Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your air conditioning technician on Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has provided us with a variety of choices to go to look for an air conditioning service technician, but beware because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their business history and practices, other web pages are accessible to anyone wanting to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist will let anyone post an ad promoting their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re really 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 skill set, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the tech doesn’t have the skills to properly fix your actual AC equipment, you might end up needing a second, more experienced contractor to repair 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 minor home services – it’s good 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 fails, they may conveniently disappear and not be there to rectify the situation, or they may not have the workforce to get you taken care of quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioner dies in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Spending a little bit more for a bigger, more reputable and reliable company can come with perks that help give you more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the confidence 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 production of R-22, many homeowners are noticing the price of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant going up. It may sound like an easy fix to just substitute a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician advises you to do that, you may want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the system 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 destruction to your air conditioner, it could invalidate your warranty. An invalidated warranty may 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 air conditioning system may think they don’t actually need yearly maintenance. It works just fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that a yearly AC tune- up runs you around $79 while the cost of a repair averages around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers demand yearly maintenance to maintain your warranty, so disregarding your routine tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, meaning a huge payout if your air conditioning system decides to die on the hottest day of the summer.

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 putting pressure on you. As we said in Myth #1, some websites don’t require a contractor to be qualified to place an ad for their services. It’s important to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to pay for the same service again.

Online reviews, references from family, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of company 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 research process. Also, don’t be scared to ask for past customer referrals. You might have to invest your money with your air conditioner technician, so invest a little time and research to confirm they are the right company for your home.

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

Long-term, 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’re away. It usually will not require an exorbitant amount of additional energy to get your home cooled down once you return, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be changed from a tablet or phone so you can easily adjust the temperature cooler before returning home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you get home. This decreases your energy throughout the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

Myth 7: Constantly 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 alone. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is making your fan function produces heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. A well-working ceiling fan does help level the temperature of the room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person below the fan to feel cool, all you’re doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already working. So leave ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and more air circulation is unneeded.

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

Thermostats read the temperature near it to determine whether it needs to start up the air conditioner to cool your home. Putting a thermostat in a bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once your bedroom is cooled, the system will turn off and the rest of the floor or home may be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a sunny window or an appliance, it may continuously determine the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home actually is and continuously run your AC, increasing your cooling bills.

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

Lowering your air excessively may only make your AC operate longer, it won’t get cooler 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 reaches that temperature. Decreasing the thermostat to 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, costing you money and energy.

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

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the residents of the home, and the kind of air filter you use 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 irritate 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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