Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Hire your AC technician from Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has given us a variety of places to go to find an AC service technician, but be careful because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a business is accredited depending on their organization’s history and practices, other web pages are accessible to anyone who wants to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist allows anyone to post an ad for their services, regardless of whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and knowledge.

If you choose a company or individual without being able to verify their qualifications and capability, it may end up costing you more in the long run. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the knowledge to properly repair your particular AC equipment, you might end up needing another, more experienced contractor to fix their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.

Hiring small businesses can be great for some minor home services – it’s wonderful for the local business, great for the economy, and likely even great for your pocket book. But use caution: small operations or one-person businesses could leave you in a lurch. If something bad happens, they may simply disappear and not be around to repair it, or they may not have the resources to get to you quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioner dies in the dog days of summer.

Spending a little bit more for a larger, more trusted and reliable company can come with perks that help give you more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality workmanship, a large certified team of servicemen and women who provide you service 24/7/365, and the assurance that they’ll be a call away if you ever require their services.

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

With the government discontinuing the making of R-22, many families are seeing the fee of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant rising. It may sound like a simple fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician advises you to do that, you probably want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the system is produced for, and before 2010, it was usually R-22. Regardless of the extreme decrease of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and replacing R-22 with a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioner, it could invalidate your warranty. A nullified warranty could cost you way more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

Many people who are not currently having trouble with their air conditioning system may believe they don’t truly need annual maintenance. It’s working fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that a routine AC tune- up is priced around $79 while the cost of a repair averages around $500. Also, most manufacturers instruct you to receive yearly maintenance to continue your warranty, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, meaning a huge payout if your air conditioning system decides to die on the hottest day of the summer.

Myth 5: Researching the business isn’t important.

It’s critical to check that you do your due diligence before deciding on an air conditioner service company, especially if you feel a single company is pushing you. As we said in Myth #1, some sites don’t need a contractor to be qualified to market their services. It’s important 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, testimonials from family, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of contractor you will be giving your business to and help you choose if they are best for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all wonderful websites to start your homework. Remember, don’t be shy to ask for prior customer referrals. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your AC contractor, so invest the time and research to make sure they are the best company for you.

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

Over time, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature over the course of the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are gone. It usually will not take an exorbitant amount of extra energy to get your home cooled down once you arrive, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be changed from a mobile device so you can easily adjust the temperature lower before coming home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you enter. This decreases your energy during the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

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

Fans help keep you cool, they don’t truly decrease the temperature of the home solo. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan operate creates heat, which can push heat into the air in your family’s home. An efficient ceiling fan does help level the temperature of your room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person beneath the fan to feel the cool air, all you’re doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the AC is already working. So turn off ceiling fans when there is no one in the room and additional air circulation is not needed.

Myth 8: Don’t worry about where the thermostat is installed.

Thermostats measure the temperature surrounding it to choose whether it needs to activate the air conditioner to cool the home. Installing a thermostat in your bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is adjusted to. Once your bedroom is cooled, the system will turn off and the rest of the floor or home may be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is put near a well-lit window or an appliance, it might continuously determine the temperature is much higher than the living area really is and keep running your system, upping your utility bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioner run longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really feel better at 75, then set it on 75 and it will kick on until it cools to that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, squandering money and energy.

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

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the residents of the home, and the type of air filter you utilize for your air conditioning system, your air filter could need to be replaced as often as every month. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only causes your AC to work harder and lower 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 air conditioning system or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.