Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioner technician from Craigslist.

The internet has provided us with a variety of options to go to get an AC service technician, but beware because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their company history and practices, other websites are open to anyone who requests to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad promoting their services, despite whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and experience.

If you choose a company or individual without being able to identify their qualifications and competence, it may end up costing you more over time. If the tech doesn’t have the knowledge to properly fix your actual air conditioner, you may end up needing a different, more experienced company 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 wonderful for some minor home services – it’s wonderful for the local business, good for the economy, and likely even good for your pocket book. But be careful: small companies or one-person operations could leave you holding the bag. If something fails, they may merely disappear and not be around to fix it, or they might not have the resources to get you taken care of quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioner dies in the heat of the summer.

Spending a little bit more for a larger, more established and reliable company can come with advantages that help offer you more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified team of servicemen and women who provide you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind that they’ll be a call away if you ever require their services.

Myth 3: You can use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioning system.

With the government putting an end to the manufacturing of R-22, many families are seeing the cost of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like a simple fix to just substitute a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an AC service technician advises you to do that, you may want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the equipment is produced for, and prior to 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 using a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioning equipment, it could void your warranty. An invalidated warranty may cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to potential damage.

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

Most people who are not currently having trouble with their air conditioner may think they don’t truly need yearly maintenance. It works just fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that a yearly AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers require routine maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so foregoing your annual tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, resulting in a big payout if your air conditioner decides to go out on the hottest day of the year.

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

It’s crucial to ensure you do your homework before deciding on an AC service company, especially if you feel a single company is putting pressure on you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some sites don’t demand a contractor to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You absolutely need to know their qualifications and history so you don’t have to pay for the same service again.

Website reviews, testimonials from family, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of business you will be trusting 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 homework. And, don’t be shy to ask for previous customer references. You could have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning technician, so invest the time and research to make sure they are the best company for your AC.

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

Long-term, it will increase your bills to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature throughout the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It usually will not require an exorbitant amount of extra energy to cool your home once you return, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be increased or decreased from a mobile device so you can actually adjust the temperature lower before coming home, so your home is cool and comfy when you arrive. This saves you energy throughout the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.

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

Fans help cool people, they don’t really reduce the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to function produces heat, which can push heat into the air in your home. A well-working ceiling fan could help level the temperature of a room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone under the fan to feel the cool air, all you’re doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already working. So keep ceiling fans off when there is no one in the room and additional air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats read the temperature near it to determine whether it needs to start up the AC to cool down your home. Putting a thermostat in a bedroom will only make sure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the system will shut off and the rest of the floor or home could be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is put near a sunny window or an appliance, it might continuously think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home really is and constantly run your AC, upping your cooling bills.

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

Lowering your air excessively may only make your AC work longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really feel better at 75, then set it on 75 and it will run until it cools to that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, wasting money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s acceptable to swap out your air filter once a year.

Depending on the health issues for the people living in the home, and the style of air filter you have 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 means for your air conditioner to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Boehmers/Cronin Emery Service Experts today for more information about your AC or to set-up your free in-home consultation.

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