Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your AC technician from Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has provided us with a variety of choices to go to look for an air conditioning service technician, but be careful because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their company history and practices, other websites are accessible to anyone wanting to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad promoting their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and experience.

If you decide on a business or individual without being able to verify their qualifications and skill set, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the tech doesn’t have the qualifications to properly repair your actual AC equipment, you might end up needing a second, more experienced company to repair their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be wonderful for some odd jobs – it’s great for the local business, good for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your bank account. But use caution: small businesses or one-person businesses could leave you holding the bag. If something bad happens, they may conveniently disappear and not be there to rectify the situation, or they might not have the manpower to get you taken care of quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner malfunctions in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Spending a little bit more for a bigger, more established and reliable company can come with perks that help give you more confidence, 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: It’s fine to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioner.

With the government discontinuing the making of R-22, many people are noticing the price of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant increasing. It may sound like an easy fix to just substitute a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician gives you that advice, you may want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the equipment 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 conditioning systems are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your air conditioner, it could void your warranty. An invalidated warranty might cost you a lot more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

Most people who are not currently having trouble with their AC may think they don’t really need yearly maintenance. It works just fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that an annual AC tune- up runs you around $79 while the cost of a repair averages around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers demand annual maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so disregarding your routine tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, resulting in a big payout if your AC decides to go out on the hottest day of the year.

Myth 5: Researching the business isn’t important.

It’s important to check that you do your due diligence before picking an air conditioner service business, especially if you feel a single company is pushing you. As we said in Myth #1, some websites don’t require a contractor to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You need to know who you’re working with so you don’t end up paying for the same service again.

Online reviews, references from friends, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of business you will be offering your business to and help you choose if they are ideal for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all wonderful websites to start your search. And, don’t be scared to ask for previous customer references. You may have to invest your money with your air conditioner technician, so invest some time and research to confirm they are the right company for your home.

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

Over time, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature all through the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you are gone. It usually will not require an excessive amount of additional energy to get your home cooled down once you arrive, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be adjusted from a tablet or phone so you can easily adjust the temperature cooler before coming home, so your home is nice and comfy when you get home. This decreases your energy during the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep you cool, they don’t really reduce the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is making your fan function produces heat, which can add heat to the air in the home. A well-working ceiling fan can help level the temperature of your room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person under the fan to feel the cool air, all you’re doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already working. So leave ceiling fans off when there is no one in the room and more air circulation is unneeded.

Myth 8: Don’t worry about where the thermostat is installed.

Thermostats measure the temperature around it to decide whether it needs to start up the air conditioner to cool your home. Putting a thermostat in the bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once your bedroom is cooled, the AC will shut off and the rest of the floor or home may be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a sunny window or an appliance, it might continuously determine the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home actually is and constantly run your system, raising your cooling bills.

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

Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioner operate longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then set it on 75 and it will work until it reaches that temperature. Decreasing the thermostat to 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, costing you money and energy.

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

Depending on the health conditions of the residents of the home, and the kind of air filter you have for your air conditioning system, your air filter could need to be replaced as often as every four weeks. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioner to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Finch Air Conditioning & Heating today to inquire about your air conditioner or to set-up your free in-home consultation.

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