Myth 1: Hire your air conditioning technician from Craigslist.
The internet has gifted us with a variety of options to go to look for an AC service technician, but beware because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their organization’s history and practices, other web pages are accessible to anyone wanting to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist will let anyone post an ad promoting their services, regardless of whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and knowledge.
If you decide on a business or individual without getting to identify their qualifications and capability, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the tech doesn’t have the knowledge to properly repair your particular air conditioner, you might end up needing a second, more experienced contractor to correct their mistakes and end up paying multiple Trip Charges.
Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.
Hiring small businesses can be great 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 companies or one-person businesses could leave you holding the bag. If something goes wrong, they may simply disappear and not be there to repair it, or they may not have the resources to get your issue resolved 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 established 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 confidence that they’ll be there if you need them again.
Myth 3: You can use any type of refrigerant in your AC.
With the government ending the making of R-22, many families are noticing the fee of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like a simple fix to just substitute a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician gives you that advice, 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 conditioning systems are still designed for it, and replacing R-22 with a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioner, it could nullify your warranty. An invalidated warranty could cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to possible damage.
Myth 4: You don’t need yearly air conditioning maintenance.
Most people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioning system may assume they don’t actually need yearly maintenance. It’s running 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 cost you around $500. Not to mention, 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 die on the hottest day of the season.
Myth 5: Learning about the company isn’t important.
It’s crucial 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 company to be qualified to advertise their services. You absolutely need to know who you’re working with so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service twice.
Social media reviews, testimonials from family, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of contractor you will be giving your business to and help you choose if they are best for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all great websites 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 AC 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.
Long-term, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature over the course of the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you’re away. It typically will not take an exorbitant amount of additional energy to get your home cooled down once you return, depending on the home.
A programmable thermostat allows for 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: Continuously running ceiling fans will help cool your home.
Fans help cool people, they don’t actually lower the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is causing your fan to operate generates heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. A well-working ceiling fan can help level the temperature of the room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone under the fan to feel the cool air, all the fan is doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already on. 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 decide whether it needs to activate the air conditioner to cool the home. Putting a thermostat in the bedroom will only make sure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once that bedroom is cooled, the system will turn off and the remaining floor or home could be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a sunny window or an appliance, it could always determine the temperature is much higher than the home truly is and constantly run your AC, raising your cooling bills.
Myth 9: Turning your thermostat down much lower will help it cool faster.
Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioner operate longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really want it to be 75, then put it at 75 and it will kick on until it gets to that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 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 acceptable to change 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 might need to be changed as often as every four weeks. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only makes your AC to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.
Call Roland J. Down Service Experts today to inquire about your air conditioner or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.