Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your AC technician from Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has gifted us with a variety of choices to go to look for an air conditioning service technician, but beware because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a contractor is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their business history and practices, other websites are open to anyone who requests to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist allows anyone to post an ad for their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and background.

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

Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.

Contracting with small businesses can be good for some small fixes – it’s good for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your pocket book. But proceed with caution: small operations or one-person companies could leave you holding the bag. If something backfires, they may conveniently disappear and not be around to fix it, or they could not have the resources to get to you quickly, which is not what you want if your AC breaks down in the heat of the summer.

Spending a little bit more for a bigger, more trusted and reliable company can come with perks that help offer you more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified team of servicemen and women who provide you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be there if you ever require their services.

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

With the government putting an end to the production of R-22, many people are noticing the fee of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant going up. It may sound like a simple fix to just substitute a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician recommends this, you probably want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the system is developed for, and prior to 2010, it was normally R-22. Although there is extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and using a different refrigerant may not only cause harm to your AC system, it could void your warranty. An invalidated warranty could cost you a lot more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

A lot of people who are not currently having trouble with their air conditioning system may think they don’t really need annual maintenance. It’s working fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that a routine AC tune- up costs around $79 while the cost of a repair averages around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers instruct you to receive routine maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so skipping your annual tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, which means a large payout if your air conditioning system decides to die on the hottest day of the season.

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

It’s critical to make sure you do your due diligence before deciding on an AC service contractor, especially if you feel a particular company is pressuring you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some sites don’t demand a contractor to be qualified to advertise their services. You absolutely need to know their qualifications and history so you don’t have to pay for the same service multiple times.

Website reviews, referrals from family, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of company you will be offering your business to and help you figure out if they are ideal for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all great places to start your research process. And, don’t be scared to ask for previous customer references. You could have to invest your money with your air conditioner technician, so invest some time and research to ensure they are the ideal company for your AC.

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

Over time, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature over the course of the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are gone. It typically will not require an excessive amount of extra energy to get your home comfortable once you arrive, depending on variables of the home.

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

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

Fans help keep you cool, they don’t really decrease the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to operate creates heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. A well-working ceiling fan does help level the temperature of your room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person beneath the fan to feel the cool air, all you’re doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already on. So turn off ceiling fans when there is no one in the room and additional air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats measure the temperature near it to determine whether it needs to start up the AC to cool down your home. Putting a thermostat in a bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once your bedroom is cooled, the system will go off and the remaining floor or home might be much warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it could constantly think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home really is and keep running your system, raising your utility bills.

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

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

Myth 10: It’s acceptable to replace your air filter annually.

Depending on the health conditions of the people living in the home, and the style of air filter you have for your air conditioner, your air filter could need to be swapped out as often as every 30 days. Not changing the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioning system to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call Becht/Givens 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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