Myth 1: Get your air conditioner technician through Craigslist.
The interweb has given us a variety of choices to go to find an A/C system service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their organization’s history and practices, other websites are open to anyone who wants to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad providing their services, despite whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and knowledge.
If you hire a company or individual without being able to identify their qualifications and competence, it might end up costing you more in the long run. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the skills to properly fix your actual air conditioning system, you may end up needing a different, more experienced contractor to fix their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple service charges.
Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.
Hiring small businesses can be good for some minor home services – it’s wonderful for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and likely even wonderful 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 repair it, or they might not have the manpower to get your issue resolved quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioner malfunctions in the heat of the summer.
Budgeting a little bit more for a bigger, more trusted and reliable company can come with advantages that help offer you more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind that they’ll be a call away if you need them again.
Myth 3: It’s okay to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioning system.
With the government stopping the making of R-22, many people are observing the cost of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant increasing. It may sound like a simple fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician gives you that advice, you likely want to call for a second opinion.
Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the equipment is designed for, and prior to 2010, it was usually R-22. Despite the extreme decline of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and replacing R-22 with a different refrigerant may not only cause harm to your AC system, it could void your warranty. A nullified warranty may cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to likely damage.
Myth 4: You don’t need routine A/C system maintenance.
A lot of people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioner may believe they don’t actually need annual maintenance. It’s operating fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that an annual AC tune- up runs you around $79 while the cost of a repair averages around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers require yearly maintenance to continue your warranty, so skipping your routine tune-up could cost you your warranty, which means a huge payout if your air conditioning system decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the year.
Myth 5: Researching the contractor isn’t important.
It’s important to check that you do your homework before choosing an air conditioner service contractor, especially if you feel a specific company is pushing you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some sites don’t require a contractor to be qualified to advertise their services. You absolutely need to know who you’re working with so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service again.
Website reviews, referrals from family, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of contractor you will be offering your business to and help you decide if they are right for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all great places to start your search. And, don’t be shy to ask for prior customer references. You may have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioner company, so invest a little time and research to make sure they are the right company for you.
Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat up 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 are gone. It typically will not take an excessive amount of additional energy to get your home comfortable once you enter, depending on your home.
A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be adjusted from a mobile device so you can easily adjust the temperature back down before arriving home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you enter. This saves you energy during the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Always running ceiling fans will help keep your home cool.
Fans help keep people cool, they don’t truly decrease the temperature of the home solo. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is causing your fan to function creates heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. A good ceiling fan can help level the temperature of a room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person beneath the fan to feel cool, all the fan is doing is squandering 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 more air circulation is not needed.
Myth 8: Don’t worry about where the thermostat is installed.
Thermostats read the temperature around it to decide whether it needs to activate the AC to cool your home. Placing a thermostat in a bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once that bedroom is cooled, the system will go off and the remainder of the floor or home might be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it might constantly think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home really is and keep running your system, upping your cooling bills.
Myth 9: Lowering your thermostat way low will help it cool more speedily.
Lowering your air excessively may only make your AC work 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 put it at 75 and it will work until it reaches that temperature. Decreasing the thermostat to 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, costing you money and energy.
Myth 10: It’s ok to replace your air filter once every twelve months.
Depending on the health conditions of the home’s occupants, and the style of air filter you use for your air conditioner, your air filter might need to be swapped out as often as every four weeks. Not changing the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioning system to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.
Call Sunbeam Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today if you have any questions about your AC or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.