Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioner technician from Craigslist.

The interweb has given us a variety of options to go to look for an air conditioning service technician, but beware because not all are created equal. 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 web pages are accessible to anyone who requests to post an ad. For example, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad providing their services, regardless of whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and knowledge.

If you hire a business or individual without being able to identify their qualifications and competence, it could end up costing you more ultimately. If the tech doesn’t have the knowledge to properly service your specific AC equipment, you could end up needing a second, more experienced company to fix their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Hiring small businesses can be good for some minor home services – it’s good for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your pocket book. But use caution: small businesses or one-person businesses could leave you holding the bag. If something bad happens, they may conveniently disappear and not be available to repair it, or they might not have the resources to get to you quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioner malfunctions in the dog days of summer.

Budgeting a little bit more for a sizable, more established 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 team of servicemen and women who provide you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be available if you ever require their services.

 
Myth 3: It’s fine to use any type of refrigerant in your AC.

With the government stopping the production of R-22, many people are seeing the price of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant going up. It may seem like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an AC service technician gives you that advice, you likely want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is produced for, and prior to 2010, it was usually R-22. Although there is 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 destruction to your air conditioning equipment, it could invalidate your warranty. An invalidated warranty might cost you way more in future parts due to likely damage.

Myth 4: You don’t need routine AC maintenance.

Many people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioner may assume they don’t really need yearly maintenance. It’s working fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that an annual AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will run you around $500. Also, most manufacturers require annual maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so foregoing your annual tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, resulting in a big payout if your air conditioner decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the year.

Myth 5: Finding out about the contractor isn’t necessary.

It’s critical to make sure you do your due diligence before picking an AC service business, especially if you feel a particular company is pressuring you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some domains don’t require a contractor to be qualified to market their services. You need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t end up paying for the same service multiple times.

Social media reviews, referrals from neighbors, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of company you will be offering your business to and help you decide if they are ideal for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all wonderful websites to start your homework. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for prior customer references. You may have to invest your money with your AC contractor, so invest a little time and research to ensure they are the ideal company for your AC.

Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat to a higher temperature while you’re away from home.

Over time, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature throughout the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It normally will not take an excessive amount of extra energy to get your home comfortable once you return, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be increased or decreased from a mobile device so you can just adjust the temperature back down before returning home, so your home is nice and comfy when you get home. This reduces your energy during the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

nest thermostat

Myth 7: Always running ceiling fans will help lower the temperature in your home.

Fans help cool people, they don’t actually lower the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is forcing your fan to operate creates heat, which can put heat in the air in your home. An efficient ceiling fan could help level the temperature of your room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person beneath the fan to feel the breeze, all you’re doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already working. So leave ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and extra air circulation is not needed.

Myth 8: Where the thermostat is installed doesn’t matter.

Thermostats use the temperature surrounding it to determine whether it needs to start up the air conditioner to cool down your home. Placing a thermostat in the bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once your bedroom is cooled, the AC will shut off and the remainder of the floor or home may be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is put near a warm window or an appliance, it could continuously read the temperature as being much higher than the rest of the home really is and constantly run your system, increasing your utility bills.

thermostat

Myth 9: Turning your thermostat down much lower will help it cool more speedily.

Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioning system operate longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really feel better at 75, then set it on 75 and it will run until it gets to that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, costing you money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s fine to swap out your air filter annually.

Depending on the health conditions of the people living in the home, and the type of air filter you use for your air conditioner, your air filter could need to be swapped out as often as every month. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only means for your AC to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for more information about your air conditioner or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.

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