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 provided us with a variety of options to go to find an air conditioning service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a company is accredited depending on their organization’s history and practices, other websites are available to anyone who requests to post an ad. For example, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad providing their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and knowledge.

If you hire a company or individual without getting to identify their qualifications and expertise, it might end up costing you more over time. If the tech doesn’t have the skills to properly service your specific air conditioner, you may end up needing another, more experienced company to fix their mistakes and end up paying multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Working with 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 proceed with 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 malfunctions in the heat of the summer.

Budgeting a little bit more for a sizable, more reputable and reliable company can come with perks that help provide you with 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 peace of mind that they’ll be available if you ever require their services.

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 cost of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant increasing. It may seem like a simple fix to just substitute a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician gives you that advice, you may want to get a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is produced for, and prior to 2010, it was usually R-22. Despite the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your air conditioner, it could void your warranty. A voided warranty may cost you way more in future parts due to potential damage.

Myth 4: You don’t need annual air conditioning maintenance.

Most people who aren’t having 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? Except for the fact that a yearly AC tune- up costs 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, meaning a huge payout if your AC decides to die on the hottest day of the season.

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

It’s crucial to ensure you do your research before deciding on an air conditioner service company, especially if you feel a single company is putting pressure on you. As we mentioned 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 twice.

Website reviews, referrals from friends, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of contractor you will be giving your business to and help you decide if they are ideal for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all great places to start your homework. Also, don’t be shy to ask for previous customer testimonials. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning technician, so invest the time and research to ensure they are the best company for your home.

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

Over time, it will increase your bills to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature throughout the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It usually will not need an exorbitant amount of more energy to get your home cooled down once you return, 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 returning 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.

Nest Thermostat

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 add heat to 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 nobody is beneath the fan to feel the breeze, all it’s doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already running. So keep ceiling fans off when there is no one in the room and more air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats read the temperature around it to determine whether it needs to activate the air conditioning system to cool your home. Installing a thermostat in the bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once the bedroom is cooled, the system will turn 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 read the temperature as being much higher than the home truly is and keep running your air conditioner, raising your energy bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioner work longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really want it to be 75, then put it at 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 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 the health issues for the home’s occupants, and the type of air filter you utilize for your air conditioning system, your air filter might need to be swapped out as often as every month. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only makes your AC to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Parker Pearce Service Experts today if you have any questions about your air conditioning system or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.

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