Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your AC technician from Craigslist.

The interweb has gifted us with a variety of choices to go to find an air conditioning service technician, but beware because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a company is accredited 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 for their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and experience.

If you decide on a company or individual without being able 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 conditioner, you may end up needing another, more experienced company to fix 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 minor home services – 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 simply disappear and not be around to rectify the situation, or they may not have the manpower to get your issue resolved quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioning system breaks down in the dog days of summer.

Paying a little bit more for a bigger, more established and reliable company can come with benefits that help give you more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified work force that gives 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 AC.

With the government ending the making of R-22, many families are observing the price of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant increasing. It may sound like an easy fix to just use a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an AC service technician advises you to do that, you probably want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the system 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 harm to your AC system, it could void your warranty. An invalidated 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 think they don’t actually need routine maintenance. It works just fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that a routine AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers demand routine maintenance to continue your warranty, so foregoing your routine tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, meaning a large payout if your air conditioner decides to go out on the hottest day of the year.

Myth 5: Researching the contractor isn’t necessary.

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

Website reviews, references from friends, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand 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 great places to start your research process. And, don’t be scared to ask for previous customer referrals. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your AC contractor, so invest some time and research to confirm they are the best company for your home.

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

Long-term, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature all through the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are gone. It typically will not take an exorbitant amount of additional energy to cool your home once you enter, depending on the home.

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

Nest Thermostat

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

Fans help keep you cool, they don’t actually lower the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan function produces heat, which can push heat into the air in the home. An efficient ceiling fan can help level the temperature of your room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone beneath the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the AC is already on. So leave ceiling fans off 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 around it to decide whether it needs to start up the AC to cool down your home. Placing a thermostat in your bedroom will only ensure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once the bedroom is cooled, the AC will go off and the remaining floor or home may be much warmer. If the thermostat is put near a sunny window or an appliance, it may always think the temperature is much higher than the home actually is and keep running your system, increasing your cooling bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioning system run longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really want it to be 75, then set it to 75 and it will run until it gets to that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 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 fine to swap out your air filter once a year.

Depending on the health conditions of the people living in the home, and the type of air filter you utilize for your air conditioning system, your air filter might need to be replaced as often as every four weeks. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioning system to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call Comfortech Service Experts today for more information about your air conditioner or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.

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