Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioning technician through Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has provided us with a variety of places to go to get an AC service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau shows you information on whether a contractor is accredited based on their company history and practices, other websites are available to anyone who requests to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad providing their services, despite whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and experience.

If you choose a business or individual without being able to identify their qualifications and capability, it might end up costing you more ultimately. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the qualifications to properly service your particular AC equipment, you may end up needing a second, more experienced contractor to correct 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 small fixes – it’s great for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your bank account. But beware: small companies or one-person businesses could let you down. If something backfires, they may simply disappear and not be available to repair it, or they may not have the resources to get to you quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner breaks down in the heat of the summer.

Spending a little bit more for a sizable, more reputable 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 team of servicemen and women who provide you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be available if you need them again.

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

With the government putting an end to the manufacturing of R-22, many people are seeing the cost of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant going up. It may seem like a simple fix to just use a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician gives you that advice, you likely want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the system is produced for, and before 2010, it was typically R-22. Regardless of the extreme decrease 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 air conditioner, it could void your warranty. A voided warranty might cost you a lot more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

Many people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioner may assume they don’t really need yearly maintenance. It’s running fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that a yearly AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Also, most manufacturers demand yearly maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so foregoing your routine tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, resulting in a big payout if your air conditioner decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the season.

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

It’s crucial to check that you do your due diligence before picking an AC service company, especially if you feel a single company is intimidating you. As we said in Myth #1, some domains don’t need a contractor to be qualified to market their services. It’s important to know their qualifications and history so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service multiple times.

Social media reviews, referrals from neighbors, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of company you will be offering your business to and help you choose if they are right for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all wonderful review sites to start your homework. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for prior customer references. You may have to invest your hard-earned money with your AC technician, so invest the time and research to confirm they are the best company for you.

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

Over time, it will increase your costs 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 get your home comfortable once you arrive, depending on the home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be increased or decreased from a mobile device so you can easily adjust the temperature back down before coming home, so your home is cool and comfy when you enter. This decreases your energy during the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

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

Fans help cool people, they don’t truly reduce the temperature of the home solo. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is making your fan operate produces heat, which can add heat to the air in the home. A good ceiling fan can help level the temperature of the room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person beneath the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already working. So keep ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and extra air circulation is unnecessary.

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

Thermostats measure the temperature surrounding it to decide whether it needs to activate the air conditioning system to cool your home. Placing a thermostat in a bedroom will only ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is adjusted to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will turn off and the remainder of the floor or home might be much warmer. If the thermostat is put near a sunny window or an appliance, it could always think the temperature is much higher than the home truly is and keep running your air conditioner, raising your energy bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioner operate longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then set it on 75 and it will run until it gets to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, squandering money and energy.

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

Depending on the health conditions of the residents of the home, and the kind of air filter you have for your air conditioner, your air filter might need to be changed as often as every four weeks. Not changing the air filter often enough not only makes your air conditioning system to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

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

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