Myth 1: Find your air conditioning technician on Craigslist.
The internet has gifted us with a variety of places to go to look for an air conditioning service technician, but beware because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a contractor is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their company history and practices, other sites are open to anyone who requests to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist allows anyone to post an ad providing their services, despite 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 having the ability to confirm their qualifications and competence, it may end up costing you more in the long run. If the tech doesn’t have the qualifications to properly repair your particular AC equipment, you could end up needing another, more experienced technician to repair their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.
Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.
Hiring small businesses can be great for some odd jobs – it’s wonderful for the local business, great for the economy, and maybe even wonderful for your bank account. But be careful: small businesses or one-person companies could leave you in a lurch. If something bad happens, they may conveniently disappear and not be around to repair it, or they could not have the manpower to get you taken care of quickly, which is bad news if your AC breaks down in the extreme temperatures of summer.
Paying a little bit more for a larger, more established and reliable company can come with advantages that help give you more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be there if you ever require their services.
Myth 3: It’s okay to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioning system.
With the government ending the manufacturing of R-22, many people are observing the price of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician advises you to do that, you likely want to find a second opinion.
Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is developed for, and previous to 2010, it was typically R-22. Despite the extreme decrease 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 AC system, it could nullify your warranty. A nullified warranty may cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to likely damage.
Myth 4: You don’t need yearly A/C system maintenance.
A lot of people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioning system may believe they don’t actually need annual 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 require routine maintenance to maintain your warranty, so foregoing your routine tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, which means a large payout if your air conditioner decides to go out on the hottest day of the season.
Myth 5: Learning about the company isn’t necessary.
It’s important to check that you do your due diligence before choosing an air conditioner service company, especially if you feel a single company is intimidating you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some websites don’t need a contractor to be qualified to market their services. It’s important to know who you’re working with so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service twice.
Website reviews, testimonials from neighbors, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of company 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 wonderful websites to start your homework. And, don’t be scared to ask for past customer referrals. You may have to invest your hard-earned money with your AC contractor, so invest some time and research to ensure they are the ideal company for you.
Myth 6: It costs you more to turn your thermostat up while you’re out of your home.
Over time, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature over the course of the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It typically will not need an exorbitant amount of additional energy to cool your home once you arrive, depending on your home.
A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be changed from a mobile device so you can easily adjust the temperature cooler before returning home, so your home is cool and comfy when you get home. This decreases your energy throughout the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Always running ceiling fans will help keep your home cool.
Fans help keep you cool, they don’t actually reduce the temperature of the home solo. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to operate creates heat, which can add heat to the air in the 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 beneath the fan to feel cool, all you’re doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already running. So keep ceiling fans off when there is no one in the room and more air circulation is unnecessary.
Myth 8: It doesn’t matter where the thermostat is installed.
Thermostats read the temperature surrounding it to determine whether it needs to start up the air conditioning system to cool your home. Placing a thermostat in your bedroom will only make sure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is adjusted to. Once the bedroom is cooled, the system will shut off and the rest of the floor or home may be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is put near a well-lit window or an appliance, it might continuously read the temperature as being much higher than the rest of the home actually is and constantly run your air conditioner, raising your cooling bills.
Myth 9: Excessively lowering your thermostat will help it cool more speedily.
Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioning system work longer, it won’t get cooler 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 work until it cools to 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 acceptable to change your air filter annually.
Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the people living in the home, and the style of air filter you use for your AC, your air filter may need to be changed as often as every four weeks. Not changing the air filter often enough not only means for your AC to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.
Call Fras-Air/General Service Experts today for more information about your air conditioner or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.