Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your AC technician from Craigslist.

The internet has gifted us with a variety of places to go to look for an A/C system service technician, but beware because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a business is accredited based on their company history and practices, other web pages are accessible to anyone wanting to post an ad. For example, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad promoting their services, despite whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and background.

If you choose a company or individual without getting to verify their qualifications and expertise, it may end up costing you more in the long run. If the tech doesn’t have the knowledge to properly service your particular air conditioner, you could end up needing a different, more experienced company to repair their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Contracting with small businesses can be wonderful for some odd jobs – it’s wonderful for the local business, great for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your bank account. But use caution: small businesses or one-person companies could leave you holding the bag. If something goes wrong, they may simply disappear and not be there to rectify the situation, or they may not have the resources to get to you quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioning system malfunctions in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Spending a little bit more for a bigger, more established and reliable company can come with advantages that help offer you more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be there if you ever require their services.

Myth 3: You can use any type of refrigerant in your AC.

With the government putting an end to the production of R-22, many homeowners are noticing the fee of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant increasing. It may seem like an easy fix to just substitute a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician gives you that advice, you may want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is produced for, and prior to 2010, it was usually R-22. Despite the extreme decrease of the production of R-22, those air conditioning 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. A voided warranty could cost you a lot more in future parts due to possible damage.

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

Most people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioning system may believe they don’t actually need routine maintenance. It’s running fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that a routine AC tune- up is priced around $79 while repairs will run you around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers instruct you to receive annual maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so foregoing your yearly tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, meaning a big payout if your AC decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the summer.

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

It’s important to check that you do your homework before picking an air conditioner service contractor, especially if you feel a particular company is pressuring you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some sites don’t need a person to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You absolutely need to know who you’re working with so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service twice.

Online reviews, referrals from neighbors, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of business you will be trusting your business to and help you figure out if they are best for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all wonderful websites to start your research process. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for prior customer testimonials. You might have to invest your hard-earned money with your air conditioner company, so invest a little time and research to ensure they are the ideal company for your AC.

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

Ultimately, it will increase your bills to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature throughout the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you are gone. It typically will not take an excessive amount of more energy to cool your home once you return, depending on the home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be increased or decreased from a tablet or phone so you can just adjust the temperature back down before arriving home, so your home is nice and comfy when you arrive. This saves you energy over the course of the day, as well as decreasing your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

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

Fans help keep you cool, they don’t actually reduce the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to function creates heat, which can push heat into the air in your home. A well-working ceiling fan could 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 the cool air, all it’s doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already on. So keep ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and more air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats use the temperature surrounding it to determine whether it needs to activate the AC to cool the home. Placing a thermostat in your bedroom will only make sure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once the bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will turn off and the remainder of the floor or home might be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is put near a warm window or an appliance, it might constantly determine the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home really is and constantly run your system, increasing your utility bills.

Thermostat screen

Myth 9: Excessively lowering your thermostat will help it cool faster.

Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioner operate longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then set it on 75 and it will kick on until it gets to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, costing you money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s ok to change your air filter annually.

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the home’s occupants, and the kind of air filter you have for your air conditioner, your air filter might need to be changed as often as every four weeks. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioner to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today if you have any questions about your AC or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.

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