Myth 1: Find your air conditioner technician on Craigslist.
The internet has gifted us with a variety of places 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 company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their organization’s history and practices, other websites are open to anyone who wants to post an ad. For example, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad promoting their services, regardless of whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and knowledge.
If you decide on a company or individual without being able to confirm their qualifications and competence, it might end up costing you more over time. If the tech doesn’t have the skills to properly service your particular AC equipment, you might end up needing a different, more experienced contractor to repair their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple Trip Charges.
Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.
Working with small businesses can be wonderful for some odd jobs – it’s great for the local business, great for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your wallet. But be careful: small businesses or one-person operations could leave you holding the bag. If something fails, they may conveniently disappear and not be around to rectify the situation, or they may not have the manpower to get to you quickly, which is bad news if your AC breaks down in the dog days of summer.
Spending a little bit more for a larger, more trusted and reliable company can come with advantages that help provide you with more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the assurance that they’ll be a call away in the future if you ever need them again.
Myth 3: It’s okay to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioner.
With the government stopping the production of R-22, many homeowners are observing the cost of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant increasing. It may seem like a simple fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician recommends this, you probably want to find a second opinion.
Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the equipment is produced for, and before 2010, it was normally R-22. Regardless of the extreme decline of the production of R-22, those air conditioners are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioner, 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 routine air conditioning maintenance.
Most people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioning system may assume they don’t actually need annual maintenance. It works just fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that an annual 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 maintain your warranty, so foregoing your yearly tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, resulting in a large payout if your air conditioning system decides to die on the hottest day of the summer.
Myth 5: Researching the business isn’t important.
It’s critical to check that you do your research before choosing an AC service contractor, especially if you feel a particular company is pushing you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some domains don’t require a company to be qualified to advertise their services. It’s important to know who you’re working with so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service multiple times.
Online reviews, referrals from friends, and an a great 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 best for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all good websites to start your research process. And, don’t be scared to ask for prior customer references. You could have to invest your hard-earned money with your air conditioner technician, so invest some 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 not at home.
Ultimately, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature throughout the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are gone. It normally will not require an outrageous amount of additional energy to get your home cooled down once you enter, depending on variables of the home.
A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be increased or decreased from a tablet or phone so you can easily adjust the temperature back down before returning home, so your home is cool and comfy when you enter. This saves you energy over the course of the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Continuously running ceiling fans will help cool your home.
Fans help keep you cool, they don’t actually decrease the temperature of the home solo. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is causing your fan to run creates heat, which can put heat in the air in your home. A good ceiling fan can help level the temperature of a room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is beneath the fan to feel cool, all the fan is doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already running. So turn off ceiling fans when there is nobody in the room and additional air circulation is unnecessary.
Myth 8: Where the thermostat is installed doesn’t matter.
Thermostats read the temperature near it to choose whether it needs to turn on the AC to cool the home. Putting a thermostat in your bedroom will only ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is adjusted to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the AC will shut off and the remaining floor or home could be much warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a warm window or an appliance, it could constantly think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home truly is and constantly run your AC, raising your energy bills.
Myth 9: Excessively lowering your thermostat will help it cool more speedily.
Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioner operate longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then put it at 75 and it will work until it gets to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, costing you money and energy.
Myth 10: It’s fine to replace your air filter once every twelve months.
Depending on the health conditions of the residents of the home, and the kind of air filter you utilize for your air conditioning system, your air filter could need to be swapped out as often as every 30 days. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioning system to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.
Call BW/Cook Service Experts today for more information about your air conditioning system or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.