Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your AC technician through Craigslist.

The internet has gifted us with a variety of options to go to get an A/C system service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a contractor is accredited determined by their company history and practices, other sites are available to anyone who wants to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist will let anyone post an ad for their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and experience.

If you hire a company or individual without being able to verify their qualifications and capability, it might end up costing you more over time. If the tech doesn’t have the skills to properly service your particular AC equipment, you might end up needing a different, more experienced technician to repair their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be good for some minor home services – it’s great for the local business, great for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your wallet. But use caution: small companies or one-person operations could let you down. If something goes wrong, they may simply disappear and not be available to rectify the situation, or they may not have the workforce to get to you quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioning system goes out in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Spending a little bit more for a larger, more reputable and reliable company can come with perks that help give you more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be available if you ever require their services.

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

With the government stopping the production of R-22, many people are observing the fee of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant increasing. It may sound like a simple fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician advises you to do that, you likely want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the equipment is produced for, and prior to 2010, it was typically R-22. Although there is extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those AC systems 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 nullified warranty might cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to possible damage.

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

Many people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioning system may believe they don’t actually need yearly maintenance. It’s working fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that an annual AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will run you around $500. Also, most manufacturers demand annual maintenance to maintain your warranty, so skipping your routine tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, resulting in a big 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 necessary.

It’s crucial to check that you do your research before deciding on an AC service company, especially if you feel a single company is intimidating you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some websites don’t need a company to be qualified to market their services. You absolutely need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to pay for the same service multiple times.

Social media reviews, referrals from family, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of business you will be trusting your business to and help you figure out if they are ideal for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all great websites to start your research process. And, don’t be shy to ask for prior customer testimonials. You could have to pay a pretty penny to your AC technician, so invest a little time and research to make sure they are the best company for your AC.

Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat up while you’re out of your home.

Ultimately, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature all through the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It normally will not require an excessive amount of additional energy to get your home comfortable once you enter, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be changed from a phone or tablet so you can simply adjust the temperature back down before returning home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you enter. This saves you energy during the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

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

Fans help keep people cool, they don’t actually decrease the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is causing your fan to run produces heat, which can add heat to the air in the home. A well-working ceiling fan could help level the temperature of the room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone beneath the fan to feel the breeze, all you’re doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the AC is already running. So keep ceiling fans off when there is no one in the room and additional air circulation is unneeded.

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

Thermostats read the temperature around it to determine whether it needs to start up the air conditioner to cool down your home. Installing a thermostat in your bedroom will only ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once your bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will go off and the remainder of the floor or home could be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a warm window or an appliance, it may always think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home really is and continuously run your AC, raising your utility bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Turning your air down lower may only make your AC work longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really feel better at 75, then put it at 75 and it will run until it cools to that temperature. Decreasing the thermostat to 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, costing you money and energy.

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

Depending on the health conditions of the people living in the home, and the type of air filter you have for your AC, your air filter may need to be changed as often as every 30 days. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioner to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

Call Neal Harris Service Experts today to inquire about your air conditioner or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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