Myth 1: Find your air conditioner technician on Craigslist.
The interweb has provided us with a variety of options to go to get an A/C system service technician, but be careful because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their business history and practices, other web pages are available to anyone who requests to post an ad. For example, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad promoting their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and background.
If you choose a company or individual without being able to identify their qualifications and expertise, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the technician doesn’t have the skills to properly fix your specific AC equipment, you might end up needing another, more experienced company to correct their mistakes and it could end up costing 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 likely even great for your bank account. But beware: small operations or one-person businesses could leave you in a lurch. If something goes wrong, they may simply disappear and not be available to rectify the situation, or they might not have the workforce to get to you quickly, which is not what you want if your AC goes out 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 provide you with more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind that they’ll be available if you need them again.
Myth 3: It’s okay to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioner.
With the government ending the production of R-22, many people are seeing the cost of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant rising. It may sound like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an AC service technician advises you to do that, you probably want to get a second opinion.
Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the equipment is designed for, and before 2010, it was normally R-22. Despite the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and replacing R-22 with a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your AC system, it could nullify your warranty. A voided warranty might cost you a lot more in future parts due to potential damage.
Myth 4: You don’t need yearly air conditioning maintenance.
Most people who aren’t having trouble with their AC may think they don’t actually need annual maintenance. It’s working 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 set you back around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers demand yearly maintenance to continue your warranty, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, which means a large payout if your air conditioning system decides to die on the hottest day of the year.
Myth 5: Researching the contractor isn’t valuable.
It’s critical to check that you do your research before deciding on an air conditioner service business, especially if you feel a specific company is putting pressure on you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some domains don’t demand a person to be qualified to advertise their services. You need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service twice.
Online reviews, references from neighbors, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of business you will be offering your business to and help you figure out if they are right for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all wonderful websites to start your homework. Remember, don’t be scared to ask for previous customer referrals. You might have to invest your money with your air conditioning contractor, so invest some time and research to confirm they are the right company for your AC.
Myth 6: It costs you more to turn your thermostat up while you’re not at home.
Over time, it will increase your bills to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature all through the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It normally will not require an exorbitant amount of more energy to cool your home once you return, depending on your home.
A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be changed from a phone or tablet so you can just adjust the temperature back down before arriving home, so your home is nice and comfy when you enter. This decreases your energy during the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Always running ceiling fans will help lower the temperature in your home.
Fans help keep people cool, they don’t truly lower the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is causing your fan to operate produces heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. A good ceiling fan can help level the temperature of the room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person below the fan to feel cool, all you’re doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already working. So leave ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and extra air circulation is not needed.
Myth 8: Where the thermostat is installed doesn’t matter.
Thermostats measure the temperature near it to determine whether it needs to start up the air conditioner to cool the 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 AC will shut off and the rest of the floor or home might be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it might constantly think the temperature is much higher than the home truly is and continuously run your system, raising your utility bills.
Myth 9: Excessively lowering your thermostat will help it cool more speedily.
Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioning system work longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really want it to be 75, then set it to 75 and it will kick on until it reaches that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, squandering money and energy.
Myth 10: It’s acceptable to replace your air filter annually.
Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the home’s occupants, and the kind of air filter you use for your AC, your air filter may need to be replaced as often as every four weeks. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioning system to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.
Call Comfort Masters Service Experts today to inquire about your AC or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.