Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your AC technician on Craigslist.

The internet has gifted us with a variety of options to go to find an A/C system service technician, but beware because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their business history and practices, other web pages are open to anyone who requests to post an ad. For instance, 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 experience.

If you hire a company or individual without being able to confirm their qualifications and capability, it might end up costing you more in the long run. If the tech doesn’t know how to properly repair 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: Hiring a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be good for some odd jobs – it’s wonderful for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and likely even great for your pocket book. But proceed with caution: small businesses or one-person businesses could let you down. If something fails, they may conveniently disappear and not be there to fix it, or they may not have the workforce to get you taken care of quickly, which is a problem if your AC dies in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Spending a little bit more for a larger, more established and reliable company can come with advantages that help give you more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be available in the future if you ever need them again.

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

With the government ending the production of R-22, many people are noticing the price of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like a simple fix to just substitute 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 conditioners are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioning equipment, it could invalidate your warranty. A voided warranty might cost you way more in future parts due to possible damage.

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

A lot of people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioner may assume they don’t actually 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 costs around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers demand 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 AC decides to die 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 AC service company, especially if you feel a particular company is putting pressure on you. As we said in Myth #1, some websites don’t require a company to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You absolutely need to know who you’re working with so you don’t have to pay for the same service multiple times.

Social media reviews, testimonials from neighbors, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of company you will be offering your business to and help you decide if they are right for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all great websites to start your homework. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for previous customer references. 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 costs more to turn your thermostat to a higher temperature while you’re away from home.

Ultimately, 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 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.

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 operate generates heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. A good ceiling fan can help level the temperature of your room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if nobody is beneath the fan to feel the cool air, all the fan is doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already running. So keep ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and more air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats measure the temperature around it to decide whether it needs to turn on the air conditioner to cool down your home. Putting a thermostat in the 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 remainder of the floor or home might be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a warm window or an appliance, it could always think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home really is and constantly run your air conditioner, increasing your utility bills.

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

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioning system work longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 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 get 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 people living in the home, and the kind of air filter you use for your AC, your air filter could need to be replaced as often as every four weeks. Not changing 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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