Myth 1: Find your AC technician on Craigslist.
The internet has given us a variety of places to go to get an A/C system service technician, but be careful because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their business history and practices, other sites are open to anyone wanting to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad providing their services, despite whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and knowledge.
If you choose a contractor or individual without getting to verify their qualifications and competence, it may end up costing you more in the long run. If the tech doesn’t have the skills to properly fix your actual air conditioner, you could end up needing a different, more experienced company to repair their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple service charges.
Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.
Hiring small businesses can be good for some small fixes – it’s great for the local business, great for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your bank account. But use caution: small businesses or one-person operations could let you down. If something fails, they may merely disappear and not be there to rectify the situation, or they might not have the workforce to get you taken care of quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner goes out in the heat of the summer.
Budgeting a little bit more for a larger, more established and reliable company can come with perks that help provide you with more confidence, 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 a call away if you ever require their services.
Myth 3: It’s okay to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioner.
With the government discontinuing the manufacturing of R-22, many people are observing the fee of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like an easy fix to just substitute a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician advises you to do that, you probably want to call for a second opinion.
Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the system is designed for, and previous to 2010, it was commonly R-22. Regardless of the extreme decline of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and using a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioner, 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 annual A/C system maintenance.
A lot of people who are not currently having trouble with their AC may assume they don’t truly need annual maintenance. It works just 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 run you around $500. Also, most manufacturers require annual maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, resulting in a huge payout if your air conditioner decides to go out on the hottest day of the season.
Myth 5: Learning about the company isn’t valuable.
It’s important to ensure you do your research before choosing an AC service business, especially if you feel a particular company is pressuring you. As we said in Myth #1, some websites don’t require a person to be qualified to advertise their services. It’s important to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to pay for the same service again.
Online reviews, referrals 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 decide if they are ideal for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all good places to start your research process. And, don’t be shy to ask for past customer referrals. You could have to invest your hard-earned money with your AC technician, so invest a little time and research to ensure they are the best company for your home.
Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat higher while you’re away from 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 away from your home. It usually will not require an excessive amount of extra energy to cool your home once you return, depending on the home.
A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be increased or decreased from a mobile device so you can just adjust the temperature back down before arriving home, so your home is nice and comfy when you get home. This decreases 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 keep people cool, they don’t really reduce the temperature of the home alone. 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 put heat in the air in your home. An efficient ceiling fan could help level the temperature of the room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is beneath the fan to feel the cool air, all it’s doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the AC is already working. So keep ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and additional air circulation is unneeded.
Myth 8: It doesn’t matter where the thermostat is installed.
Thermostats read the temperature near it to decide whether it needs to start up the AC to cool down your home. Installing a thermostat in your bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once that bedroom is cooled, the AC will shut off and the remaining floor or home could be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a sunny window or an appliance, it may constantly read the temperature as being much higher than the rest of the home truly is and continuously run your air conditioner, increasing your utility bills.
Myth 9: Excessively lowering your thermostat will help it cool more quickly.
Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioner run longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature 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. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, squandering money and energy.
Myth 10: It’s fine to swap out your air filter annually.
Depending on the health issues for the home’s occupants, and the kind of air filter you utilize for your air conditioning system, your air filter might need to be changed as often as every 30 days. Not changing the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioner to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.
Call Norrell Service Experts today if you have any questions about your air conditioning system or to set-up your free in-home consultation.