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Why an Honest Contractor Is So Important for Better Air Conditioning


When I was writing this post, I was thinking of titling it “Lies My Contractor Told Me.” But I wouldn’t want you, dear readers, to think I meant our team at Russell & Abbott! Honesty is our policy because we know how much it means to customers. We’ve built up a successful business because local homeowners trust us. This honesty isn’t only good business, it’s also being a good neighbor—we’re a part of this community, and we want to do our part to make it a great community.

The contractor I was thinking of when I came up with this list is the other type of contractor. The contractor makes up stories just to make an extra sale for something a customer doesn’t need and which won’t create better air conditioning! Working with an honest contractor means you won’t hear false advice like this…

“Your AC needs to have a regular refrigerant charge.”

If people claiming to be HVAC experts tell you this, kindly show them the door! Your air conditioner runs on a set charge of refrigerant that never gets “used up” as the AC runs. It isn’t like putting gas in a vehicle or having a regular oil change. The only time an air conditioning system should have more refrigerant added is when it has a leak along its refrigerant lines. Adding extra refrigerant to a system when it hasn’t lost any to leaks will lead to a system breakdown.

“This new high-efficiency AC guarantees savings.”

No new air conditioning system guarantees savings. One of the biggest misunderstandings about HVAC equipment today is that purchasing a system with a higher efficiency rating (SEER in the case of air conditioners) automatically means a reduction on utility bills. It’s not true! The most efficient AC ever made can still waste energy in a house if it’s the wrong type, or it’s poorly installed, or it’s simply too expensive to purchase upfront. An honest contractor will help you find a unit that meets your needs.

“You should replace an air conditioning system every ten years.”

It’s possible for a central air conditioning system to wear down enough over ten years that it’ll need a replacement—especially if the unit doesn’t receive routine maintenance to inspect it and tune it up. But ACs don’t need replacement every ten years like clockwork! A well-cared-for system that was professionally installed can often last for 15 years or even more without losing energy efficiency or losing cooling power.

“Your AC needs tune-ups multiple times a year.”

A contractor who tells you an air conditioning system needs two, three, or four maintenance visits a year is only making money from showing up to your house with a checklist, looking at the AC, then leaving. You only need a single maintenance tune-up a year, preferably in summer. (Heat pumps need maintenance twice a year, but that’s because they both cool and heat.)

For your AC installations and AC repair in Knoxville, TN, you can put your trust in our team. We won’t steer you wrong—we want you to know you can rely on us to get the job done right!

Stay cool,