Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your air conditioner technician on Craigslist.

The interweb has given us a variety of places to go to find an air conditioning service technician, but beware because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a contractor is accredited based on their organization’s history and practices, other web pages are open to anyone who requests to post an ad. For example, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad providing their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and background.

If you choose a contractor or individual without getting to verify their qualifications and skill set, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the technician doesn’t know how to properly service your actual air conditioning system, you may end up needing a different, more experienced technician to repair their mistakes and end up paying multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be wonderful for some minor home services – it’s wonderful for the local business, good for the economy, and maybe even great for your pocket book. But beware: small businesses or one-person companies could leave you in a lurch. If something goes wrong, they may simply disappear and not be available to fix it, or they may not have the manpower to get to you quickly, which is not what you want if your AC dies in the heat of the 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, quality workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be available if you ever require their services.

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 air conditioner’s refrigerant increasing. It may sound like a simple fix to just substitute a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an AC service technician recommends this, you probably want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the system is designed for, and prior to 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 AC system, 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 actually need yearly maintenance. It works just fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that a routine AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers demand routine maintenance to continue your warranty, so disregarding your annual tune-up could cost you your warranty, resulting in a huge payout if your air conditioning system decides to die on the hottest day of the summer.

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

It’s important to make sure you do your due diligence before choosing an air conditioning service business, especially if you feel a specific company is pushing you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some domains don’t need a contractor to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You absolutely need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to pay for the same service twice.

Online reviews, referrals from family, and an a high 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 best for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all wonderful review sites to start your search. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for prior customer references. You could have to invest your hard-earned money with your air conditioning company, 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 up 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 raise it 10 degrees while you are gone. It normally will not take an excessive amount of extra energy to get your home comfortable once you return, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat lets 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 cool and comfortable when you get home. This reduces your energy over the course of the day, as well as decreasing 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 actually decrease the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is causing your fan to operate creates heat, which can add heat to the air in the home. A good ceiling fan does 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 the cool air, all you’re doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the AC is already on. So keep ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and additional air circulation is unneeded.

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

Thermostats read the temperature surrounding it to choose whether it needs to activate the air conditioner to cool the home. Installing a thermostat in the bedroom will only make sure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once the bedroom is cooled, the AC will shut off and the rest of the floor or home might be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it could continuously read the temperature as being much higher than the home truly is and keep running your air conditioner, increasing your cooling bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioning system run longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really want it to be 75, then put it at 75 and it will run until it gets to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, wasting money and energy.

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

Depending on the health conditions of the people living in the home, and the type of air filter you have for your AC, your air filter may need to be changed as often as every 30 days. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioning system to work harder and lower 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 AC or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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