Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioner technician from Craigslist.

The interweb has gifted us with a variety of options to go to find an A/C system service technician, but beware because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their organization’s history and practices, other web pages are accessible to anyone who requests to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist will let anyone post an ad for their services, regardless of whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and knowledge.

If you decide on a business or individual without having the ability to confirm 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 fix your particular AC equipment, you might end up needing another, more experienced company to correct their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple service 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 great for your wallet. But use caution: small businesses or one-person businesses could let you down. If something fails, they may conveniently disappear and not be around to fix it, or they might not have the workforce to get your issue resolved quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioning system dies in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Spending a little bit more for a larger, more established and reliable company can come with advantages that help give you more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the assurance that they’ll be there if you need them again.

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

With the government ending the making of R-22, many families are seeing the cost of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like a simple fix to just substitute a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an AC service technician advises you to do that, you probably want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is designed for, and before 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 using 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 don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioner may assume they don’t really 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. Also, most manufacturers require annual maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so foregoing your routine tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, meaning a big payout if your AC decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the season.

Myth 5: Finding out about 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 sites don’t need a company to be qualified to advertise 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.

Social media reviews, references from family, and an a great 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 figure out if they are best for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all good websites to start your search. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for previous customer referrals. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioner company, so invest the time and research to confirm they are the right company for your AC.

Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat to a higher temperature while you’re away from 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 are gone. It usually will not need an excessive amount of more energy to get your home cooled down once you return, 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 lower before arriving home, so your home is cool and comfy when you get home. This reduces your energy during the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep people cool, 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 creates heat, which can push heat into the air in your home. A good ceiling fan does help level the temperature of your room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if nobody is under the fan to feel cool, all the fan is doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already on. So keep ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and extra air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats use the temperature around it to decide whether it needs to start up the AC to cool down your home. Putting 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 may be much warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it might continuously think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home actually is and continuously run your air conditioner, increasing your utility bills.

Myth 9: Excessively lowering your thermostat 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 put it at 75 and it will work 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, costing you money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s ok to replace your air filter annually.

Depending on the health conditions of the people living in the home, and the kind of air filter you have for your AC, your air filter could need to be replaced as often as every 30 days. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only means for your AC to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call Teays Valley Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today if you have any questions about your AC or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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