Myth 1: Get your air conditioner technician from Craigslist.
The World Wide Web has given us a variety of places to go to find an A/C system service technician, but be careful because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their business history and practices, other sites are accessible to anyone who wants to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad for their services, despite whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual 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 tech doesn’t have the knowledge to properly fix your specific air conditioning system, you may end up needing a second, more experienced company to correct their mistakes and end up paying multiple Trip Charges.
Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.
Working with small businesses can be wonderful for some small fixes – it’s good for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and maybe even good for your pocket book. But proceed with caution: small businesses or one-person operations could let you down. If something backfires, they may conveniently disappear and not be there to fix it, or they may not have the workforce to get your issue resolved quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioner malfunctions in the dog days of summer.
Spending a little bit more for a larger, more established and reliable company can come with benefits that help provide you with more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the assurance that they’ll be a call away if you need them again.
Myth 3: It’s fine to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioner.
With the government stopping the manufacturing of R-22, many homeowners are observing the cost of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant rising. It may sound like a simple fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an AC service technician gives you that advice, you may want to find a second opinion.
Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is produced for, and previous to 2010, it was commonly R-22. Regardless of 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 destruction to your AC system, it could nullify your warranty. A voided warranty may cost you way 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 air conditioner may think they don’t truly need yearly maintenance. It’s running fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that a yearly AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will run you around $500. Also, most manufacturers instruct you to receive annual maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so disregarding your annual tune-up could cost you your warranty, which means a big payout if your air conditioning system decides to die on the hottest day of the season.
Myth 5: Researching the contractor isn’t important.
It’s important to check that you do your homework before deciding on an air conditioner service company, especially if you feel a specific company is pushing you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some websites don’t demand a contractor to be qualified to market their services. You absolutely need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to pay for the same service twice.
Social media reviews, referrals from family, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of contractor you will be offering your business to and help you choose if they are right for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all wonderful review sites to start your search. Remember, don’t be scared to ask for previous customer testimonials. You might have to invest your money with your air conditioning technician, so invest the time and research to ensure they are the right company for your home.
Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat up while you’re away from home.
Over time, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature all through the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you’re away. It typically will not take an outrageous amount of extra energy to cool your home once you arrive, depending on your home.
A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be increased or decreased from a mobile device so you can actually adjust the temperature lower before coming home, so your home is cool and comfy when you arrive. 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 cool people, they don’t really reduce the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is forcing your fan to operate produces heat, which can add heat to the air in your home. A good ceiling fan does help level the temperature of a room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone under the fan to feel the cool air, all the fan is doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already running. So leave ceiling fans off when there is no one in the room and more air circulation is unneeded.
Myth 8: It doesn’t matter where the thermostat is installed.
Thermostats use the temperature around it to decide whether it needs to activate the AC to cool the home. Putting a thermostat in a bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is adjusted to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the system will go off and the remaining floor or home may be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a warm window or an appliance, it could continuously think the temperature is much higher than the living area really is and constantly run your AC, upping your cooling bills.
Myth 9: Excessively lowering your thermostat will help it cool faster.
Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioner operate longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really feel better at 75, then set it on 75 and it will run until it cools to that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, squandering money and energy.
Myth 10: It’s ok to change your air filter annually.
Depending on the health issues for the home’s occupants, and the type of air filter you use for your AC, your air filter may need to be changed as often as every month. Not changing the air filter often enough not only makes your air conditioner to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.
Call A-PLUS Service Experts today if you have any questions about your AC or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.