Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your air conditioner technician on Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has gifted us with a variety of options to go to get an AC service technician, but beware because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a company is accredited determined by their organization’s history and practices, other web pages are available 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 background.

If you hire a contractor or individual without having the ability to confirm their qualifications and competence, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the tech doesn’t know how to properly service your particular air conditioner, you may end up needing another, more experienced technician to repair their mistakes and it could end up costing 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 great for the local business, great for the economy, and probably even good for your wallet. But use caution: small operations or one-person operations could leave you holding the bag. If something goes wrong, they may conveniently disappear and not be around to rectify the situation, or they may not have the resources to get you taken care of quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioner malfunctions in the heat of the summer.

Spending a little bit more for a sizable, more reputable and reliable company can come with benefits that help offer you more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind that they’ll be there if you need them again.

Myth 3: You can use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioner.

With the government putting an end to the production of R-22, many families are noticing the price of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant going up. It may seem like a simple fix to just use a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician gives you that advice, you may want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is developed for, and previous to 2010, it was usually R-22. Despite the extreme decrease of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioning equipment, it could invalidate your warranty. A voided warranty may cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to potential damage.

Myth 4: You don’t need yearly air conditioning maintenance.

Most people who don’t currently have trouble with their AC may believe they don’t truly need routine maintenance. It’s working fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that a yearly AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers demand annual maintenance to continue your warranty, so foregoing your annual tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, meaning a huge payout if your AC decides to go out on the hottest day of the year.

Myth 5: Researching the contractor isn’t important.

It’s important to ensure you do your research before picking an air conditioner service company, especially if you feel a particular company is putting pressure on you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some domains don’t need a company to be qualified to advertise their services. It’s important to know their qualifications and history so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service again.

Website reviews, testimonials from family, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of contractor you will be trusting your business to and help you choose if they are ideal for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all wonderful websites to start your search. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for previous customer referrals. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning 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 higher while you’re away from home.

Ultimately, it will increase your bills to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature over the course of the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It typically will not require an exorbitant amount of more energy to get your home cooled down once you return, depending on the home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be increased or decreased from a tablet or phone so you can easily adjust the temperature lower before arriving home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you enter. This decreases your energy over the course of the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

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

Fans help keep you cool, they don’t really lower the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is making your fan run generates heat, which can push heat into the air in the home. A well-working ceiling fan can help level the temperature of your room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is below the fan to feel the breeze, all you’re doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the AC is already working. So keep ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and more air circulation is unneeded.

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. Installing a thermostat in a bedroom will only ensure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will turn off and the remainder of the floor or home might be much warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it might always determine the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home actually is and constantly run your system, raising your cooling bills.

Thermostat screen

Myth 9: Excessively lowering your thermostat will help it cool more quickly.

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 says 77, but you really want it to be 75, then set it on 75 and it will run until it reaches that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, wasting money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s fine to swap out your air filter once a year.

Depending on the health conditions of the home’s occupants, and the kind of air filter you have for your air conditioner, your air filter might need to be replaced as often as every 30 days. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only makes your AC to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today to inquire about your air conditioning system or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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