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 places to go to find an AC service technician, but beware because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their organization’s history and practices, other websites are available to anyone wanting to post an ad. For example, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad for their services, despite whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper 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 technician doesn’t have the qualifications to properly fix your actual air conditioning system, you might end up needing a second, more experienced contractor to correct 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, good for the economy, and maybe even good for your bank account. But use caution: small businesses or one-person businesses could leave you holding the bag. If something backfires, they may conveniently disappear and not be there to fix it, or they might not have the manpower to get to you quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner malfunctions in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Budgeting a little bit more for a bigger, more reputable and reliable company can come with advantages that help offer you more assurance, 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 available if you need them again.

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

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

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the equipment is developed for, and prior to 2010, it was commonly R-22. Despite the extreme reduction 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. An invalidated warranty might cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to potential damage.

Myth 4: You don’t need routine AC maintenance.

Many people who aren’t having trouble with their AC may think they don’t actually need annual maintenance. It works just fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that an annual AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Also, most manufacturers demand yearly maintenance to maintain your warranty, so skipping your yearly 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 summer.

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

It’s important to make sure you do your research before choosing an air conditioning service company, 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 what you’re getting into so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service multiple times.

Online reviews, references from neighbors, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of company you will be giving your business to and help you choose if they are right for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all wonderful websites 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 make sure 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 over the course of the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you’re away. It normally will not require 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 simply adjust the temperature cooler before returning home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you arrive. This saves you energy during the day, as well as decreasing your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep people cool, they don’t truly decrease the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (similar to 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 the home. A good ceiling fan does help level the temperature of the room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone beneath the fan to feel cool, all you’re doing is blowing through 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 unnecessary.

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

Thermostats measure the temperature near it to determine whether it needs to turn on the AC to cool the home. Putting a thermostat in a bedroom will only ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once the bedroom is cooled, the AC will shut off and the remainder of the floor or home could be much warmer. If the thermostat is put near a sunny window or an appliance, it could continuously think the temperature is much higher than the living area actually is and constantly run your system, upping your energy bills.

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

Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioner operate longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then set it on 75 and it will run until it gets to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it cool 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 use for your air conditioning system, your air filter might need to be changed as often as every 30 days. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioner to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for more information about your air conditioner or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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