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 places to go to look for an A/C system service technician, but be careful 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 company history and practices, other web pages are open to anyone who wants to post an ad. For example, Craigslist allows anyone to post an ad providing their services, despite whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and background.

If you choose a contractor or individual without having the ability to identify their qualifications and expertise, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the tech doesn’t know how to properly fix your actual air conditioner, you might end up needing a different, more experienced technician to correct their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple service 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 maybe even good for your wallet. But beware: small businesses or one-person operations could let you down. If something backfires, they may simply disappear and not be around to fix it, or they could not have the manpower to get to you quickly, which is not what you want if your AC dies in the heat of the summer.

Paying a little bit more for a sizable, more trusted and reliable company can come with perks that help provide you with 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 making of R-22, many homeowners are seeing the fee of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant rising. It may sound like an easy fix to just use a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician gives you that advice, you may want to find a second opinion.

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

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

Most people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioning system 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 runs you around $79 while repairs will run you around $500. Also, most manufacturers require annual maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so disregarding your annual tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, resulting in a large payout if your AC decides to die on the hottest day of the year.

Myth 5: Researching the business isn’t valuable.

It’s critical to check that you do your homework before picking an air conditioner service contractor, especially if you feel a specific company is pushing you. As we said 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 have to pay for the same service twice.

Social media reviews, referrals from neighbors, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of business you will be trusting your business to and help you choose if they are best for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all great review sites to start your research process. And, don’t be shy to ask for prior customer referrals. You may have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning company, 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.

Over time, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature throughout the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It usually will not take an outrageous amount of more energy to cool your home once you arrive, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be adjusted from a mobile device so you can simply adjust the temperature lower before returning home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you arrive. This decreases your energy over the course of the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep people cool, they don’t really reduce the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to operate produces heat, which can add heat to the air in your home. A good ceiling fan can help level the temperature of your room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone beneath the fan to feel the cool air, all the fan is doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the AC 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 determine whether it needs to start up the air conditioner to cool the home. Installing 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 AC will shut off and the rest of the floor or home could be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a sunny window or an appliance, it may always determine the temperature is much higher than the home truly is and keep running your AC, upping your energy bills.

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

Turning your air down lower may only make your AC work 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 set it on 75 and it will work until it gets to that temperature. Lowering 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 change your air filter once every twelve months.

Depending on the health issues for the people living in the home, and the style of air filter you utilize for your AC, your air filter may need to be changed 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 irritate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air, A Service Experts Company today if you have any questions about your AC or to set-up your free in-home consultation.

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