Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your air conditioner technician on Craigslist.

The interweb has gifted us with a variety of places to go to look for an A/C system service technician, but be careful because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a business is accredited determined by their organization’s history and practices, other web pages are accessible to anyone who requests to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad for their services, despite whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and experience.

If you decide on a company or individual without being able to verify their qualifications and expertise, it could end up costing you more over time. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the skills to properly repair your particular AC equipment, you may end up needing a different, more experienced company to correct their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.

Hiring small businesses can be wonderful for some odd jobs – it’s wonderful for the local business, good for the economy, and maybe even good for your wallet. But use caution: small businesses or one-person companies could leave you in a lurch. If something fails, they may simply disappear and not be around to repair it, or they might not have the workforce to get your issue resolved quickly, which is not what you want if your AC malfunctions in the heat of the summer.

Paying a little bit more for a larger, more reputable and reliable company can come with advantages that help give you more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the assurance that they’ll be available if you need them again.

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

With the government ending the production of R-22, many families are seeing the price of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like a simple fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician advises you to do that, you may want to get a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is designed for, and prior to 2010, it was usually R-22. Regardless of the extreme decline of the production of R-22, those air conditioners are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause harm to your AC system, it could nullify your warranty. An invalidated warranty might cost you way 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 think they don’t actually need routine maintenance. It’s working 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. Not to mention, most manufacturers demand yearly maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so foregoing your routine tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, meaning a huge payout if your air conditioning system decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the season.

Myth 5: Researching the contractor isn’t necessary.

It’s crucial to ensure you do your research before choosing an AC service business, especially if you feel a specific company is intimidating you. As we said in Myth #1, some websites don’t require a company to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You absolutely need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service multiple times.

Online reviews, referrals from friends, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of business you will be trusting your business to and help you figure out if they are right for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all good places to start your research process. And, don’t be afraid to ask for past customer referrals. You may have to invest your hard-earned money with your air conditioner contractor, so invest the time and research to confirm they are the best company for your AC.

Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat to a higher temperature while you’re out of your home.

Ultimately, it will increase your bills to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature over the course of the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you’re away. It typically will not need an excessive amount of more energy to get your home cooled down once you arrive, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be increased or decreased from a tablet or phone so you can just adjust the temperature back down before arriving home, so your home is cool and comfy when you get home. This saves you energy during the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

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

Fans help cool people, they don’t truly decrease the temperature of the home solo. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to operate generates heat, which can push heat into the air in your home. A good ceiling fan can help level the temperature of the room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone under the fan to feel cool, all the fan is doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already on. So keep ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and additional air circulation is unneeded.

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

Thermostats use the temperature around it to determine whether it needs to start up the AC to cool down your home. Installing a thermostat in your bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is adjusted to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the AC will go off and the remaining floor or home could be much warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it might constantly read the temperature as being much higher than the rest of the home actually is and constantly run your air conditioner, increasing your utility bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioning system operate longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really want it to be 75, then set it on 75 and it will run until it gets to that temperature. Decreasing the thermostat to 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, wasting money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s fine to change your air filter annually.

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the home’s occupants, and the kind of air filter you use for your AC, your air filter could need to be replaced as often as every month. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioning system to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call Teays Valley Service Experts today for more information about your air conditioning system or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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