Myth 1: Get your air conditioner technician on Craigslist.
The internet has gifted us with a variety of places to go to find an A/C system service technician, but beware 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 depending on their company history and practices, other websites are available to anyone who wants to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad providing their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and background.
If you decide on a business or individual without having the ability to identify their qualifications and skill set, it might end up costing you more in the long run. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the knowledge to properly repair your specific air conditioner, you might end up needing another, more experienced contractor to correct their mistakes and end up paying multiple Trip Charges.
Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.
Contracting with small businesses can be wonderful for some odd jobs – it’s great for the local business, great for the economy, and probably even great for your pocket book. But beware: small operations or one-person companies could leave you holding the bag. If something bad happens, they may conveniently disappear and not be around to fix it, or they could not have the resources to get your issue resolved quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioning system dies in the extreme temperatures of summer.
Budgeting a little bit more for a sizable, more established and reliable company can come with perks that help offer 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 peace of mind that they’ll be there in the future if you ever need them again.
Myth 3: It’s fine to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioning system.
With the government discontinuing the manufacturing of R-22, many people are observing the price of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like a simple fix to just substitute a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an AC service technician gives you that advice, you likely want to get a second opinion.
Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the system is developed for, and previous to 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 substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioner, it could invalidate your warranty. An invalidated warranty might cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to likely damage.
Myth 4: You don’t need annual AC maintenance.
Many people who are not currently having trouble with their AC may assume they don’t actually need yearly maintenance. It’s running 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 repairs will run you around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers require yearly maintenance to maintain your warranty, so disregarding your annual tune-up could cost you your warranty, resulting in a big payout if your air conditioner decides to die on the hottest day of the year.
Myth 5: Learning about the company isn’t valuable.
It’s critical to check that you do your research before choosing an AC service business, especially if you feel a specific company is intimidating you. As we said in Myth #1, some websites don’t need a person to be qualified to advertise their services. You need to know their qualifications and history so you don’t end up paying for the same service twice.
Website reviews, references from family, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of company you will be trusting your business to and help you choose if they are ideal for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all wonderful review sites to start your homework. Also, don’t be shy to ask for prior customer referrals. You might have to invest your hard-earned money with your air conditioning company, so invest a little time and research to confirm they are the ideal company for your home.
Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat higher while you’re not at home.
Long-term, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature all through the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you’re away. It typically will not require an outrageous amount of more energy to get your home cooled down once you enter, depending on your home.
A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be adjusted from a tablet or phone so you can actually adjust the temperature cooler before coming home, so your home is nice and comfy when you get home. This decreases your energy during the day, as well as decreasing your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Constantly running ceiling fans will help keep your home cool.
Fans help keep you cool, they don’t really lower the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan function produces heat, which can put heat in the air in your home. A good ceiling fan can help level the temperature of the room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is under the fan to feel the cool air, all you’re doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already working. So leave ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and additional air circulation is unneeded.
Myth 8: Don’t worry about where the thermostat is installed.
Thermostats measure the temperature around it to determine whether it needs to activate the AC to cool the home. Installing a thermostat in the bedroom will only ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once the bedroom is cooled, the system will shut off and the remaining floor or home might be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it may constantly think the temperature is much higher than the home actually is and continuously run your system, upping your utility bills.
Myth 9: Excessively lowering your thermostat will help it cool more quickly.
Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioner operate 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 put it at 75 and it will kick on until it reaches that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, squandering money and energy.
Myth 10: It’s ok to swap out your air filter annually.
Depending on the health issues for the people living in the home, and the type of air filter you have for your air conditioning system, your air filter may need to be changed as often as every month. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioning system to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.
Call Donelson Air Service Experts today to inquire about your air conditioning system or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.