC decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the season.
Myth 5: Learning about the contractor isn’t important.
It’s important to ensure you do your homework before picking an air conditioner service contractor, especially if you feel a single company is pressuring you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some sites don’t need a person to be qualified to market their services. You need to know who you’re working with so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service multiple times.
Website reviews, referrals from family, and an a great 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. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all good places to start your search. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for previous customer testimonials. You might have to invest your hard-earned money with your AC company, so invest the time and research to make sure they are the best company for you.
Myth 6: It costs you more to turn your thermostat up while you’re not at home.
Over time, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature over the course of the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you’re away. It typically will not take an exorbitant amount of additional energy to cool your home once you enter, depending on the home.
A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be changed from a tablet or phone so you can just adjust the temperature lower before returning home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you enter. This reduces your energy throughout the day, as well as saving you money on your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Always running ceiling fans will help cool your home.
Fans help keep people cool, they don’t actually lower the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan operate creates heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. A well-working ceiling fan can help level the temperature of your room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person under the fan to feel cool, all the fan is doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the AC is already on. So leave ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and additional air circulation is unnecessary.
Myth 8: Don’t worry about where the thermostat is installed.
Thermostats use the temperature near it to determine whether it needs to start up the AC to cool the home. Placing a thermostat in a bedroom will only ensure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is adjusted to. Once your bedroom is cooled, the AC will turn off and the remaining floor or home could be much warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it might continuously think the temperature is much higher than the living area really is and keep running your system, increasing your energy bills.
Myth 9: Turning your thermostat down much lower will help it cool more quickly.
Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioning system work longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then set it to 75 and it will kick on until it gets 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, costing you money and energy.
Myth 10: It’s fine to replace your air filter once a year.
Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the people living in the home, and the style of air filter you utilize for your AC, your air filter may need to be replaced as often as every 30 days. Not changing the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioner to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory ailments 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.