Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Hire your air conditioner technician through Craigslist.

The interweb has given us a variety of options to go to look for an air conditioning service technician, but be careful because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their business history and practices, other sites are accessible to anyone who requests to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad promoting their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and experience.

If you decide on a contractor or individual without getting to confirm their qualifications and capability, it might end up costing you more over time. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the qualifications to properly service your specific AC equipment, you could end up needing a different, more experienced technician to fix their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Contracting with small businesses can be great for some small fixes – it’s wonderful for the local business, great for the economy, and probably even great for your wallet. But use caution: small businesses or one-person businesses could let you down. If something goes wrong, they may conveniently disappear and not be available to rectify the situation, or they could not have the manpower to get you taken care of quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioning system goes out in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Paying a little bit more for a bigger, more reputable and reliable company can come with advantages 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 there if you ever require their services.

 
Myth 3: You can use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioner.

With the government ending the production of R-22, many homeowners are noticing the price of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant increasing. It may sound like a simple fix to just use a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an AC service technician advises you to do that, you likely want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the equipment is designed for, and previous to 2010, it was typically R-22. Despite the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and replacing R-22 with a different refrigerant may not only cause harm to your air conditioning equipment, it could invalidate your warranty. A voided warranty could cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

Many people who are not currently having trouble with their air conditioning system may believe they don’t actually need yearly maintenance. It works just fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that a routine AC tune- up is priced around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Also, most manufacturers require annual maintenance to continue your warranty, so skipping your annual tune-up could cost you your warranty, which means a huge payout if your air conditioning system decides to go out on the hottest day of the season.

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 pressuring you. As we said in Myth #1, some domains don’t need a contractor to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You absolutely need to know who you’re working with so you don’t have to pay for the same service again.

Online reviews, referrals from family, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of contractor you will be trusting your business to and help you decide if they are right for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all wonderful review sites to start your homework. Remember, don’t be shy to ask for previous customer referrals. You could have to invest your money with your air conditioner company, so invest a little time and research to confirm they are the ideal company for your home.

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

Long-term, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature throughout the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It normally will not take an exorbitant amount of more energy to get your home comfortable once you return, depending on the home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be increased or decreased from a phone or tablet so you can simply adjust the temperature back down before arriving home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you enter. This reduces your energy during the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep people cool, they don’t really decrease the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is forcing your fan to run creates heat, which can add heat to the air in the home. A well-working ceiling fan could help level the temperature of a room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person under the fan to feel cool, all the fan is doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the AC is already running. So turn off ceiling fans when there is no one in the room and additional air circulation is unneeded.

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

Thermostats use the temperature around it to determine whether it needs to turn on the air conditioner to cool the home. Placing a thermostat in the bedroom will only make sure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once your bedroom is cooled, the AC will go off and the rest of the floor or home could be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a sunny window or an appliance, it may always think the temperature is much higher than the living area actually is and keep running your air conditioner, increasing your utility bills.

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

Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioner 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. Decreasing the thermostat to 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, costing you money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s ok to swap out your air filter once a year.

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the people living in the home, and the kind of air filter you utilize for your AC, your air filter could need to be changed as often as every 30 days. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioning system to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

Call D & K Heating Service Experts today if you have any questions about your AC or to set-up your free in-home consultation.

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