Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your air conditioning technician from Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has gifted us with a variety of options to go to find an A/C system service technician, but be careful because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their company history and practices, other web pages are accessible to anyone who wants to post an ad. For instance, 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 hire a company or individual without getting to confirm their qualifications and expertise, it may end up costing you more over time. If the technician doesn’t have the knowledge to properly service your specific air conditioning system, you could end up needing a different, more experienced contractor to repair their mistakes and it could cost you multiple service charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Contracting with small businesses can be wonderful for some minor home services – it’s wonderful for the local business, great for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your bank account. But use caution: small companies or one-person businesses 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 AC malfunctions in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Spending a little bit more for a larger, more established and reliable company can come with advantages that help offer you more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind 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 stopping the making of R-22, many people are seeing the fee of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant going up. It may seem like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician advises you to do that, you probably want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is produced for, and prior to 2010, it was usually R-22. Despite the extreme reduction 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 conditioning equipment, it could void your warranty. A voided warranty could cost you hundreds or thousands 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 AC may believe they don’t actually need routine maintenance. It’s running fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s 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 annual tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, resulting in a big payout if your air conditioning system decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the year.

Myth 5: Learning about the business isn’t necessary.

It’s important to check that you do your research before picking an air conditioner service contractor, especially if you feel a particular company is pressuring you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some websites don’t require a person to be qualified to advertise their services. You absolutely need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service again.

Social media reviews, references from neighbors, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of company you will be trusting your business to and help you figure out if they are right for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all wonderful websites to start your search. Remember, don’t be scared to ask for prior customer testimonials. You might have to invest your hard-earned money with your air conditioner company, so invest some time and research to make sure they are the ideal company for your AC.

Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat up 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 exorbitant amount of more energy to cool your home once you arrive, depending on variables of the home.

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

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 generates heat, which can push heat into the air in the home. A well-working ceiling fan could help level the temperature of a room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if nobody is below the fan to feel the cool air, all you’re doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already running. So keep ceiling fans off when there is no one 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 decide whether it needs to turn on the air conditioning system to cool down your home. Placing a thermostat in your bedroom will only ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once that bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will turn off and the rest of the floor or home might be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is put near a warm window or an appliance, it may continuously determine the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home really is and continuously run your AC, increasing your utility bills.

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 set on 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then put it at 75 and it will kick on until it gets to that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, wasting money and energy.

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

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the home’s occupants, and the kind of air filter you use for your air conditioner, your air filter may need to be replaced as often as every four weeks. Not changing the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioner to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for more information about your air conditioning system or to set-up your free in-home consultation.

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