Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioner technician from Craigslist.

The internet has given us a variety of places to go to find an A/C system service technician, but beware because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau shows you information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their business history and practices, other web pages are available to anyone wanting to post an ad. For example, Craigslist will let anyone post an ad promoting their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and background.

If you decide on a business or individual without having the ability to confirm their qualifications and competence, it might end up costing you more in the long run. If the technician doesn’t have the knowledge to properly service your specific air conditioner, you could end up needing another, more experienced contractor to correct their mistakes and it could cost you multiple service charges.

Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be good for some minor home services – it’s great for the local business, good for the economy, and probably even good for your wallet. But use caution: small companies or one-person companies could leave you in a lurch. If something fails, they may merely disappear and not be available to repair it, or they may not have the workforce to get your issue resolved quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner breaks down in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Paying a little bit more for a sizable, more reputable 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 work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be a call away in the future if you ever need them again.

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

With the government ending the production of R-22, many homeowners are noticing the cost of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant going up. It may sound like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician recommends this, you likely want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is produced for, and previous to 2010, it was usually R-22. Regardless of the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioners are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause harm to your air conditioner, it could nullify your warranty. An invalidated warranty might cost you a lot more in future parts due to potential damage.

Myth 4: You don’t need yearly air conditioning maintenance.

Most people who are not currently having trouble with their air conditioning system may assume they don’t truly need routine maintenance. It’s operating fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that an annual AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers instruct you to receive routine maintenance to maintain your warranty, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, which means a large payout if your AC decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the season.

Myth 5: Researching the company isn’t valuable.

It’s crucial to check that you do your homework before deciding on an air conditioner service contractor, especially if you feel a single company is putting pressure on you. As we said in Myth #1, some sites don’t require a person to be qualified to advertise their services. You absolutely need to know their qualifications and history so you don’t have to pay for the same service multiple times.

Social media reviews, references from neighbors, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of business you will be offering your business to and help you choose if they are best for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all great places to start your research process. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for prior customer referrals. You may have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning contractor, so invest a little time and research to confirm they are the best company for your AC.

Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat up while you’re away from home.

Ultimately, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature over the course of the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you’re away. It typically will not require an outrageous amount of additional energy to get your home comfortable once you enter, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be increased or decreased from a mobile device so you can actually adjust the temperature lower before coming home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you get home. This reduces your energy over the course of the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep people cool, they don’t actually lower the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan run produces heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. A good ceiling fan does help level the temperature of the room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is below the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the AC is already working. So turn off ceiling fans when there is nobody in the room and more air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats measure the temperature near it to decide whether it needs to turn on the air conditioner to cool the home. Putting a thermostat in the bedroom will only make sure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once the bedroom is cooled, the AC will turn off and the remaining floor or home might be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is put near a well-lit window or an appliance, it could continuously determine the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home truly is and keep running your air conditioner, upping 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 operate longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really feel better at 75, then set it on 75 and it will kick on until it gets to that temperature. Decreasing the thermostat to 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, squandering money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s ok to replace your air filter once every twelve months.

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the people living in the home, and the kind of air filter you have for your air conditioning system, your air filter might need to be replaced as often as every 30 days. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioning system to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today to inquire about your AC or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.

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