Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioner technician through Craigslist.

The interweb has given us a variety of choices to go to find 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 company is accredited depending on their organization’s history and practices, other websites are open to anyone wanting to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad providing their services, regardless of whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and experience.

If you choose a business or individual without having the ability to identify their qualifications and competence, it might end up costing you more over time. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the qualifications to properly fix your actual air conditioner, you might end up needing another, more experienced contractor to correct their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be great for some minor home services – it’s wonderful for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your wallet. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person operations could leave you in a lurch. If something backfires, they may simply disappear and not be around to fix it, or they might not have the workforce to get your issue resolved quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner dies in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Budgeting a little bit more for a larger, more trusted and reliable company can come with advantages that help offer you more confidence, 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: You can use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioning system.

With the government putting an end to the making of R-22, many homeowners are observing the price of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant increasing. It may sound like an easy fix to just substitute a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician gives you that advice, you likely want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the system is produced for, and before 2010, it was usually R-22. Although there is extreme decline of the production of R-22, those air conditioners are still designed for it, and replacing R-22 with a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioning equipment, it could void your warranty. A nullified warranty may cost you a lot more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

A lot of people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioner may believe they don’t actually need annual maintenance. It works just fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that a yearly AC tune- up runs you around $79 while the cost of a repair averages around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers demand annual maintenance to continue your warranty, so disregarding your routine tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, which means a huge payout if your air conditioning system decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the year.

Myth 5: Researching the contractor isn’t important.

It’s important to check that you do your homework before deciding on an air conditioner service contractor, especially if you feel a particular company is pushing you. As we said in Myth #1, some sites don’t require 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 worry about paying for the same service again.

Website 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 offering your business to and help you choose if they are best for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all great places to start your research process. And, don’t be shy to ask for prior customer references. You may have to invest your hard-earned money with your air conditioner contractor, so invest a little time and research to make sure they are the right company for your home.

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

Long-term, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature all through the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you are gone. It typically will not require an excessive amount of extra energy to cool your home once you enter, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be changed from a mobile device so you can easily adjust the temperature lower before arriving home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you enter. This reduces your energy during the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

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

Fans help keep people cool, they don’t truly decrease the temperature of the home solo. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is causing your fan to function generates heat, which can add heat to the air in the home. A good ceiling fan does help level the temperature of a room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person beneath the fan to feel cool, all the fan is doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the AC is already on. So turn off ceiling fans when there is no one in the room and more air circulation is unneeded.

Myth 8: Don’t worry about where the thermostat is installed.

Thermostats read the temperature around it to decide whether it needs to turn on the air conditioning system to cool your home. Placing a thermostat in the bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once the bedroom is cooled, the system will go off and the rest of the floor or home might be much warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a sunny window or an appliance, it might continuously think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home really is and keep running your system, upping your cooling bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Lowering your air excessively may only make your AC run longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then put it at 75 and it will run until it reaches that temperature. Decreasing the thermostat to 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, wasting money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s ok to replace your air filter once every twelve months.

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the people living in the home, and the style of air filter you use for your air conditioner, your air filter may need to be swapped out as often as every four weeks. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioning system to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call Sunbeam Service Experts today if you have any questions about your air conditioning system or to set-up your free in-home consultation.

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