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 look for 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 business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their company history and practices, other sites are available to anyone who wants to post an ad. For example, 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 proper training and knowledge.

If you choose a contractor or individual without having the ability to confirm their qualifications and capability, it could end up costing you more ultimately. If the technician doesn’t have the skills to properly repair your specific air conditioning system, you could end up needing another, more experienced contractor to correct their mistakes and end up paying multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be good for some small fixes – it’s good for the local business, good for the economy, and probably even wonderful for your wallet. But proceed with caution: small businesses or one-person operations could let you down. If something backfires, they may conveniently disappear and not be around to repair it, or they may not have the workforce to get to you quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioner breaks down in the heat of the summer.

Spending 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 team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the assurance that they’ll be available in the future if you ever need them again.

 
Myth 3: It’s okay to use any type of refrigerant in your AC.

With the government stopping the production of R-22, many people are noticing the price 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 decrease of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and using a different refrigerant may not only cause harm to your AC system, it could nullify your warranty. A voided warranty may cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to potential damage.

Myth 4: You don’t need yearly AC maintenance.

Many people who are not currently having trouble with their air conditioning system may assume they don’t truly need yearly 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 costs around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers demand yearly maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so skipping your yearly tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, resulting in a big 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 AC service contractor, especially if you feel a specific company is pressuring you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some websites don’t require a person to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t end up paying for the same service again.

Online reviews, testimonials from family, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of company 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 good websites to start your homework. Also, don’t be afraid 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 right company for your AC.

Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat up while you’re out of your home.

Long-term, it will increase your costs 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 usually will not take an exorbitant amount of additional energy to get your home comfortable once you arrive, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be changed from a phone or tablet so you can simply adjust the temperature lower before returning home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you get home. This saves you energy during the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.

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

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 run produces heat, which can add heat to the air in the home. An efficient ceiling fan could help level the temperature of your room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is beneath the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already on. 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 measure the temperature surrounding it to decide whether it needs to start up the AC to cool down your home. Installing a thermostat in your bedroom will only ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the system will turn 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 think the temperature is much higher than the home truly is and continuously run your AC, raising your cooling bills.

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

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

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

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the residents of the home, and the type of air filter you use for your air conditioner, your air filter could need to be changed as often as every month. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioner to work harder and reduce 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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