Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your air conditioner technician from Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has gifted us with a variety of places to go to get an AC service technician, but be careful because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their organization’s history and practices, other websites are available to anyone wanting to post an ad. For example, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad for their services, regardless of whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and background.

If you choose a contractor or individual without having the ability to confirm their qualifications and competence, it could end up costing you more ultimately. If the tech doesn’t know how to properly service your specific air conditioning system, you may end up needing a different, 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.

Working with small businesses can be good for some odd jobs – it’s good for the local business, good for the economy, and maybe even great for your pocket book. But proceed with caution: small operations or one-person operations could leave you holding the bag. If something goes wrong, they may conveniently disappear and not be there to rectify the situation, or they might not have the resources to get you taken care of quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner dies in the heat of the summer.

Paying a little bit more for a sizable, more established 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 confidence that they’ll be available if you need them again.

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

With the government stopping the production of R-22, many families are seeing the cost of refilling their AC system’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 advises you to do that, you may want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is developed for, and previous to 2010, it was usually R-22. Although there is extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause harm to your air conditioning equipment, it could invalidate your warranty. An invalidated warranty might cost you a lot 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 air conditioning system 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 an annual AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Also, most manufacturers demand yearly maintenance to continue your warranty, so foregoing your annual tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, meaning a big payout if your air conditioning system decides to go out on the hottest day of the summer.

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

It’s crucial to make sure you do your homework before picking an air conditioner service company, especially if you feel a specific company is pushing you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some domains don’t need a person 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 twice.

Website reviews, testimonials from friends, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of contractor you will be trusting 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 research process. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for previous customer references. You may have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning contractor, so invest a little time and research to make sure they are the right company for you.

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

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

A programmable thermostat allows for 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 lowering your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep you cool, they don’t actually lower the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is causing your fan to run creates heat, which can push heat into the air in the home. A well-working ceiling fan does help level the temperature of the room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is under the fan to feel the breeze, all you’re doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already working. So keep ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and more 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. Putting a thermostat in the bedroom will only make sure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once the bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will shut off and the rest of the floor or home might be much warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a sunny window or an appliance, it may always determine the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home actually is and constantly run your system, increasing your cooling bills.

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

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioner work 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 work until it cools to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, costing you money and energy.

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

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 causes 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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