Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your air conditioning technician from Craigslist.

The interweb has gifted us with a variety of choices to go to find an AC service technician, but beware because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their company history and practices, other websites are accessible to anyone wanting to post an ad. For example, Craigslist will let anyone post an ad providing their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and experience.

If you decide on a company or individual without having the ability to identify their qualifications and competence, it could end up costing you more ultimately. If the technician doesn’t have the qualifications to properly service your specific air conditioning system, you might end up needing another, more experienced company to correct their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be great for some odd jobs – it’s good for the local business, great for the economy, and maybe even great for your wallet. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person businesses could leave you in a lurch. If something backfires, they may conveniently disappear and not be there to rectify the situation, or they might not have the manpower to get you taken care of quickly, which is a problem if your AC breaks down in the dog days of summer.

Paying a little bit more for a bigger, more reputable and reliable company can come with perks that help provide you with more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind that they’ll be a call away if you need them again.

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

With the government ending the production of R-22, many families are observing the cost of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant going up. It may sound like a simple fix to just use a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an AC service technician gives you that advice, you probably want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the equipment is developed for, and previous to 2010, it was commonly R-22. Regardless of the extreme decline of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioning equipment, it could void your warranty. A voided warranty could cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to possible damage.

Myth 4: You don’t need routine A/C system maintenance.

A lot of people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioning system may assume they don’t really need routine maintenance. It’s operating fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that a routine AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers require routine maintenance to continue your warranty, so foregoing your routine tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, resulting in a large payout if your air conditioner decides to go out on the hottest day of the summer.

Myth 5: Finding out about the contractor isn’t important.

It’s important to check that you do your research before deciding on an air conditioning service contractor, especially if you feel a particular company is putting pressure on you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some domains don’t demand a contractor to be qualified to advertise their services. It’s important to know their qualifications and history so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service multiple times.

Website reviews, referrals from friends, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of business you will be offering your business to and help you decide if they are right for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all good places to start your research process. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for previous customer referrals. You may have to pay a pretty penny to your AC contractor, so invest a little time and research to confirm they are the best company for you.

Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat higher while you’re not at 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’re away. It usually will not take an exorbitant amount of additional energy to get your home comfortable once you enter, depending on variables of the home.

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

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

Fans help keep you cool, they don’t really lower the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is causing your fan to function produces heat, which can push heat into the air in your home. An efficient ceiling fan can help level the temperature of the room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if nobody is beneath the fan to feel cool, all you’re doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the AC is already on. So turn off ceiling fans when there is nobody in the room and more air circulation is unnecessary.

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

Thermostats use the temperature near it to decide whether it needs to start up the AC to cool the home. Placing a thermostat in your bedroom will only make sure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once the bedroom is cooled, the AC will go off and the remaining floor or home may be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is put near a well-lit window or an appliance, it may always read the temperature as being much higher than the home actually is and keep running your AC, increasing your energy bills.

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

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioning system work longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then set it to 75 and it will work until it gets to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, costing you money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s ok to swap out your air filter annually.

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the home’s occupants, and the style of air filter you utilize for your AC, your air filter may need to be replaced as often as every four weeks. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only causes your AC to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call Comfortech Service Experts today if you have any questions about your air conditioner or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.

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