Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your AC technician on Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has gifted us with a variety of choices to go to look for an A/C system service technician, but be careful because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau shows you information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their organization’s history and practices, other websites are available to anyone who wants to post an ad. For example, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad providing their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and background.

If you choose a company or individual without having the ability to verify their qualifications and competence, it could end up costing you more over time. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the knowledge to properly service your specific air conditioner, you may end up needing another, more experienced company to fix their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.

Contracting with small businesses can be good for some odd jobs – it’s good for the local business, great for the economy, and probably even wonderful for your wallet. But use caution: small businesses or one-person companies could let you down. If something backfires, they may merely disappear and not be available to rectify the situation, or they might not have the manpower to get to you quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioner dies in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Paying a little bit more for a larger, more established and reliable company can come with perks that help offer you 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 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 discontinuing the production of R-22, many homeowners are observing the cost of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant rising. It may sound like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician gives you that advice, you likely want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the system is designed for, and before 2010, it was normally R-22. Despite the extreme decrease of the production of R-22, those AC systems 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 potential damage.

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

A lot of people who aren’t having trouble with their AC may think they don’t really need annual maintenance. It’s running fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that a routine AC tune- up is priced around $79 while the cost of a repair averages around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers require yearly maintenance to maintain your warranty, so disregarding your annual tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, which means a large payout if your air conditioner decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the season.

Myth 5: Finding out about the contractor isn’t important.

It’s important to make sure you do your due diligence before picking an air conditioner service contractor, especially if you feel a particular company is pushing you. As we said in Myth #1, some sites don’t need 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 again.

Social media reviews, references from family, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of contractor you will be offering your business to and help you choose if they are right for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all great places to start your research process. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for prior customer testimonials. You could have to invest your money with your AC company, so invest some time and research to make sure they are the right company for your AC.

Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat up while you’re out of your home.

Long-term, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature all through the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you are gone. It typically will not take an excessive amount of extra energy to get your home comfortable once you return, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be changed from a phone or tablet so you can just adjust the temperature back down before arriving home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you arrive. This decreases your energy during the day, as well as decreasing your cooling bills.

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

Fans help cool people, they don’t truly reduce the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is causing your fan to function creates heat, which can add heat to the air in your home. A well-working ceiling fan does help level the temperature of a room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone below the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already on. So turn off ceiling fans when there is nobody in the room and more air circulation is unneeded.

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

Thermostats read the temperature surrounding it to determine whether it needs to start up the air conditioner to cool the home. Putting 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 go off and the rest of the floor or home may be much warmer. If the thermostat is put near a well-lit window or an appliance, it might continuously read the temperature as being much higher than the home truly is and keep running your AC, increasing your utility bills.

Myth 9: Lowering your thermostat way low will help it cool more speedily.

Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioner run longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really feel better at 75, then set it to 75 and it will work until it cools 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, wasting money and energy.

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

Depending on the health issues for the people living in the home, and the kind of air filter you have for your air conditioner, your air filter might need to be changed as often as every month. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioning system to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory illnesses 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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