Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your air conditioner technician on Craigslist.

The internet has provided us with a variety of options to go to look for an A/C system service technician, but beware because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau shows you information on whether a company is accredited determined by their business history and practices, other web pages are available to anyone who wants 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 correct training and background.

If you decide on a business or individual without being able to confirm their qualifications and competence, it might end up costing you more over time. If the technician doesn’t have the knowledge to properly service your particular air conditioner, you could end up needing a different, more experienced company to correct their mistakes and end up paying multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.

Hiring small businesses can be good for some minor home services – it’s good for the local business, great for the economy, and probably even good for your pocket book. But proceed with 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 fix 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.

Spending a little bit more for a sizable, more reputable and reliable company can come with benefits that help provide you with more confidence, 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 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 AC.

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

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is produced for, and previous to 2010, it was usually R-22. Regardless of 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 air conditioner, it could nullify your warranty. An invalidated warranty may cost you hundreds or thousands 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 spend 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. Also, 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 important to check that you do your homework before choosing 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 company to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You absolutely need to know their qualifications and history so you don’t end up paying for the same service multiple times.

Social media reviews, referrals 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 right for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all good websites to start your search. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for prior customer references. You might have to invest your hard-earned money with your air conditioning contractor, so invest a little time and research to confirm they are the best company for your AC.

Myth 6: It costs 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 throughout the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you’re away. It typically will not require an outrageous amount of extra 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 nice and comfy when you get home. This saves you energy over the course of the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

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 alone. 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 add heat to the air in the home. An efficient ceiling fan does 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 there is nobody in the room and more air circulation is unneeded.

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

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

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

Depending on the health conditions of the home’s occupants, and the kind of air filter you use for your air conditioning system, your air filter might need to be changed as often as every 30 days. Not changing the air filter often enough not only makes your air conditioning system to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

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

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