Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your air conditioner technician on Craigslist.

The interweb has provided us with a variety of options to go to look for an AC service technician, but beware because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a contractor is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their organization’s history and practices, other web pages are open to anyone who requests to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad for their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and background.

If you choose a contractor or individual without getting to confirm their qualifications and skill set, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the tech doesn’t know how to properly service your actual air conditioner, you might end up needing a different, more experienced technician to repair their mistakes and end up paying multiple services charges.

Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.

Hiring small businesses can be wonderful for some minor home services – it’s wonderful for the local business, good for the economy, and probably even great for your pocket book. But beware: small companies or one-person companies could leave you in a lurch. If something goes wrong, they may simply disappear and not be available to repair it, or they might not have the manpower to get to you quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioning system dies in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Budgeting a little bit more for a sizable, more reputable and reliable company can come with perks that help offer you more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind that they’ll be there 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 production of R-22, many families are seeing the cost of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant going up. It may sound like a simple fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician recommends this, you probably want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the equipment is produced for, and before 2010, it was commonly R-22. Although there is extreme decline of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and replacing R-22 with a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your air conditioning equipment, it could invalidate your warranty. A voided warranty may cost you way more in future parts due to possible damage.

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

Most people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioning system may believe they don’t really need annual maintenance. It’s operating fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that a routine AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers demand routine maintenance to continue your warranty, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could cost you your warranty, meaning a big payout if your AC decides to die on the hottest day of the year.

Myth 5: Finding out about the company isn’t important.

It’s important to ensure you do your due diligence before deciding on an air conditioning service business, especially if you feel a specific company is putting pressure on you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some domains don’t need a contractor to be qualified to advertise their services. You absolutely need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to pay for the same service again.

Social media reviews, references from friends, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of business you will be offering your business to and help you decide if they are right for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all wonderful review sites to start your research process. Also, don’t be scared to ask for prior customer referrals. You could have to invest your hard-earned money with your AC contractor, so invest a little time and research to make sure they are the best company for your home.

Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat higher while you’re out of your home.

Long-term, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature over the course of the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you are gone. It normally will not take an exorbitant amount of extra energy to cool your home once you arrive, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be increased or decreased from a phone or tablet so you can easily adjust the temperature cooler before coming home, so your home is nice and comfy when you arrive. This reduces your energy over the course of the day, as well as decreasing your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep you cool, they don’t actually decrease the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is causing your fan to operate creates heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. A good ceiling fan can help level the temperature of a room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person below the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already on. So keep ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and extra air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats read the temperature surrounding it to choose whether it needs to activate 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 system will shut off and the remainder of the floor or home might be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it could constantly read the temperature as being much higher than the home truly is and keep running your air conditioner, raising your energy bills.

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

Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioning system work longer, it won’t get cooler 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 gets to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, costing you money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s fine to change your air filter once every twelve months.

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the people living in the home, and the type of air filter you use for your AC, your air filter might need to be changed as often as every month. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only means for your AC to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for more information about your AC or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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