Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioner technician from Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has given us a variety of choices to go to find an air conditioning service technician, but beware because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their company history and practices, other sites are available 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 actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and knowledge.

If you hire a company or individual without being able to verify their qualifications and capability, it could end up costing you more in the long run. If the tech doesn’t have the qualifications to properly service your specific air conditioner, you could end up needing a second, more experienced company to fix their mistakes and it could cost you multiple service charges.

Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be great for some small fixes – it’s wonderful for the local business, good for the economy, and probably even good for your wallet. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person businesses could leave you in a lurch. If something goes wrong, they may simply disappear and not be around to repair it, or they might not have the workforce to get you taken care of 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 perks that help give you 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 confidence that they’ll be there if you ever require their services.

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

With the government putting an end to the making of R-22, many people are observing the price of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant going up. It may sound like a simple fix to just use a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an AC service technician recommends this, you may want to get a second opinion.

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

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

Most people who don’t currently have trouble with their AC may assume 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 runs you around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers require routine maintenance to maintain your warranty, so skipping your yearly tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, which means a big payout if your air conditioner decides to go out on the hottest day of the year.

Myth 5: Researching the contractor isn’t valuable.

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

Social media reviews, referrals from neighbors, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of contractor you will be giving your business to and help you decide if they are ideal for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all good places to start your research process. Remember, don’t be scared to ask for previous customer testimonials. You may have to invest your money with your AC 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 out of your home.

Over time, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature over the course of the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are gone. It usually will not take 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 arrive. This saves you energy throughout 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 alone. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is causing your fan to run produces heat, which can add heat to the air in your home. A well-working ceiling fan can help level the temperature of a room and may help to cool 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 air conditioner is already on. So leave ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and more air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats read the temperature around it to choose whether it needs to start up the air conditioner to cool down your home. Putting a thermostat in the bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will shut off and the remainder of the floor or home might be much warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it may continuously think the temperature is much higher than the living area really is and constantly run your AC, raising your utility bills.

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

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 reaches that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, squandering money and energy.

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

Depending on the health issues for the people living in the home, and the type of air filter you use for your AC, your air filter could need to be replaced as often as every 30 days. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only makes your AC to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

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

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