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 places to go to find an AC 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 in the long run. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the skills to properly service your particular AC equipment, you could end up needing a different, more experienced technician to correct 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 good for your pocket book. But use caution: small businesses or one-person companies could let you down. If something goes wrong, they may simply disappear and not be available to rectify the situation, or they could not have the workforce to get you taken care of quickly, which is a problem if your AC goes out in the heat of the summer.

Paying a little bit more for a larger, more established and reliable company can come with advantages that help provide you with 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 available in the future if you ever need them again.

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

With the government ending the making of R-22, many people are noticing the cost 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 air conditioning service technician gives you that advice, you likely want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the system 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 damage to your AC system, 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 yearly air conditioning maintenance.

Most 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. Not to mention, most manufacturers demand yearly maintenance to continue your warranty, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could cost you your warranty, which means a big payout if your air conditioning system decides to die on the hottest day of the season.

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

It’s important to check that you do your homework before choosing an air conditioning service company, especially if you feel a single company is pressuring you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some domains don’t need a contractor to be qualified to advertise their services. You absolutely need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t end up paying for the same service again.

Online reviews, references from family, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of contractor you will be trusting your business to and help you decide if they are best 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 some time and research to confirm they are the ideal company for you.

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

Over time, it will actually cost you more 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 require an excessive amount of more energy to get your home comfortable once you return, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be increased or decreased from a mobile device so you can just adjust the temperature back down before arriving home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you enter. This saves you energy throughout the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.

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

Fans help cool people, they don’t actually decrease the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is forcing your fan to run creates heat, which can put heat in 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 below the fan to feel the cool air, all the fan is doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already running. So leave ceiling fans off 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 use the temperature around it to decide whether it needs to activate the air conditioner to cool the home. Placing a thermostat in the bedroom will only ensure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once your bedroom is cooled, the AC will go off and the remainder 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 read the temperature as being much higher than the home truly is and keep running your air conditioner, increasing your utility bills.

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

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 on 77, but you really want it to be 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 cool to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, 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 home’s occupants, and the kind of air filter you utilize for your air conditioning system, 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 irritate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

Call D & K Heating Service Experts today for more information about your air conditioning system or to set-up your free in-home consultation.

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