Myth 1: Find your AC technician on Craigslist.
The interweb has given us a variety of options to go to find an air conditioning service technician, but be careful because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their company history and practices, other sites are available to anyone wanting to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist will let anyone post an ad promoting their services, regardless of whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and experience.
If you decide on a company or individual without having the ability to confirm their qualifications and skill set, it might end up costing you more ultimately. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t know how to properly service your particular air conditioning system, you could end up needing a second, more experienced contractor to fix their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.
Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.
Hiring small businesses can be great for some minor home services – it’s good for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and probably even good for your wallet. But be careful: small operations or one-person companies could leave you holding the bag. If something goes wrong, they may conveniently disappear and not be there to rectify the situation, or they could not have the resources to get your issue resolved quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner dies in the extreme temperatures of summer.
Spending a little bit more for a larger, more reputable and reliable company can come with benefits that help offer you more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the assurance that they’ll be available in the future if you ever need them again.
Myth 3: You can use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioning system.
With the government stopping the making of R-22, many homeowners are observing the cost of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant rising. It may sound like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an AC service technician gives you that advice, you probably want to find a second opinion.
Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the equipment is designed for, and before 2010, it was normally R-22. Despite the extreme decrease 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. An invalidated warranty might cost you way more in future parts due to likely damage.
Myth 4: You don’t need yearly A/C system maintenance.
A lot of people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioner may assume they don’t truly need routine maintenance. It’s operating fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that an annual AC tune- up is priced around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers instruct you to receive annual maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so skipping your annual tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, which means a big payout if your air conditioning system decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the season.
Myth 5: Finding out about the business isn’t necessary.
It’s crucial to check that you do your due diligence before deciding on an AC service company, especially if you feel a specific company is pressuring you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some sites don’t demand a person to be qualified to advertise their services. It’s important to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to pay for the same service again.
Website reviews, testimonials 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 ideal for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all good review sites to start your research process. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for past customer referrals. You could have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioner contractor, so invest the time and research to confirm they are the ideal company for you.
Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat to a higher temperature while you’re not at home.
Ultimately, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature all through the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you’re away. It typically will not take an excessive amount of extra energy to get your home cooled down once you arrive, depending on your home.
A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be adjusted from a tablet or phone so you can easily adjust the temperature back down before coming home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you arrive. This decreases your energy during the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.
Myth 7: Continuously running ceiling fans will help cool your home.
Fans help keep people cool, they don’t truly decrease the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is causing your fan to run generates heat, which can add heat to the air in your family’s home. A good ceiling fan does help level the temperature of your room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone below the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already running. So leave ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and extra air circulation is unneeded.
Myth 8: Where the thermostat is installed doesn’t matter.
Thermostats measure the temperature surrounding it to decide whether it needs to turn on the air conditioner to cool the home. Installing a thermostat in the bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the system will go off and the remainder of the floor or home might be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is put near a sunny window or an appliance, it may constantly read the temperature as being much higher than the home actually is and continuously run your AC, 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 run longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really want it to be 75, then set it on 75 and it will run until it reaches that temperature. Decreasing the thermostat to 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, squandering money and energy.
Myth 10: It’s acceptable to change your air filter once a year.
Depending on the health conditions of the people living in the home, and the kind of air filter you utilize for your AC, your air filter might need to be swapped out as often as every month. Not changing the air filter often enough not only causes your AC to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.
Call Coastal Service Experts today for more information about your air conditioning system or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.