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Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Hire your air conditioner technician through Craigslist.

The interweb has provided us with a variety of options to go to find an air conditioning service technician, but be careful because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a company is accredited depending on their organization’s history and practices, other websites are open to anyone who wants to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad providing their services, despite whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and experience.

If you decide on a contractor or individual without having the ability to verify their qualifications and competence, it might end up costing you more ultimately. If the tech doesn’t have the skills to properly repair your actual air conditioning system, you might end up needing a second, more experienced company to fix their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be wonderful for some small fixes – it’s wonderful for the local business, great for the economy, and maybe even good for your bank account. But proceed with caution: small businesses or one-person companies could leave you holding the bag. If something backfires, they may simply disappear and not be around to fix it, or they might not have the manpower to get to you quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner dies in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Budgeting a little bit more for a larger, more reputable and reliable company can come with advantages that help offer you more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be available if you need them again.

Myth 3: It’s okay to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioner.

With the government discontinuing the making of R-22, many homeowners are observing the price of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like a simple fix to just substitute a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an AC service technician recommends this, you likely want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the system is developed for, and prior to 2010, it was commonly R-22. Although there is extreme decrease of the production of R-22, those air conditioners are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your air conditioner, it could nullify your warranty. A voided warranty may 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 aren’t having trouble with their AC may assume they don’t actually need yearly maintenance. It works just fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that a yearly AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers require annual maintenance to maintain your warranty, so skipping your annual tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, resulting in a large payout if your AC decides to die on the hottest day of the year.

Myth 5: Researching the contractor isn’t valuable.

It’s crucial to make sure you do your research before deciding on an air conditioning service contractor, especially if you feel a single company is pushing you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some websites don’t demand a contractor to be qualified to market 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 multiple times.

Social media reviews, referrals from neighbors, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of business you will be giving your business to and help you decide if they are right for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all wonderful places to start your search. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for prior customer references. You might have to invest your hard-earned money with your air conditioner contractor, so invest the time and research to ensure they are the right company for your home.

Myth 6: It costs you 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 increase it 10 degrees while you’re away. It normally will not take an exorbitant amount of additional energy to get your home cooled down once you return, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be changed from a mobile device so you can just adjust the temperature cooler before returning home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you get home. This saves you energy during the day, as well as decreasing your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

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

Fans help cool people, they don’t truly decrease the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is causing your fan to run generates heat, which can push heat into the air in your home. An efficient ceiling fan does help level the temperature of the room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if nobody is beneath the fan to feel the cool air, all it’s doing is blowing through 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 unnecessary.

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

Thermostats read the temperature near it to determine whether it needs to activate the AC to cool down your home. Putting a thermostat in the bedroom will only ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once the bedroom is cooled, the system will shut off and the remainder of the floor or home may be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is put near a sunny window or an appliance, it could constantly read the temperature as being much higher than the home actually is and continuously run your system, upping your cooling bills.

Thermostat screen

Myth 9: Turning your thermostat down much lower will help it cool more quickly.

Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioner operate longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature 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 run until it gets to that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, squandering money and energy.

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

Depending on the health issues for the home’s occupants, and the kind of air filter you have for your AC, your air filter might need to be changed as often as every month. Not changing the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioner to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today if you have any questions about your air conditioner or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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