Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Hire your AC technician from Craigslist.

The internet has given us a variety of places to go to look for an AC service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their organization’s history and practices, other web pages are open to anyone who requests to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad for their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and experience.

If you choose a business or individual without getting to identify their qualifications and capability, it might end up costing you more over time. If the technician doesn’t have the qualifications to properly service your particular air conditioner, you might end up needing a different, more experienced contractor to fix their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Hiring small businesses can be good for some minor home services – it’s great for the local business, good for the economy, and probably even wonderful for your bank account. But use caution: small companies or one-person operations could leave you in a lurch. If something backfires, they may merely disappear and not be available to fix it, or they might not have the resources to get you taken care of quickly, which is not what you want if your AC dies in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Budgeting a little bit more for a sizable, more reputable and reliable company can come with perks that help provide you with more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be there in the future if you ever need them again.

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

With the government stopping the manufacturing of R-22, many homeowners are noticing the price of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant increasing. It may seem like a simple fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an AC service technician advises you to do that, you may want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is designed for, and prior to 2010, it was usually R-22. Despite the extreme decrease 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 invalidate your warranty. A voided warranty may cost you way more in future parts due to possible damage.

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

Many people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioner may think they don’t really need routine maintenance. It works just fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that an annual AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will run you around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers instruct you to receive yearly maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so skipping your routine tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, resulting in a big payout if your air conditioning system decides to go out on the hottest day of the season.

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

It’s important to ensure 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 said in Myth #1, some sites don’t require a person to be qualified to market their services. It’s important to know their qualifications and history so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service again.

Website reviews, references from friends, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of contractor you will be trusting your business to and help you choose if they are ideal for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all good places to start your homework. And, don’t be shy to ask for past customer testimonials. You may have to invest your hard-earned money with your air conditioning technician, so invest the time and research to make sure they are the right company for you.

Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat to a higher temperature while you’re not at home.

Long-term, it will increase your bills to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature over the course of the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It typically will not need an excessive amount of more energy to get your home cooled down once you arrive, depending on your home.

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

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

Fans help keep people 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 forcing your fan to function generates heat, which can put heat in the air in your home. A well-working ceiling fan could help level the temperature of a room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone beneath the fan to feel the breeze, all it’s doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already on. So keep ceiling fans off when there is no one in the room and more air circulation is unneeded.

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

Thermostats measure the temperature around it to determine whether it needs to activate the air conditioning system to cool your home. Putting a thermostat in the bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once that bedroom is cooled, the system will shut off and the remaining floor or home might be a lot 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 keep running your air conditioner, raising your cooling bills.

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

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your AC work longer, it won’t get colder 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 kick on until it gets to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, squandering money and energy.

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

Depending on the health issues for the home’s occupants, and the style of air filter you utilize for your AC, your air filter might need to be swapped out as often as every 30 days. Not changing the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioning system to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Parker Pearce Service Experts today for more information about your AC or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.

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