Myth 1: Get your AC technician through Craigslist.
The World Wide Web has provided us with a variety of places to go to get an A/C system service technician, but be careful because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau shows you information on whether a contractor is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their company history and practices, other websites are available to anyone wanting to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad providing their services, despite whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and background.
If you decide on a company or individual without getting to confirm their qualifications and competence, it might end up costing you more over time. If the tech doesn’t have the qualifications to properly repair your particular AC equipment, you might end up needing another, more experienced company to correct their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple service charges.
Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.
Contracting with small businesses can be wonderful for some minor home services – it’s wonderful for the local business, good for the economy, and probably even wonderful for your wallet. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person operations could let you down. If something fails, they may merely disappear and not be there to rectify the situation, or they may not have the resources to get you taken care of quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioner malfunctions in the heat of the summer.
Spending a little bit more for a sizable, more reputable and reliable company can come with benefits that help give you 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 there if you need them again.
Myth 3: It’s okay to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioning system.
With the government putting an end to the production of R-22, many families are noticing the fee of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like a simple fix to just substitute a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician recommends this, you likely want to find a second opinion.
Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the equipment is designed for, and prior to 2010, it was usually R-22. Despite the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and replacing R-22 with a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your AC system, it could invalidate your warranty. A voided warranty may cost you way more in future parts due to likely damage.
Myth 4: You don’t need yearly AC maintenance.
Many people who are not currently having trouble with their air conditioning system may assume they don’t truly need yearly maintenance. It works just fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that a yearly AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers demand routine maintenance to maintain your warranty, so foregoing your annual tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, meaning a large payout if your AC decides to die on the hottest day of the year.
Myth 5: Learning about the company isn’t important.
It’s crucial to ensure you do your homework before deciding on an air conditioner service company, especially if you feel a specific company is pushing you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some sites don’t require a company to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You 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 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 decide if they are best for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all great websites to start your research process. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for prior customer references. You could have to invest your money with your AC contractor, so invest the time and research to ensure they are the ideal company for your home.
Myth 6: It costs you more to turn your thermostat up while you’re not at home.
Ultimately, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature throughout the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you’re away. It normally will not take an outrageous amount of additional energy to cool your home once you return, depending on your home.
A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be increased or decreased from a phone or tablet so you can easily adjust the temperature lower before coming home, so your home is nice and comfy when you arrive. This reduces your energy during the day, as well as saving you money on your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Continuously running ceiling fans will help cool your home.
Fans help keep you cool, they don’t really reduce the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is causing your fan to run generates heat, which can add heat to the air in the home. A well-working ceiling fan does help level the temperature of the room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone under the fan to feel the cool air, all the fan is doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already working. So leave ceiling fans off 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 measure the temperature around it to determine whether it needs to turn on the air conditioner to cool down your home. Putting a thermostat in the bedroom will only make sure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once your bedroom is cooled, the AC will turn off and the remainder of the floor or home may be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a warm window or an appliance, it may constantly read the temperature as being much higher than the rest of the home truly is and keep running your AC, upping your cooling bills.
Myth 9: Lowering your thermostat way low will help it cool more quickly.
Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioner operate longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then set it to 75 and it will run until it reaches 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, wasting money and energy.
Myth 10: It’s fine to replace your air filter annually.
Depending on the health issues for the residents of the home, and the kind of air filter you use for your air conditioner, your air filter might need to be replaced as often as every 30 days. Not changing the air filter often enough not only means for your AC to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.
Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today if you have any questions about your AC or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.