Myth 1: Find your AC technician through Craigslist.
The internet has provided us with a variety of places to go to get an A/C system service technician, but beware because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau shows you information on whether a contractor is accredited 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 a different, more experienced contractor to fix their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple Trip 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, great for the economy, and maybe even wonderful for your wallet. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person operations could leave you in a lurch. If something bad happens, they may merely disappear and not be around to rectify the situation, or they may not have the resources to get your issue resolved quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner malfunctions in the extreme temperatures of summer.
Paying a little bit more for a sizable, more reputable and reliable company can come with benefits that help provide you with more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality workmanship, a large certified team of servicemen and women who provide you service 24/7/365, and the confidence 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 replace your R-22 with a different and less expensive 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 produced for, and before 2010, it was usually R-22. Despite the extreme decrease 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 might 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 AC may think they don’t truly need annual 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 runs you around $79 while repairs will run you around $500. Also, most manufacturers require routine maintenance to maintain your warranty, so foregoing your annual tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, meaning a large payout if your air conditioning system decides to go out on the hottest day of the summer.
Myth 5: Learning about the business 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 websites don’t need 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 twice.
Website reviews, testimonials 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 offering your business to and help you decide if they are right for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all great places to start your research process. And, don’t be afraid to ask for prior customer referrals. You could have to invest your money with your air conditioning company, so invest the time and research to make sure they are the ideal company for your home.
Myth 6: It costs you more to turn your thermostat higher while you’re not at home.
Ultimately, it will actually cost you more 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 extra 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 cool and comfortable when you get home. This reduces your energy throughout the day, as well as saving you money on your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Continuously running ceiling fans will help keep your home cool.
Fans help keep you cool, they don’t actually lower the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is causing your fan to operate creates heat, which can put heat in the air in your home. A well-working ceiling fan does help level the temperature of the room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is under the fan to feel the cool air, all the fan is doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the AC is already working. 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 near it to decide whether it needs to activate the air conditioner to cool the home. Putting a thermostat in a bedroom will only make sure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once your bedroom is cooled, the system will shut off and the remainder of the floor or home may be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a warm window or an appliance, it may continuously think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home actually is and keep running your AC, upping your cooling bills.
Myth 9: Lowering your thermostat way low will help it cool faster.
Lowering your air excessively may only make your AC 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 work until it cools to 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, wasting money and energy.
Myth 10: It’s ok to change your air filter annually.
Depending on the health issues for the residents of the home, and the kind of air filter you have for your air conditioner, your air filter might need to be replaced as often as every month. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioning system to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.
Call Kingston Home Services by Enercare today if you have any questions about your AC or to set-up your free in-home consultation.