Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioner technician through Craigslist.

The interweb has given us a variety of options to go to find 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 sites are open to anyone wanting to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad for their services, despite whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and knowledge.

If you decide on a business or individual without getting to identify their qualifications and competence, it might end up costing you more in the long run. If the technician doesn’t know how to properly service your actual air conditioning system, you may end up needing another, more experienced company to fix their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.

Contracting with small businesses can be good for some minor home services – it’s good for the local business, good for the economy, and likely even good for your bank account. But be careful: small companies or one-person businesses could leave you holding the bag. If something backfires, they may conveniently disappear and not be available to repair it, or they could not have the resources to get your issue resolved quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioning system breaks down in the heat of the summer.

Spending a little bit more for a bigger, more reputable and reliable company can come with advantages that help provide you with more peace of mind, 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 available if you need them again.

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

With the government putting an end to the manufacturing of R-22, many homeowners are noticing the cost of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant increasing. It may seem like a simple fix to just use a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an AC service technician gives you that advice, you probably want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is designed for, and before 2010, it was commonly R-22. Although there is extreme decrease of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and replacing R-22 with a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your AC system, it could invalidate your warranty. A voided warranty could cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

Many people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioning system may think they don’t actually need yearly maintenance. It works just fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that a routine AC tune- up is priced around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Also, most manufacturers demand annual maintenance to maintain your warranty, so foregoing your annual tune-up could cost you your warranty, resulting in a large payout if your AC decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the season.

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

It’s crucial to ensure you do your homework before picking an air conditioner service company, especially if you feel a single company is pressuring you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some websites don’t require a person to be qualified to market their services. It’s important to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service multiple times.

Website reviews, references from friends, 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 choose if they are ideal for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all good places to start your research process. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for past customer testimonials. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your AC contractor, so invest the time and research to ensure they are the right company for your home.

Myth 6: It costs you more to turn your thermostat up while you’re not at home.

Long-term, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature over the course of the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are gone. It typically will not require an excessive amount of additional energy to cool your home once you enter, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be changed from a tablet or phone so you can simply adjust the temperature lower before coming home, so your home is nice and comfy when you enter. This saves you energy during the day, as well as saving you money on your cooling bills.

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

Fans help cool people, they don’t really lower the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan run creates heat, which can put heat in the air in your home. A well-working ceiling fan does help level the temperature of the room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person under the fan to feel cool, all the fan is doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the AC is already running. So leave ceiling fans off when there is no one in the room and extra air circulation is unnecessary.

Myth 8: Don’t worry about where the thermostat is installed.

Thermostats use the temperature around it to decide whether it needs to start up the air conditioning system to cool down your home. Placing a thermostat in the bedroom will only ensure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is adjusted to. Once your bedroom is cooled, the system will turn off and the remaining floor or home could be much warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it might continuously think the temperature is much higher than the living area really is and keep running 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 air conditioning system work longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then set it to 75 and it will kick on until it gets to that temperature. Decreasing the thermostat to 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, wasting money and energy.

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

Depending on the health conditions of the people living in the home, and the type of air filter you utilize for your AC, 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 aggravate respiratory ailments 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 free in-home consultation.

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