Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioner technician from Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has given us a variety of choices to go to find an A/C system service technician, but beware because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau shows you information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their organization’s history and practices, other websites are accessible to anyone who requests to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist allows anyone to post an ad promoting their services, despite whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and knowledge.

If you choose a company or individual without getting to confirm their qualifications and competence, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the tech doesn’t have the skills to properly service your particular air conditioning system, you could end up needing another, more experienced company to repair their mistakes and end up paying multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be great for some small fixes – it’s great for the local business, great for the economy, and likely even good for your pocket book. But use caution: small companies or one-person businesses could leave you in a lurch. If something bad happens, they may simply disappear and not be there to repair it, or they may not have the manpower to get to you quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioning system goes out in the dog days of summer.

Paying a little bit more for a sizable, more established and reliable company can come with perks that help give 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 assurance that they’ll be a call away if you need them again.

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

With the government putting an end to the manufacturing of R-22, many families are noticing the price of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like an easy fix to just use a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician advises you to do that, you may want to get 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 AC systems are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioning equipment, it could nullify your warranty. An invalidated warranty might cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to possible damage.

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

Many people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioner may assume they don’t actually need yearly maintenance. It’s running fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that an annual AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers require routine maintenance to continue your warranty, so foregoing your yearly tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, meaning a big payout if your air conditioning system decides to die on the hottest day of the summer.

Myth 5: Learning about the contractor isn’t important.

It’s critical to ensure you do your homework before picking an air conditioner service company, especially if you feel a specific company is intimidating you. As we said in Myth #1, some domains don’t demand a company to be qualified to advertise their services. It’s important to know their qualifications and history so you don’t have to pay for the same service multiple times.

Website reviews, testimonials from friends, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of business you will be giving your business to and help you decide if they are best for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all great websites to start your research process. Remember, don’t be shy to ask for prior customer testimonials. You could have to invest your money with your air conditioner technician, so invest the time and research to make sure they are the best company for your AC.

Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat to a higher temperature while you’re away from home.

Long-term, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature all through the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It typically will not require an outrageous amount of more energy to cool your home once you enter, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be adjusted from a tablet or phone so you can just adjust the temperature back down before coming home, so your home is cool and comfy when you enter. This saves you energy over the course of the day, as well as decreasing your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep you cool, they don’t truly lower the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is making your fan function generates heat, which can add heat to the air in the home. An efficient ceiling fan does help level the temperature of a room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is below the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the AC is already running. So leave ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and extra air circulation is unneeded.

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

Thermostats use the temperature around it to determine whether it needs to start up the air conditioner to cool down your home. Installing a thermostat in a bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once the bedroom is cooled, the system will go off and the remainder of the floor or home may be much warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a warm window or an appliance, it could always think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home actually is and constantly run your system, increasing your cooling bills.

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

Turning your air down lower may only make your AC operate longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really want it to be 75, then set it on 75 and it will work until it gets to that temperature. Decreasing the thermostat to 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, wasting money and energy.

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

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the home’s occupants, and the style of air filter you have for your AC, your air filter might need to be swapped out as often as every four weeks. Not changing the air filter often enough not only makes your air conditioner to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Stevenson Service Experts today for more information about your air conditioning system or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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