Myth 1: Get your air conditioner technician on Craigslist.
The interweb has provided us with a variety of places to go to look for an air conditioning service technician, but beware because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau shows you information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their organization’s history and practices, other websites are accessible to anyone who requests to post an ad. For example, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad for their services, regardless of whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and knowledge.
If you choose a company or individual without having the ability to identify their qualifications and competence, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the technician doesn’t have the knowledge to properly service your particular AC equipment, you could end up needing a second, more experienced company to correct their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple service charges.
Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.
Hiring small businesses can be great for some odd jobs – it’s good for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your pocket book. But use caution: small companies or one-person companies could leave you holding the bag. If something fails, they may conveniently disappear and not be available to fix it, or they might not have the resources to get to you quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner malfunctions in the dog days of summer.
Budgeting a little bit more for a sizable, more reputable and reliable company can come with advantages that help offer you more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified team of servicemen and women who provide you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be there in the future if you ever need them again.
Myth 3: It’s fine to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioner.
With the government stopping the making of R-22, many people are noticing the cost of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant increasing. It may seem like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician advises you to do that, you likely want to get a second opinion.
Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is designed for, and prior to 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 using 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 routine air conditioning maintenance.
Most people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioner may assume they don’t really need annual maintenance. It’s working fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that an annual AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will run you around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers demand annual maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so foregoing your annual tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, resulting in a huge payout if your air conditioner decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the year.
Myth 5: Finding out about the contractor isn’t necessary.
It’s critical to ensure you do your due diligence before picking an air conditioning service business, especially if you feel a particular company is pressuring you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some domains don’t need a contractor to be qualified to market their services. It’s important to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to pay for the same service multiple times.
Social media reviews, references from neighbors, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of business you will be offering your business to and help you decide if they are ideal for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all wonderful places to start your homework. And, don’t be scared to ask for prior customer references. You might have to invest your money with your air conditioning contractor, so invest some time and research to make sure they are the ideal company for your AC.
Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat to a higher temperature while you’re out of your home.
Over time, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature over the course of the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It normally will not take an excessive amount of extra energy to cool your home once you return, depending on the home.
A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be increased or decreased from a phone or tablet so you can just adjust the temperature back down before returning home, so your home is nice and comfy when you arrive. This saves you energy during the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Always running ceiling fans will help lower the temperature in your home.
Fans help keep people cool, they don’t actually reduce the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is forcing your fan to operate generates heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. An efficient ceiling fan could help level the temperature of your room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person beneath the fan to feel the breeze, all it’s doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already working. So turn off ceiling fans when no one is in the room and extra air circulation is not needed.
Myth 8: Where the thermostat is installed doesn’t matter.
Thermostats use the temperature surrounding it to determine whether it needs to start up the air conditioner to cool the home. Placing a thermostat in a bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once your bedroom is cooled, the AC will shut off and the remainder of the floor or home could be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is put near a warm window or an appliance, it could continuously read the temperature as being much higher than the rest of the home really is and continuously run your AC, raising your utility bills.
Myth 9: Turning your thermostat down much lower will help it cool more speedily.
Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioning system operate longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really feel better at 75, then set it on 75 and it will run until it gets to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, costing you money and energy.
Myth 10: It’s ok to swap out your air filter annually.
Depending on the health conditions of the home’s occupants, and the style of air filter you use for your air conditioner, your air filter could need to be swapped out as often as every 30 days. 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 aggravate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.
Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today if you have any questions about your air conditioner or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.