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 options to go to find an air conditioning service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a business is accredited depending on their organization’s history and practices, other websites are accessible to anyone wanting to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad promoting their services, despite whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and background.

If you choose a business or individual without having the ability to identify their qualifications and skill set, it might end up costing you more in the long run. If the technician doesn’t have the knowledge to properly fix your actual air conditioner, you could end up needing a different, more experienced contractor 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 great for some small fixes – it’s good for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and likely even good for your pocket book. But use caution: small operations or one-person businesses could leave you in a lurch. If something fails, they may merely disappear and not be available to fix it, or they could not have the workforce to get to you quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioning system dies in the dog days of summer.

Budgeting a little bit more for a bigger, more established and reliable company can come with benefits that help give you 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 ever require their services.

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

With the government putting an end to the production of R-22, many families are noticing the cost of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant rising. It may sound like a simple fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an AC service technician gives you that advice, you probably want to get a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the system is designed for, and previous to 2010, it was typically R-22. Although there is extreme decrease 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 nullify your warranty. A voided warranty may cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to possible damage.

Myth 4: You don’t need yearly air conditioning maintenance.

Most people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioning system may believe they don’t actually need annual maintenance. It’s working fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that an annual AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers instruct you to receive annual maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so skipping your yearly tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, meaning a large payout if your AC decides to die on the hottest day of the summer.

Myth 5: Researching the contractor isn’t valuable.

It’s crucial to check that you do your homework before deciding on an air conditioning service contractor, especially if you feel a particular company is pushing you. As we said in Myth #1, some websites don’t require a company to be qualified to advertise 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 twice.

Social media reviews, testimonials from family, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of company you will be trusting your business to and help you choose if they are ideal for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all great review sites to start your research process. And, don’t be afraid to ask for previous customer testimonials. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning technician, so invest some time and research to confirm they are the right company for your AC.

Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat higher while you’re not at home.

Long-term, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature all through the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It normally will not need an outrageous amount of additional energy to get your home comfortable once you arrive, depending on the home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be adjusted from a tablet or phone so you can simply adjust the temperature cooler before arriving home, so your home is nice and comfy when you arrive. This reduces your energy during the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

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

Fans help cool people, they don’t actually 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 run generates heat, which can put heat in the air in your family’s home. A good ceiling fan could help level the temperature of your room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone beneath the fan to feel cool, all the fan is doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already running. So turn off ceiling fans when there is no one in the room and extra air circulation is unnecessary.

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

Thermostats use the temperature near it to decide whether it needs to activate the air conditioning system to cool your home. Putting a thermostat in a bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once your bedroom is cooled, the AC will turn off and the rest of the floor or home may be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a warm window or an appliance, it may always determine the temperature is much higher than the home actually is and keep running your air conditioner, increasing your cooling bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Lowering your air excessively may only make your AC operate longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really want it to be 75, then set it on 75 and it will kick on until it cools 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, wasting money and energy.

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

Depending on the health conditions of the people living in the home, and the kind of air filter you utilize for your air conditioning system, your air filter might need to be swapped out as often as every 30 days. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only makes your air conditioning system to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call Stark Services today to inquire about your air conditioning system or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.