Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your AC technician through Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has given us a variety of places to go to look for an AC service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a business is accredited depending on their organization’s history and practices, other web pages are open to anyone who wants to post an ad. For example, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad providing their services, regardless of whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and knowledge.

If you hire a contractor or individual without getting to confirm their qualifications and competence, it might end up costing you more ultimately. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the qualifications to properly repair your particular air conditioner, you may end up needing a second, more experienced company to fix their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be wonderful for some odd jobs – it’s great for the local business, good for the economy, and maybe even great for your bank account. But proceed with caution: small operations or one-person operations could let you down. If something bad happens, they may merely disappear and not be available to rectify the situation, or they could not have the resources to get you taken care of quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioning system malfunctions in the heat of the summer.

Spending a little bit more for a sizable, more trusted and reliable company can come with benefits that help give you more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind that they’ll be a call away if you ever require their services.

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

With the government putting an end to the making of R-22, many homeowners are noticing the fee of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant going up. It may seem like a simple fix to just substitute a different and lower cost 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 equipment is produced for, and previous to 2010, it was commonly R-22. Regardless of the extreme reduction 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 hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to potential damage.

Myth 4: You don’t need routine A/C system maintenance.

A lot of people who are not currently having trouble with their AC may believe they don’t really need annual maintenance. It’s running fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that an annual AC tune- up runs you around $79 while the cost of a repair averages around $500. Also, most manufacturers require routine maintenance to continue your warranty, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, which means a large payout if your air conditioning system decides to die on the hottest day of the summer.

Myth 5: Learning about the contractor isn’t important.

It’s crucial to make sure you do your homework before picking an air conditioning service company, especially if you feel a particular company is pushing you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some sites don’t demand a person to be qualified to advertise their services. You absolutely need to know their qualifications and history so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service twice.

Website reviews, testimonials from family, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of business you will be offering your business to and help you choose if they are ideal for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all good places to start your homework. Remember, don’t be shy to ask for past customer referrals. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your AC contractor, so invest some time and research to ensure they are the right company for your AC.

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

Over time, it will increase your bills to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature over the course of the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are gone. It usually will not take an exorbitant amount of more energy to get your home comfortable once you arrive, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be adjusted from a phone or tablet so you can simply adjust the temperature lower before arriving home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you get home. This saves you energy throughout the day, as well as saving you money on your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

Myth 7: Continuously running ceiling fans will help cool your home.

Fans help cool people, they don’t truly reduce the temperature of the home solo. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is forcing your fan to run creates heat, which can push heat into the air in the home. An efficient ceiling fan can help level the temperature of your room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone under the fan to feel the cool air, all it’s doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already working. So leave ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and additional air circulation is not needed.

Myth 8: Don’t worry about where the thermostat is installed.

Thermostats read the temperature around it to decide whether it needs to activate the air conditioner to cool down your home. Placing a thermostat in your bedroom will only ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the AC will shut off and the remainder of the floor or home could be much warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it could constantly determine the temperature is much higher than the home actually is and constantly run your AC, raising your cooling bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioner operate longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really want it to be 75, then set it on 75 and it will kick on until it gets to that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, wasting money and energy.

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

Depending on the health conditions of the residents of the home, and the kind of air filter you have for your air conditioning system, your air filter might need to be changed as often as every four weeks. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioning system to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today if you have any questions about your air conditioner or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.

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