Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your AC technician through Craigslist.

The internet has gifted us with a variety of places to go to look for an A/C system service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their company history and practices, other web pages are available to anyone who wants to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad providing their services, despite whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and background.

If you choose a company or individual without getting to verify their qualifications and capability, it may end up costing you more over time. If the technician doesn’t have the skills to properly service your particular air conditioner, you might end up needing another, more experienced company to correct their mistakes and it could cost 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 probably even great for your pocket book. But use caution: small companies or one-person operations could let you down. If something goes wrong, they may simply disappear and not be available to rectify the situation, or they might not have the workforce to get you taken care of quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner goes out in the heat of the summer.

Paying a little bit more for a bigger, more trusted and reliable company can come with benefits that help provide you with more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified team of servicemen and women who provide you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be a call away if you ever require their services.

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

With the government ending the production of R-22, many people are observing the cost of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant going up. It may sound like an easy fix to just use a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician advises you to do that, you likely want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the equipment is developed for, and prior to 2010, it was commonly R-22. Despite the extreme decrease of the production of R-22, those air conditioners are still designed for it, and replacing R-22 with a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your AC system, it could nullify your warranty. A voided warranty might cost you a lot more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

Many people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioner may believe they don’t truly need annual maintenance. It’s running fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that an annual AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will run you around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers instruct you to receive yearly maintenance to maintain your warranty, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, which means a big payout if your air conditioning system decides to go out on the hottest day of the summer.

Myth 5: Researching the contractor isn’t important.

It’s crucial to make sure you do your homework before picking an air conditioning service contractor, especially if you feel a specific company is pressuring you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some domains don’t demand a contractor to be qualified to market their services. You absolutely need to know their qualifications and history so you don’t end up paying for the same service twice.

Online reviews, references from friends, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of contractor 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 places to start your homework. Remember, don’t be shy to ask for previous customer references. You may have to invest your hard-earned money with your air conditioner contractor, so invest a little time and research to make sure they are the ideal company for your home.

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

Over time, it will increase your bills to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature all through the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you’re away. It normally will not take an excessive amount of additional energy to get your home cooled down once you return, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be changed from a phone or tablet so you can easily adjust the temperature cooler before arriving home, so your home is nice and comfy when you get home. This reduces your energy throughout the day, as well as saving you money on your cooling bills.

Myth 7: Constantly running ceiling fans will help lower the temperature in your home.

Fans help cool people, they don’t actually lower the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is making your fan operate creates heat, which can add heat to the air in your family’s 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 under the fan to feel cool, all you’re doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the AC is already working. So turn off ceiling fans when no one is 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 decide whether it needs to activate the air conditioner to cool your home. Placing a thermostat in your bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once the bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will turn off and the remainder of the floor or home could be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is put near a well-lit window or an appliance, it might constantly determine the temperature is much higher than the living area truly is and constantly run your AC, upping your utility bills.

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

Lowering your air excessively may only make your AC 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 set it on 75 and it will work until it cools 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, costing you money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s ok to replace your air filter annually.

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the people living in the home, and the type of air filter you have for your air conditioning system, your air filter may need to be replaced as often as every 30 days. Not changing the air filter often enough not only makes your air conditioner to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today if you have any questions about your air conditioner or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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