Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your air conditioner technician on Craigslist.

The internet has given us a variety of choices to go to look for an air conditioning service technician, but beware because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their business history and practices, other sites are open to anyone who wants to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist will let anyone post an ad providing their services, regardless of whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and knowledge.

If you choose a business or individual without being able to confirm their qualifications and capability, it could end up costing you more in the long run. If the technician doesn’t have the qualifications to properly service your particular air conditioner, you could end up needing a second, more experienced company to correct their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be good for some small fixes – it’s wonderful for the local business, good for the economy, and maybe even great for your wallet. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person companies could leave you in a lurch. If something goes wrong, they may conveniently disappear and not be around to repair it, or they may not have the manpower to get your issue resolved quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioning system goes out in the dog days of summer.

Spending a little bit more for a bigger, more reputable and reliable company can come with benefits that help provide you with more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind that they’ll be there if you ever require their services.

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

With the government putting an end to the production of R-22, many people are observing the cost of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant increasing. It may sound like a simple fix to just use a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician recommends this, you probably want to get a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the equipment is produced for, and prior to 2010, it was commonly R-22. Despite the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and using a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your AC system, it could nullify your warranty. A nullified warranty might cost you way more in future parts due to possible damage.

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

Many people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioning system may think they don’t actually need yearly maintenance. It’s running fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that an annual AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers require routine maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so disregarding your annual tune-up could cost you your warranty, which means a huge payout if your air conditioner decides to die on the hottest day of the summer.

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

It’s crucial to make sure you do your homework before picking an air conditioning service contractor, especially if you feel a single company is putting pressure on you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some websites don’t demand a contractor 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 again.

Online reviews, referrals from neighbors, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of contractor you will be giving your business to and help you choose if they are ideal for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all good websites to start your search. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for previous customer testimonials. You might have to invest your money with your AC company, so invest some time and research to confirm they are the ideal company for your home.

Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat up while you’re out of your home.

Over time, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature throughout the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you’re away. It usually will not require an exorbitant amount of extra energy to get your home cooled down once you enter, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be changed from a tablet or phone so you can actually adjust the temperature cooler before returning home, so your home is cool and comfy when you get home. This reduces your energy during the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.

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

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 causing your fan to operate produces heat, which can add heat to the air in the home. A well-working ceiling fan can 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 wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already on. So turn off ceiling fans when there is no one in the room and more air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats read the temperature near it to choose whether it needs to start up the air conditioner to cool the home. Installing a thermostat in a bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once that bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will shut 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 constantly think the temperature is much higher than the living area really is and constantly run your AC, raising your utility bills.

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

Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioning system operate longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then set it on 75 and it will kick on until it cools to that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, squandering money and energy.

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

Depending on the health issues for the home’s occupants, and the type of air filter you use for your air conditioning system, your air filter could need to be replaced as often as every 30 days. Not changing the air filter often enough not only causes your AC to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call Strand Brothers Service Experts today if you have any questions about your AC or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.

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