Myth 1: Find your air conditioning technician through Craigslist.
The internet has given us a variety of options to go to get an AC service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau shows you information on whether a contractor is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their business history and practices, other websites are open to anyone who requests to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad providing their services, despite whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and experience.
If you choose a company or individual without being able to identify their qualifications and capability, it might end up costing you more ultimately. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the qualifications to properly service your particular AC equipment, you might end up needing a second, more experienced company to correct their mistakes and it could cost you multiple service charges.
Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.
Working with small businesses can be great for some small fixes – it’s great for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your bank account. But beware: small companies or one-person companies could let you down. If something backfires, they may simply disappear and not be available to fix it, or they may not have the resources to get to you quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioner breaks down in the heat of the summer.
Paying a little bit more for a sizable, more established and reliable company can come with advantages that help give you more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified team of servicemen and women who provide you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be available if you need them again.
Myth 3: It’s fine to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioning system.
With the government putting an end to the manufacturing of R-22, many homeowners are noticing the price of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant increasing. It may seem like a simple fix to just use a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician gives you that advice, you likely want to find a second opinion.
Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the system is designed for, and before 2010, it was typically R-22. Regardless of the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioner, it could void your warranty. A voided warranty might cost you a lot more in future parts due to likely damage.
Myth 4: You don’t need annual air conditioning maintenance.
Most people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioner may think they don’t actually need annual maintenance. It’s running fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that an annual AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Also, most manufacturers demand yearly maintenance to maintain your warranty, so foregoing your routine tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, meaning a huge payout if your air conditioner decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the season.
Myth 5: Researching the contractor isn’t valuable.
It’s important to check that you do your due diligence before picking an AC service company, especially if you feel a single company is intimidating you. As we said in Myth #1, some domains don’t require a contractor to be qualified to market their services. It’s important to know their qualifications and history so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service multiple times.
Social media reviews, references from neighbors, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of business you will be offering your business to and help you decide if they are best for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all wonderful review sites to start your homework. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for prior customer referrals. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning technician, so invest the time and research to confirm they are the right company for you.
Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat to a higher temperature while you’re not at home.
Over time, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature all through the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you’re away. It usually will not take an exorbitant amount of additional energy to get your home comfortable once you return, depending on variables of the home.
A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be increased or decreased from a phone or tablet so you can easily adjust the temperature back down before coming home, so your home is cool and comfy when you enter. This decreases your energy throughout the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Always running ceiling fans will help lower the temperature in your home.
Fans help cool people, they don’t truly reduce the temperature of the home solo. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is causing your fan to operate produces heat, which can put heat in the air in your home. An efficient ceiling fan can help level the temperature of the room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person beneath the fan to feel the cool air, all you’re doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already working. So keep ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and additional air circulation is unnecessary.
Myth 8: Don’t worry about where the thermostat is installed.
Thermostats read the temperature surrounding it to decide whether it needs to activate the air conditioning system to cool your home. Placing a thermostat in the bedroom will only ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is adjusted to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will shut off and the rest of the floor or home might be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is put near a sunny window or an appliance, it could always think the temperature is much higher than the living area truly is and keep running your air conditioner, raising your energy bills.
Myth 9: Turning your thermostat down much lower will help it cool faster.
Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioner operate longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then put it at 75 and it will run until it gets to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 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 acceptable to swap out your air filter once a year.
Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the residents of the home, and the kind of air filter you use for your air conditioner, your air filter might need to be replaced as often as every four weeks. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only makes your AC to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.
Call Barlow Service Experts today if you have any questions about your air conditioning system or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.