Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioning technician on Craigslist.

The interweb has given us a variety of places to go to find an AC service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their organization’s history and practices, other sites are available to anyone wanting to post an ad. For example, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad providing their services, regardless of whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and experience.

If you decide on a business or individual without getting to confirm their qualifications and capability, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the skills to properly fix your specific AC equipment, you may end up needing another, more experienced technician to correct their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple service charges.

Myth 2: Choosing 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 probably even wonderful for your pocket book. But use caution: small businesses or one-person businesses could leave you holding the bag. If something bad happens, they may conveniently disappear and not be around to rectify the situation, or they may not have the resources to get your issue resolved quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioning system breaks down in the dog days of summer.

Spending a little bit more for a bigger, more reputable and reliable company can come with advantages that help offer you more confidence, 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 air conditioning system.

With the government ending the production of R-22, many families are seeing the cost of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant rising. It may sound like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an AC service technician gives you that advice, you likely want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is designed for, and prior to 2010, it was normally R-22. Despite the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and using a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your air conditioner, it could nullify your warranty. An invalidated warranty might cost you way more in future parts due to possible damage.

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

Many people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioner may believe they don’t truly need yearly maintenance. It’s running 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 run you around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers require annual maintenance to continue your warranty, so foregoing your annual tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, which means a big payout if your air conditioning system decides to go out on the hottest day of the year.

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

It’s critical to make sure you do your research before choosing an air conditioner service company, especially if you feel a single company is putting pressure on you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some domains don’t demand a person to be qualified to advertise their services. You need to know their qualifications and history so you don’t end up paying for the same service again.

Online reviews, referrals from neighbors, and an a great 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 right for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all wonderful places to start your homework. Remember, don’t be scared to ask for past customer referrals. You could have to invest your money with your air conditioning technician, so invest some time and research to ensure they are the right company for your AC.

Myth 6: It costs you more to turn your thermostat higher while you’re not at home.

Over time, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature over the course of the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It normally will not need an exorbitant amount of extra energy to cool your home once you return, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be changed from a tablet or phone so you can easily adjust the temperature cooler before coming home, so your home is nice and comfy when you enter. This saves you energy during the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.

Myth 7: Always running ceiling fans will help lower the temperature in your home.

Fans help keep people cool, they don’t actually lower the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is causing your fan to operate creates heat, which can put heat in the air in your home. An efficient ceiling fan does help level the temperature of your room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone below the fan to feel the breeze, all the fan is doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the AC is already on. So leave ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and additional air circulation is unnecessary.

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

Thermostats use the temperature near it to choose whether it needs to start up the air conditioning system to cool the home. Installing a thermostat in your bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is adjusted to. Once the bedroom is cooled, the system will go off and the remaining floor or home may be much warmer. If the thermostat is put near a warm window or an appliance, it could always determine the temperature is much higher than the home truly is and keep running your system, upping your energy bills.

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

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioning system work longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really feel better at 75, then set it to 75 and it will run until it cools to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, costing you money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s fine to replace your air filter once a year.

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the home’s occupants, and the style of air filter you use for your air conditioning system, your air filter may need to be swapped out as often as every month. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only makes your AC to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory illnesses 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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