Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Hire your air conditioning technician through Craigslist.

The interweb has given us a variety of choices to go to find an A/C system service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their company history and practices, other sites are available to anyone wanting to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist will let anyone post an ad promoting their services, regardless of whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and experience.

If you choose a contractor or individual without being able to confirm their qualifications and expertise, it could end up costing you more ultimately. If the technician doesn’t have the qualifications to properly fix your particular air conditioner, you could end up needing another, more experienced contractor to correct their mistakes and end up paying multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.

Hiring small businesses can be good for some small fixes – it’s good for the local business, good for the economy, and maybe even wonderful for your wallet. But use caution: small companies or one-person operations could leave you in a lurch. If something backfires, they may simply disappear and not be there to fix it, or they may not have the workforce to get to you quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner breaks down in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Paying 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, quality workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the assurance that they’ll be there if you ever require their services.

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 people are seeing the cost of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant rising. It may sound like a simple fix to just use a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician recommends this, you probably want to get a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the equipment is produced for, and before 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 substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioning equipment, it could nullify 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 annual AC maintenance.

Many people who are not currently having trouble with their AC may think they don’t truly need annual maintenance. It works just fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that a routine AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will run you around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers require yearly maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, resulting in a huge payout if your AC decides to go out on the hottest day of the summer.

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

It’s critical to check that you do your research before picking an air conditioning service company, especially if you feel a specific company is pressuring you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some sites don’t need a person to be qualified to advertise their services. You need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to pay for the same service twice.

Social media reviews, testimonials 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 trusting your business to and help you choose if they are right for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all great places to start your homework. And, don’t be scared to ask for prior customer testimonials. You could have to invest your hard-earned money with your air conditioning technician, so invest the time and research to confirm they are the best company for your AC.

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

Long-term, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature throughout the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you’re away. It usually will not take an exorbitant amount of extra energy to get your home comfortable once you arrive, depending on the home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be adjusted from a phone or tablet so you can simply adjust the temperature back down before coming home, so your home is nice and comfy when you get home. This reduces your energy throughout the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep people cool, they don’t truly decrease the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is forcing your fan to operate produces heat, which can put heat in the air in your home. An efficient ceiling fan could help level the temperature of the room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone beneath the fan to feel the cool air, all it’s doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already running. So leave ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and additional air circulation is unnecessary.

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

Thermostats read the temperature surrounding it to determine whether it needs to start up the air conditioning system to cool the home. Installing a thermostat in your bedroom will only make sure that bedroom lowers to 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 might be much warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a sunny window or an appliance, it might continuously read the temperature as being much higher than the home actually is and continuously run your system, increasing your cooling bills.

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

Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioner run longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 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 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 residents of the home, and the style of air filter you have for your air conditioner, your air filter could need to be changed as often as every 30 days. Not changing the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioner to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

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

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