Myth 1: Hire your air conditioning technician on Craigslist.
The World Wide Web has provided us with a variety of places to go to look for an AC service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau shows you information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their company history and practices, other sites are accessible to anyone who wants to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist allows anyone to post an ad for their services, despite whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and experience.
If you decide on a contractor or individual without getting to verify their qualifications and competence, it could end up costing you more ultimately. If the tech doesn’t have the qualifications to properly repair your specific AC equipment, you might end up needing a second, more experienced contractor to fix their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple Trip Charges.
Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.
Hiring small businesses can be good for some minor home services – it’s good for the local business, great for the economy, and maybe even wonderful for your pocket book. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person businesses could leave you in a lurch. If something fails, they may merely disappear and not be there to repair it, or they might not have the manpower to get to you quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner dies in the heat of the summer.
Paying a little bit more for a sizable, more trusted and reliable company can come with perks that help give you more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified team of servicemen and women who provide you service 24/7/365, and the assurance that they’ll be available in the future if you ever need them again.
Myth 3: It’s fine to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioner.
With the government putting an end to the production of R-22, many families are noticing the cost of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like an easy fix to just use a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician advises you to do that, you likely want to call for a second opinion.
Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is designed for, and prior to 2010, it was normally R-22. Despite the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioners are still designed for it, and using a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your AC system, it could nullify your warranty. A nullified warranty may cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to possible damage.
Myth 4: You don’t need yearly AC maintenance.
Many people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioning system may believe they don’t truly need annual maintenance. It’s working fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that a routine AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers instruct you to receive annual maintenance to continue your warranty, so foregoing your yearly tune-up could cost you your warranty, which means a huge payout if your AC decides to die on the hottest day of the season.
Myth 5: Finding out about the business isn’t necessary.
It’s important to ensure you do your research before choosing an AC service contractor, especially if you feel a particular company is pressuring you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some websites don’t require a company to be qualified to market their services. You absolutely need to know their qualifications and history so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service twice.
Online reviews, references from friends, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of company you will be giving your business to and help you choose if they are best for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all great places to start your homework. Also, don’t be scared to ask for previous customer referrals. You might have to invest your hard-earned money with your AC company, so invest some time and research to confirm they are the right company for you.
Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat up while you’re out of your home.
Ultimately, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature all through the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It usually will not need an exorbitant amount of additional energy to get your home comfortable once you arrive, depending on the home.
A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be changed from a tablet or phone so you can easily adjust the temperature back down before coming home, so your home is nice and comfy when you arrive. This decreases your energy throughout the day, as well as decreasing your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Always running ceiling fans will help cool your home.
Fans help keep people cool, they don’t truly decrease the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan operate generates heat, which can put heat in the air in your family’s home. A good ceiling fan does help level the temperature of the room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone under the fan to feel the breeze, all you’re doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already on. So turn off ceiling fans when there is no one in the room and additional air circulation is unneeded.
Myth 8: Don’t worry about where the thermostat is installed.
Thermostats read the temperature near it to determine whether it needs to turn on the air conditioning system to cool the home. Putting a thermostat in a bedroom will only make sure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once your bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will turn off and the rest of the floor or home may be much warmer. If the thermostat is put near a sunny window or an appliance, it may always think the temperature is much higher than the living area actually is and keep running your AC, raising your cooling bills.
Myth 9: Lowering your thermostat way low will help it cool more quickly.
Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioning system operate 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 to 75 and it will work until it gets to that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, costing you money and energy.
Myth 10: It’s ok to change your air filter annually.
Depending on the health conditions of the people living in the home, and the type of air filter you use for your air conditioner, your air filter may need to be changed as often as every four weeks. Not changing the air filter often enough not only makes your AC to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.
Call Rolf Griffin Service Experts today for more information about your air conditioner or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.