Myth 1: Find your AC technician from Craigslist.
The internet has given us a variety of choices to go to get an AC service technician, but be careful because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a contractor is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their business history and practices, other websites are accessible to anyone wanting to post an ad. For example, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad promoting their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and background.
If you hire a business or individual without being able to confirm their qualifications and competence, it might end up costing you more in the long run. If the technician doesn’t know how to properly repair your actual air conditioner, you could end up needing another, more experienced technician to repair their mistakes and it could cost you multiple service charges.
Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.
Working with small businesses can be great for some odd jobs – it’s great for the local business, great for the economy, and maybe even great for your wallet. But be careful: small companies or one-person businesses could leave you holding the bag. If something goes wrong, they may conveniently disappear and not be available to repair it, or they might not have the resources to get your issue resolved quickly, which is bad news if your AC goes out in the extreme temperatures of summer.
Paying a little bit more for a bigger, more reputable and reliable company can come with advantages that help offer you more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified work force that gives 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 discontinuing the manufacturing of R-22, many people are noticing the cost of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant rising. It may sound like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and less expensive 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 system is designed for, and before 2010, it was commonly R-22. Despite the extreme decrease of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioner, it could invalidate your warranty. A voided warranty may cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to potential damage.
Myth 4: You don’t need yearly air conditioning maintenance.
Most people who aren’t having trouble with their AC may assume they don’t really need annual maintenance. It’s working fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that an annual AC tune- up is priced around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers demand routine maintenance to maintain your warranty, so disregarding your annual tune-up could cost you your warranty, which means a big payout if your air conditioner decides to die on the hottest day of the season.
Myth 5: Finding out about the business isn’t necessary.
It’s crucial to make sure you do your homework before deciding on an air conditioner service contractor, especially if you feel a specific company is pressuring you. As we said in Myth #1, some sites don’t demand a person to be qualified to advertise their services. You absolutely need to know who you’re working with so you don’t end up paying for the same service again.
Website reviews, referrals from friends, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of contractor you will be offering your business to and help you choose if they are best for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all wonderful review sites to start your search. Also, don’t be shy to ask for prior customer testimonials. You may have to invest your money with your air conditioning contractor, so invest the time and research to make sure they are the ideal company for you.
Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat up while you’re not at home.
Long-term, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature all through the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It normally will not require an outrageous amount of more energy to cool your home once you enter, depending on the home.
A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be adjusted from a mobile device so you can actually adjust the temperature cooler before returning home, so your home is cool and comfy when you arrive. This reduces your energy over the course of the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Constantly running ceiling fans will help cool your home.
Fans help keep you cool, they don’t actually lower the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to function produces heat, which can push heat into the air in your home. A good ceiling fan can help level the temperature of your room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is below the fan to feel the cool air, all it’s doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the AC is already running. So leave ceiling fans off when there is no one in the room and extra air circulation is not needed.
Myth 8: Where the thermostat is installed doesn’t matter.
Thermostats read the temperature around it to choose whether it needs to start up the AC to cool the home. Putting a thermostat in your bedroom will only ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once the bedroom is cooled, the AC will shut off and the remaining floor or home could be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a sunny window or an appliance, it could always think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home really is and keep running your system, raising your cooling bills.
Myth 9: Lowering your thermostat way low will help it cool more speedily.
Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioner run 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 work until it cools to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 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 ok to swap out your air filter once every twelve months.
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 might need to be changed as often as every four weeks. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only makes your air conditioner to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.
Call Service Experts Commercial HVAC today if you have any questions about your air conditioning system or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.