Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioner technician on Craigslist.

The interweb has given us a variety of places to go to find an A/C system service technician, but beware because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau displays 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 example, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad for their services, regardless of 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 getting to verify their qualifications and capability, it might end up costing you more ultimately. If the tech doesn’t know how to properly service your actual air conditioning system, you might end up needing a second, more experienced technician to fix their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple service charges.

Myth 2: Hiring 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 wallet. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person companies could leave you holding the bag. If something backfires, they may merely disappear and not be there to fix it, or they could not have the workforce to get to you quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioner malfunctions in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Spending a little bit more for a bigger, more reputable and reliable company can come with advantages that help offer 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 peace of mind that they’ll be a call away if you need them again.

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

With the government stopping the manufacturing of R-22, many homeowners are seeing the price of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant going up. It may sound like a simple fix to just substitute a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an AC service technician recommends this, you may want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the system is developed for, and previous to 2010, it was commonly R-22. Although there is extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your air conditioning equipment, it could void your warranty. A voided warranty might cost you a lot more in future parts due to possible damage.

Myth 4: You don’t need yearly A/C system maintenance.

A lot of people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioner may think they don’t actually need yearly maintenance. It’s working fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that a yearly AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers instruct you to receive yearly maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so disregarding your routine tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, meaning a large payout if your air conditioning system decides to die on the hottest day of the year.

Myth 5: Finding out about the business isn’t important.

It’s important to ensure you do your research before picking an air conditioning service contractor, especially if you feel a single company is intimidating you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some sites don’t demand a person to be qualified to advertise their services. You 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, references from neighbors, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of contractor you will be giving your business to and help you decide if they are right for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all wonderful review sites to start your research process. And, don’t be shy to ask for previous customer references. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your AC contractor, so invest the time and research to ensure they are the right company for your home.

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

Over time, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature throughout the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are gone. It typically will not take an exorbitant amount of more energy to get your home comfortable once you return, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be adjusted from a phone or tablet so you can actually adjust the temperature lower before arriving home, so your home is nice and comfy when you get home. This decreases your energy over the course of the day, as well as decreasing your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep you cool, they don’t actually lower the temperature of the home solo. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to operate generates heat, which can put heat in the air in your home. An efficient ceiling fan could help level the temperature of the room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is beneath the fan to feel the cool air, all the fan is doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already on. So leave ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and extra air circulation is unnecessary.

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

Thermostats use the temperature near it to determine whether it needs to turn on the air conditioner 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 set to. Once your bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will go off and the remainder of the floor or home could be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is put near a warm window or an appliance, it might continuously determine the temperature is much higher than the living area really is and constantly run your air conditioner, increasing your cooling bills.

Myth 9: Lowering your thermostat way low will help it cool more quickly.

Lowering your air excessively may only make your AC run longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really want it to be 75, then set it to 75 and it will kick on until it cools to that temperature. Lowering 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 replace your air filter once every twelve months.

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the home’s occupants, and the style of air filter you use for your AC, your air filter may need to be swapped out as often as every four weeks. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioner to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Midland Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for more information about your AC or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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