Myth 1: Get your air conditioning technician from Craigslist.
The internet has gifted us with a variety of choices to go to look for an air conditioning service technician, but be careful because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a contractor is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their company history and practices, other web pages are open to anyone who requests to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist allows anyone to post an ad for 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 contractor or individual without getting to identify their qualifications and capability, it could end up costing you more in the long run. If the tech doesn’t have the qualifications to properly repair your specific air conditioner, you may end up needing another, more experienced company to correct their mistakes and end up paying multiple services charges.
Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.
Contracting with small businesses can be good for some small fixes – it’s great for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your wallet. But use caution: small operations or one-person companies could leave you holding the bag. If something backfires, they may simply disappear and not be there to repair it, or they could not have the resources to get to you quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioning system breaks down in the heat of the summer.
Paying a little bit more for a larger, more trusted and reliable company can come with benefits that help offer you more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality 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 available if you ever require their services.
Myth 3: It’s fine to use any type of refrigerant in your AC.
With the government stopping the production of R-22, many people are noticing the fee of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant increasing. It may sound like a simple fix to just substitute a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an AC service technician recommends this, you probably want to find a second opinion.
Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the system is developed for, and prior to 2010, it was normally R-22. Despite the extreme decrease of the production of R-22, those air conditioners are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioning equipment, it could void your warranty. An invalidated warranty could 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 are not currently having trouble with their AC may think they don’t really need annual maintenance. It’s working fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that a routine AC tune- up runs you around $79 while the cost of a repair averages around $500. Also, most manufacturers instruct you to receive routine maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, which means a large payout if your AC decides to die on the hottest day of the season.
Myth 5: Learning about the company isn’t necessary.
It’s critical to make sure you do your due diligence before choosing an AC service company, especially if you feel a specific company is pressuring you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some websites don’t demand a contractor to be qualified to advertise their services. You absolutely need to know their qualifications and history so you don’t end up paying for the same service multiple times.
Website reviews, references from family, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of business you will be offering your business to and help you figure out if they are ideal for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all good websites to start your research process. Also, don’t be scared to ask for previous customer references. You could have to invest your money with your air conditioner technician, so invest a little time and research to make sure they are the ideal company for your AC.
Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat higher while you’re out of your home.
Over time, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature over the course of the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are gone. It typically will not require an excessive amount of additional energy to get your home comfortable once you return, depending on variables of the home.
A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be changed from a mobile device so you can actually adjust the temperature cooler before arriving home, so your home is nice and comfy when you enter. This saves you energy throughout the day, as well as decreasing your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Constantly running ceiling fans will help cool your home.
Fans help keep you cool, they don’t really decrease the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to run creates 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 a person beneath the fan to feel the cool air, all you’re doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already on. So leave ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and additional air circulation is not needed.
Myth 8: Where the thermostat is installed doesn’t matter.
Thermostats read the temperature near it to determine whether it needs to start up the AC to cool down your home. Putting a thermostat in the bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once your bedroom is cooled, the system will go off and the remaining floor or home might be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a sunny window or an appliance, it could constantly think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home really is and keep running your system, raising your utility bills.
Myth 9: Lowering your thermostat way low will help it cool faster.
Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioner run longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is set to 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. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, wasting money and energy.
Myth 10: It’s acceptable to change your air filter once a year.
Depending on respiratory or allergy 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 30 days. Not changing the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioning system to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.
Call Becht/Givens Service Experts today if you have any questions about your air conditioner or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.