Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your AC technician from Craigslist.

The internet has gifted us with a variety of options to go to look for an A/C system service technician, but be careful because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a company is accredited based on their company history and practices, other websites are available to anyone who requests to post an ad. For example, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad promoting their services, regardless of whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and knowledge.

If you choose a company or individual without having the ability to confirm their qualifications and capability, it might end up costing you more in the long run. If the technician doesn’t know how to properly fix your specific air conditioning system, you could end up needing a second, more experienced contractor to repair their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be great for some minor home services – it’s wonderful for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and likely even good for your wallet. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person businesses could leave you in a lurch. If something fails, they may conveniently disappear and not be around to fix it, or they might not have the manpower to get you taken care of quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioning system malfunctions in the heat of the summer.

Paying a little bit more for a larger, more reputable and reliable company can come with advantages that help provide you with more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind that they’ll be there in the future if you ever need them again.

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

With the government ending the making of R-22, many people are seeing the price of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like a simple fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician advises you to do that, you probably want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the system is developed for, and previous to 2010, it was normally R-22. Despite 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 damage to your AC system, it could void your warranty. An invalidated warranty may cost you way more in future parts due to potential damage.

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

A lot of people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioner may think they don’t really need annual maintenance. It’s working 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 run you around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers require routine maintenance to continue your warranty, so foregoing your routine tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, which means a large payout if your air conditioning system decides to go out on the hottest day of the year.

Myth 5: Researching the contractor isn’t valuable.

It’s critical to check that you do your due diligence before picking an air conditioning service contractor, especially if you feel a particular company is pushing you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some sites don’t need a company to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You absolutely need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t end up paying for the same service multiple times.

Online reviews, testimonials from neighbors, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of company you will be offering your business to and help you decide if they are right for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all great places to start your homework. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for past customer referrals. You could have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioner technician, so invest the time and research to ensure they are the ideal company for your AC.

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

Ultimately, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature throughout the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you are gone. It typically will not take an exorbitant amount of additional energy to get your home cooled down once you arrive, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be increased or decreased from a phone or tablet so you can easily adjust the temperature cooler before arriving home, so your home is cool and comfy when you arrive. This reduces your energy throughout the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

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

Fans help cool people, they don’t truly reduce the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to run generates heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. An efficient ceiling fan can help level the temperature of the room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if nobody is beneath the fan to feel cool, all the fan is doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the AC is already on. So keep ceiling fans off when there is no one in the room and more air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats read the temperature around it to determine whether it needs to turn on the air conditioner to cool the home. Installing a thermostat in a bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once the bedroom is cooled, the system will turn off and the rest of the floor or home might be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a warm window or an appliance, it could always read the temperature as being much higher than the rest of the home really is and constantly run your air conditioner, increasing your utility bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioning system run longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really want it to be 75, then put it at 75 and it will run until it gets to that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, wasting money and energy.

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

Depending on the health conditions of the home’s occupants, and the kind of air filter you have for your air conditioning system, your air filter could need to be changed as often as every four weeks. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioner to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory conditions 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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