Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your air conditioner technician on Craigslist.

The internet has given us a variety of choices to go to find an A/C system service technician, but be careful because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau shows you information on whether a business is accredited based on their organization’s history and practices, other websites are accessible to anyone who requests to post an ad. For example, Craigslist allows anyone to post an ad promoting their services, regardless of whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and experience.

If you hire a company or individual without getting to verify their qualifications and competence, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the technician doesn’t have the qualifications to properly service your particular air conditioner, you could end up needing another, more experienced contractor to repair their mistakes and it could cost you 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 great for your pocket book. But use caution: small companies or one-person companies could leave you in a lurch. If something bad happens, they may conveniently disappear and not be around to fix it, or they may not have the workforce to get to you quickly, which is a problem 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 provide you with more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality 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 stopping the manufacturing of R-22, many families are noticing the cost of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like an easy fix to just use a different and cheaper 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 system is developed for, and before 2010, it was commonly R-22. Although there is 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 damage to your AC system, 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 yearly AC maintenance.

Many people who aren’t having 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 a yearly AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers demand routine maintenance to continue your warranty, so foregoing your annual tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, resulting in a big payout if your AC decides to die on the hottest day of the summer.

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

It’s critical to make sure you do your research before picking an air conditioner service contractor, especially if you feel a specific company is intimidating you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some domains don’t demand a person 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 family, and an a high 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 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 ensure they are the right company for your AC.

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

Over time, 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 take an outrageous amount of more energy to get your home comfortable once you enter, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be changed 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.

nest thermostat

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 (similar to refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan function creates heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. An efficient ceiling fan can help level the temperature of a room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone under the fan to feel the cool air, all it’s doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already running. So turn off ceiling fans when there is nobody in the room and additional air circulation is unneeded.

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

Thermostats use the temperature near it to decide whether it needs to start up the air conditioner to cool down your home. Installing a thermostat in the bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the AC will go off and the rest of the floor or home could be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a warm window or an appliance, it could always read the temperature as being much higher than the rest of the home truly is and continuously run your system, raising your energy bills.

thermostat

Myth 9: Excessively lowering your thermostat will help it cool more quickly.

Lowering your air excessively 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 the health conditions of the home’s occupants, and the type of air filter you have for your AC, your air filter may need to be swapped out as often as every four weeks. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only makes your air conditioner to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

Call Stevenson Service Experts today if you have any questions about your AC or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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