Myth 1: Get your air conditioning technician through Craigslist.
The internet has gifted us with a variety of options to go to get an A/C system service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a contractor is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their business history and practices, other sites are open to anyone who wants to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad for their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and experience.
If you choose a company or individual without having the ability to confirm their qualifications and expertise, it might end up costing you more in the long run. If the tech doesn’t have the qualifications to properly service your particular AC equipment, you may end up needing a different, more experienced technician to repair their mistakes and it could cost you multiple service charges.
Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.
Hiring small businesses can be good for some odd jobs – it’s good for the local business, good for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your wallet. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person operations could leave you in a lurch. If something goes wrong, they may simply disappear and not be available to rectify the situation, or they may not have the manpower to get to you quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioning system goes out in the heat of the summer.
Spending a little bit more for a larger, more established and reliable company can come with perks that help provide you with 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 ever require their services.
Myth 3: It’s okay to use any type of refrigerant in your AC.
With the government stopping the production of R-22, many homeowners are observing the fee of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant going up. It may sound like a simple fix to just substitute a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician advises you to do that, you likely want to get a second opinion.
Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the system is designed for, and prior to 2010, it was typically R-22. Although there is extreme decrease of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your air conditioner, it could void your warranty. A nullified warranty might 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 aren’t having trouble with their AC may believe they don’t actually need yearly maintenance. It’s working fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that an annual AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers demand yearly maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so skipping your routine tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, meaning a big payout if your air conditioner decides to go out on the hottest day of the year.
Myth 5: Researching the contractor isn’t necessary.
It’s crucial to check that you do your homework before deciding on an AC service company, especially if you feel a single company is intimidating you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some sites don’t need a person to be qualified to market their services. You absolutely need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t end up paying for the same service multiple times.
Online reviews, references from family, and an a high 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. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all good places to start your search. Also, don’t be shy to ask for prior customer testimonials. You could have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning technician, so invest a little time and research to make sure they are the best company for your AC.
Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat higher while you’re away from home.
Ultimately, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature all through the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It normally will not require an excessive amount of additional energy to cool your home once you enter, depending on the home.
A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be changed from a mobile device so you can simply adjust the temperature lower before returning home, so your home is nice and comfy when you enter. This reduces your energy during the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Continuously running ceiling fans will help lower the temperature in your home.
Fans help cool people, they don’t actually decrease the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan run produces heat, which can add heat to the air in your home. A well-working ceiling fan could help level the temperature of the room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if nobody is beneath the fan to feel the breeze, all you’re doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already on. So keep ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and extra air circulation is unneeded.
Myth 8: Where the thermostat is installed doesn’t matter.
Thermostats measure the temperature around it to determine whether it needs to start up the air conditioner to cool down your home. Putting a thermostat in your bedroom will only ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once your bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will go off and the remainder of the floor or home could be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a warm window or an appliance, it might always read the temperature as being much higher than the rest of the home really is and constantly run your system, increasing your utility bills.
Myth 9: Excessively lowering your thermostat will help it cool more quickly.
Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioner work longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really feel better at 75, then set it on 75 and it will run until it cools to that temperature. Decreasing the thermostat to 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, wasting money and energy.
Myth 10: It’s fine to change your air filter once a year.
Depending on the health conditions of the home’s occupants, and the type of air filter you use for your air conditioning system, your air filter might need to be changed as often as every month. Not changing the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioner to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.
Call Neal Harris Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today to inquire about your air conditioner or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.