Air Conditioning Services: How Much Are You Being Charged

This Blog was posted by Smithson Valley Services Air Conditioning. We serve the Texas Hill Country, including Blanco | Bulverde | Canyon Lake | Fisher | Kendalia | New Braunfels | North San Antonio | Sattler | Sisterdale | Smithson Valley | Spring Branch | Startzville

Warning: Most heating and air conditioning companies mark up their repair parts by 400% or more! If you want to know what those parts really cost them, please read.

This is not your typical website where you have to sift through a bunch of boring, irrelevant information on some company you have never heard of before to try and figure out if you want to give them a call to come to fix your AC.

I promise, no annoying logos of air conditioning equipment brands plastered all over the place that are only there because we have received a kickback to recommend them. Yes, it happens; it is called co-op.

No self-serving, silly pictures of the owners and employees… Okay, maybe a couple of silly pictures of the owner!

You’ll find none of the typical stuff you see on a million other air conditioning websites that do very little to help you choose a company you can trust and who will do the job right and at a price you can be comfortable with.

As I said, this is not a typical company site, but it will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on heating and air-conditioning repairs or system replacements.

I’m not kidding when I say that, either. Unlike the other guys who may claim they have the lowest price in town, I’m prepared to prove it if you stick around for a while.

Before we get on with that, let me say that most folks know very little about their HVAC system, and air conditioning contractors will use that to their advantage. By the way, if you are wondering what HVAC stands for, it’s Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.

Actually, it’s not surprising that most homeowners know very little about how the air conditioning system keeps them comfortable. Why would you? I mean, it is not something we learn in school or deal with very often or even think about much unless it is not working.

You set your thermostat to come on when it gets too hot or too cold in the house, and it kind of just does its magic. Maybe you change the air filters once a month or once a year?

I’ve been in this line of work for quite a few years now, and I’d have to say that at least 80% of the people I visit do not know where their air handling unit is located… or that they even have an air handling unit! The air handler is an integral piece of the heating and cooling system and is usually pretty big, yet many people have never even seen it!

They know nothing about the evaporator coil, contactor, capacitor, condensate drains, and on and on. Trust me, it’s certainly understandable, and there is a reason I’m beating this dead horse.

Service technicians know that they can talk a bunch of air conditioning trade lingo, and you will have no idea if they are being straight with you.

This is a tough economy we are going thru, and there are tons of heating and cooling companies in the area that are all trying to compete for the same customer. When many companies get a customer on the hook, there is no telling when the phone will ring again, so they get everything they can out of them!

But don’t take my word for it that many companies push their service technicians right up to the line of what can be considered unethical to maximize profits. You don’t know me any better than any other guy out there… at least not yet, anyway.

Let me tell you this. I’m sure you probably have heard of freon or refrigerant and maybe have had to add some to your system in the past. If someone such as yourself is going to know something about an air conditioner, it usually has to do with freon, right?

So, we have some common ground we can work with here. All air conditioners need freon to work. It is never supposed to need replacing, and if you have to add any to get your unit cooling again, you most likely have a leak, or it was never charged right to begin with.

Now, over time it is possible to develop very tiny leaks in your system, and if you add a couple of pounds of freon at the beginning of the summer, you can oftentimes make it to the fall without adding more. This is pretty common, and it is also a heating and cooling company’s best friend!

With a quick service call and a few pounds of freon, you are in and out the door in just a few minutes, but they still charge you an arm and a leg for that freon. Just call around, and you will see that most are charging from $65 a pound up to $200 -$300. Many won’t even tell you they charge and say they need to get out to your house and do a proper diagnostic before they can tell you anything.

Fair enough, but what happens when they charge you $89 to come out and then tell you that you need 3 lbs of freon at $100 per pound?

Here is where I come in. I charge just $25 per pound: the same refrigerant and the same method of putting it in the system. I use superheat readings to charge the system properly; most guys just put their hands on the pipe until it gets cold, which is not good.

I also have low service charges, much lower than most other companies. Just $39 gets me to your door and a proper diagnosis of your air conditioner in writing.

I’m properly licensed and have a fully stocked service van, and use the same parts everyone else does. The only difference is I do not mark those parts up by 400% or more like most other contractors. I list what the part cost me and everyone else on my main website!

I describe the repair and how long it should take and give you a price on what the job should cost on my website!

Need a new fan condenser motor? Most will charge well over $300 for that job. Some go as high as $600 or $700. My price? Generally under $180!

Need a contractor or dual capacitor? No problem, just look them up on my site and see what the part costs and how long the job will take. Then tell that repairman who quoted 5 times as much to please go away.

I have a video on my main company website that explains it all. But you may be asking how I can keep my prices low, right?

Simple really. I have very low overhead and make most of my income in online sales, not by charging outrageous repair prices.

When I say low overhead, that does not mean I drive an old pickup truck and work off the kitchen table. No backwoods mechanic here. All of my vehicles are paid for, meaning you are not making the monthly payments!

I sure don’t mean to beat up on other companies, and I will never name names, but you have to be careful. I’ve been in this business long enough to know home some guys operate.

The fact that I put what I pay for my parts on my website ought to give you peace of mind, and I’d sure like to earn the rest!

You can check out my video and all the info and then give me a call if you feel comfortable doing so. At the very least, use that information as a negotiating tool if you call on someone else, okay?

Oh, this site is a place where I will be documenting a lot of the service calls I go on as well as explaining some of the more common problems you might experience as your air conditioning unit begins to get some age on it.

I might talk a little about organizations like ACCA and ASHRAE and what they do to regulate our industry. I will also voice my opinion of the Better Business Bureau and the State Contractor’s Board.

This site will be a platform where I can educate, inform and express my opinions about the heating and air conditioning industry. I will, of course, talk about the various heating and cooling equipment brands like Trane, Carrier, York, and Goodman, but I will tell you upfront they are all roughly the same. What matters is how they are installed and by whom.

So come back and visit often and if you need help, give me a call, and I’ll do whatever it takes to win your loyalty.

Thanks, and hope to see you soon!