Myth 1: Hire your AC technician on Craigslist.
The World Wide Web has gifted us with a variety of options to go to look for an AC service technician, but beware because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their organization’s history and practices, other websites are accessible to anyone wanting to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad promoting their services, despite whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and experience.
If you decide on a company or individual without getting to identify their qualifications and capability, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the technician doesn’t have the knowledge to properly repair your particular air conditioning system, you might end up needing a second, more experienced company to fix their mistakes and it could cost you multiple service charges.
Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.
Hiring small businesses can be good for some minor home services – it’s wonderful for the local business, great for the economy, and maybe even wonderful for your pocket book. But beware: small businesses or one-person companies could leave you holding the bag. If something goes wrong, they may simply disappear and not be around to repair it, or they may not have the resources to get you taken care of quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner breaks down in the dog days of summer.
Budgeting a little bit more for a sizable, more reputable and reliable company can come with benefits that help offer you more peace of mind, 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 AC.
With the government ending the production of R-22, many families are seeing the fee of refilling their air conditioner’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 AC service technician advises you to do that, you may want to get a second opinion.
Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the equipment is designed for, and before 2010, it was usually R-22. Although there is 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 harm to your air conditioner, it could nullify your warranty. A voided warranty could cost you a lot more in future parts due to possible 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 actually need yearly maintenance. It’s running fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that a yearly AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Also, most manufacturers demand routine maintenance to continue your warranty, so skipping your routine tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, meaning a huge payout if your AC decides to go out on the hottest day of the season.
Myth 5: Learning about the company isn’t important.
It’s important to make sure you do your due diligence before deciding on an air conditioner service contractor, especially if you feel a single company is pressuring you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some sites don’t demand a person to be qualified to advertise their services. You absolutely need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service twice.
Online reviews, testimonials from family, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of contractor you will be giving your business to and help you decide if they are right for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all good places to start your homework. And, don’t be shy to ask for past customer referrals. You could have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning technician, so invest the time and research to ensure they are the ideal company for your AC.
Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat higher while you’re not at home.
Over time, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature throughout the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are gone. It usually will not take an excessive amount of additional energy to get your home cooled down once you arrive, depending on variables of the home.
A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be increased or decreased from a tablet or phone so you can easily adjust the temperature back down before coming home, so your home is cool and comfy when you arrive. This saves you energy throughout the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Constantly running ceiling fans will help cool your home.
Fans help keep people cool, they don’t actually reduce the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan operate generates heat, which can put heat in the air in your home. A well-working ceiling fan can help level the temperature of your room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is below the fan to feel cool, all the fan is doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already running. So turn off ceiling fans when there is nobody in the room and extra air circulation is unneeded.
Myth 8: Where the thermostat is installed doesn’t matter.
Thermostats use the temperature surrounding it to determine whether it needs to turn on the air conditioner to cool the home. Installing a thermostat in the bedroom will only ensure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once that bedroom is cooled, the AC will shut off and the remaining floor or home could be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it could always determine the temperature is much higher than the home truly is and continuously run your system, raising your energy bills.
Myth 9: Excessively lowering your thermostat will help it cool more quickly.
Lowering your air excessively may only make your AC operate longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really want it to be 75, then set it on 75 and it will kick on until it gets 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 acceptable to replace your air filter annually.
Depending on the health issues for the people living in the home, and the kind of air filter you utilize for your air conditioner, your air filter may need to be replaced as often as every four weeks. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioning system to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.
Call Roland J. Down Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today to inquire about your air conditioner or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.