Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your AC technician from Craigslist.

The internet has gifted us with a variety of choices 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 company is accredited based on their organization’s history and practices, other websites are open to anyone wanting to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad for 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 business or individual without having the ability to confirm their qualifications and competence, it may end up costing you more over time. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the knowledge to properly service your particular air conditioning system, you might end up needing another, more experienced company to fix their mistakes and end up paying multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.

Contracting with small businesses can be good for some minor home services – it’s great for the local business, great for the economy, and maybe even wonderful for your pocket book. But proceed with caution: small businesses or one-person businesses 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 malfunctions in the heat of the summer.

Paying a little bit more for a bigger, more established and reliable company can come with benefits that help offer you 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 peace of mind that they’ll be there 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 making of R-22, many homeowners are observing the cost of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant rising. It may sound like a simple 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 get a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the equipment is produced for, and prior to 2010, it was typically R-22. Although there is extreme reduction 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 void your warranty. An invalidated warranty may 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 air conditioning system may think they don’t really need yearly 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 annual maintenance to maintain your warranty, so skipping your yearly 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: Researching the contractor isn’t important.

It’s important to ensure you do your due diligence before picking an air conditioner service company, especially if you feel a particular company is putting pressure on you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some websites 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 friends, and an a good 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 best for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all good websites to start your search. Remember, don’t be scared to ask for prior customer testimonials. You could have to invest your money with your AC contractor, so invest some time and research to ensure they are the right company for your AC.

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

Over time, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature all through the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you’re away. It typically will not require an exorbitant amount of additional energy to cool your home once you arrive, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be adjusted from a mobile device so you can simply adjust the temperature back down before arriving home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you get home. This decreases your energy during the day, as well as decreasing your cooling bills.

nest thermostat

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

Fans help cool people, they don’t truly lower the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is causing your fan to function creates heat, which can put heat in the air in your home. A well-working ceiling fan can help level the temperature of a room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if nobody is under the fan to feel the cool air, all you’re doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already on. So leave ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and more air circulation is not needed.

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. Installing 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 may constantly think the temperature is much higher than the home actually is and keep running your AC, raising your utility bills.


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

Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioner work 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 run until it reaches 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, costing you money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s acceptable to change 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 use for your air conditioner, your air filter may need to be changed as often as every 30 days. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only means for your AC to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Stevenson Service Experts today to inquire about your AC or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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