Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your air conditioning technician through Craigslist.

The interweb has gifted us with a variety of options to go to look for an A/C system service technician, but beware because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a business is accredited based on their company history and practices, other web pages are open to anyone who wants to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist allows anyone to post an ad providing their services, despite whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and background.

If you choose a contractor or individual without being able to identify their qualifications and expertise, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the technician doesn’t know how to properly repair your actual air conditioner, you might end up needing a different, more experienced technician to fix their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be great for some odd jobs – it’s wonderful for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and probably even great for your wallet. But beware: small companies or one-person operations could leave you in a lurch. If something backfires, they may simply disappear and not be there to repair it, or they could not have the workforce to get to you quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioning system dies in the heat of the summer.

Paying a little bit more for a sizable, more trusted and reliable company can come with benefits that help give you more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified team of servicemen and women who provide you service 24/7/365, and the assurance that they’ll be a call away if you need them again.

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

With the government ending the production of R-22, many people are noticing the fee of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant rising. It may sound like a simple fix to just use a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an AC service technician advises you to do that, you may want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the equipment is developed for, and before 2010, it was normally R-22. Regardless of the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and replacing R-22 with a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your AC system, it could nullify your warranty. A nullified warranty might cost you way more in future parts due to likely damage.

Myth 4: You don’t need routine AC maintenance.

Many people who don’t currently have trouble with their AC may think they don’t actually need routine maintenance. It’s running fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that a yearly AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will run you around $500. Also, most manufacturers demand annual maintenance to maintain your warranty, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, meaning a large payout if your air conditioning system decides to go out on the hottest day of the year.

Myth 5: Researching the company isn’t valuable.

It’s critical to check that you do your homework before picking an air conditioner service company, especially if you feel a particular company is putting pressure on you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some sites don’t need a contractor to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You absolutely need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t end up paying for the same service twice.

Social media reviews, referrals from neighbors, and an a high 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 choose if they are right for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all great review sites to start your search. Also, don’t be shy to ask for prior customer referrals. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning contractor, so invest a little time and research to confirm they are the ideal company for your AC.

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

Long-term, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature over the course of the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It typically will not require an outrageous amount of more energy to cool your home once you return, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be adjusted from a mobile device so you can just adjust the temperature lower before returning 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 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 really lower the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to run produces heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. A good ceiling fan can help level the temperature of the room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is beneath the fan to feel the cool air, all the fan is doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already working. So keep ceiling fans off when there is no one in the room and extra air circulation is unnecessary.

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

Thermostats read the temperature near it to decide whether it needs to start up the air conditioner to cool the home. Putting a thermostat in your bedroom will only ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is adjusted to. Once your bedroom is cooled, the system will shut off and the remainder of the floor or home may be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a sunny window or an appliance, it might always determine the temperature is much higher than the home actually is and keep running your system, upping your energy bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioner run 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 run until it gets to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, wasting money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s acceptable to replace your air filter once every twelve months.

Depending on the health issues for the people living in the home, and the type of air filter you utilize for your air conditioning system, your air filter may need to be replaced as often as every four weeks. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioner to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

Call Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air today for more information about your AC or to set-up your free in-home consultation.