Myth 1: Hire your air conditioner technician through Craigslist.
The interweb has provided us with a variety of choices to go to get an AC service technician, but proceed with caution 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 determined by their company history and practices, other web pages are available to anyone wanting to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad promoting their services, regardless of whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and experience.
If you decide on a company or individual without being able to verify their qualifications and capability, it could end up costing you more over time. If the tech doesn’t have the knowledge to properly fix your particular air conditioner, you might end up needing a second, more experienced contractor to repair their mistakes and it could cost you multiple service 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, wonderful for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your bank account. But use caution: small businesses or one-person operations could leave you in a lurch. If something fails, they may simply disappear and not be available to fix it, or they might not have the manpower to get to you quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioning system breaks down in the extreme temperatures of summer.
Budgeting a little bit more for a sizable, more established and reliable company can come with advantages that help give you more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind that they’ll be available if you need them again.
Myth 3: You can use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioning system.
With the government discontinuing the making of R-22, many homeowners are noticing the fee of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like an easy fix to just substitute a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an AC service technician gives you that advice, you likely want to get a second opinion.
Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the equipment is developed for, and previous to 2010, it was usually R-22. Although there is extreme decrease of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and using a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your air conditioning equipment, it could invalidate your warranty. A nullified warranty may cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to possible damage.
Myth 4: You don’t need yearly A/C system maintenance.
A lot of people who aren’t having trouble with their AC may believe they don’t truly need routine maintenance. It’s working fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that a routine AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers demand yearly maintenance to continue your warranty, so foregoing your yearly tune-up could cost you your warranty, meaning a large payout if your air conditioning system decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the year.
Myth 5: Learning about the contractor isn’t necessary.
It’s crucial to ensure you do your homework before picking an air conditioning service company, especially if you feel a specific company is pressuring you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some domains don’t need a company to be qualified to market their services. You need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t end up paying for the same service again.
Website reviews, testimonials from friends, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of business you will be giving your business to and help you figure out if they are ideal for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all great review sites to start your search. Also, don’t be shy to ask for past customer references. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioner company, so invest the time and research to ensure they are the ideal company for your AC.
Myth 6: It costs 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 cooler temperature all through the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are gone. It normally will not require an outrageous amount of more energy to get your home comfortable once you arrive, depending on variables of the home.
A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be adjusted from a phone or tablet so you can actually adjust the temperature cooler before returning home, so your home is nice and comfy when you get home. This decreases your energy during the day, as well as saving you money on your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Always running ceiling fans will help cool your home.
Fans help keep people cool, they don’t actually reduce the temperature of the home solo. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is causing your fan to function creates heat, which can push heat into the air in the home. An efficient ceiling fan does help level the temperature of your room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person beneath the fan to feel cool, all the fan is doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already working. So leave ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and more air circulation is not needed.
Myth 8: Where the thermostat is installed doesn’t matter.
Thermostats use the temperature around it to choose whether it needs to start up the air conditioning system to cool your home. Installing a thermostat in your bedroom will only make sure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once that bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will go off and the rest of the floor or home could be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a warm window or an appliance, it may always determine the temperature is much higher than the living area truly is and continuously run your system, upping your energy bills.
Myth 9: Turning your thermostat down much lower will help it cool faster.
Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioner operate longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then set it on 75 and it will run until it reaches that temperature. Decreasing 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 fine to change your air filter annually.
Depending on the health issues for the people living in the home, and the type of air filter you have for your air conditioner, your air filter could need to be swapped out as often as every month. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioner to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.
Call D.A. Bennett Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today if you have any questions about your air conditioning system or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.