Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your AC technician from Craigslist.

The internet has gifted us with a variety of places to go to look for an AC service technician, but be careful because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a contractor is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their business history and practices, other sites are open to anyone who requests to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist allows anyone to post an ad for their services, despite whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and knowledge.

If you decide on a company or individual without having the ability to confirm their qualifications and competence, it could end up costing you more in the long run. If the tech doesn’t have the skills to properly repair your specific AC equipment, you could end up needing a different, more experienced technician to repair their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be good for some odd jobs – it’s wonderful for the local business, great for the economy, and probably even wonderful for your bank account. But be careful: small businesses or one-person companies could leave you in a lurch. If something bad happens, they may simply disappear and not be around to fix it, or they could not have the workforce to get you taken care of quickly, which is bad news if your AC breaks down in the heat of the summer.

Paying a little bit more for a bigger, more reputable and reliable company can come with advantages that help give you more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind that they’ll be available in the future if you ever need them again.

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

With the government ending the manufacturing of R-22, many people are observing the cost of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an AC service technician advises you to do that, you likely want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is developed for, and previous to 2010, it was normally R-22. Although there is extreme decrease 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 damage to your AC system, it could nullify your warranty. A nullified warranty may cost you a lot more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

A lot of people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioning system may believe they don’t really need annual maintenance. It’s running fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that an annual AC tune- up costs 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 routine tune-up could cost you your warranty, which means a large payout if your air conditioner decides to die on the hottest day of the season.

Myth 5: Learning about the company isn’t necessary.

It’s important to check that you do your due diligence before choosing an air conditioner service contractor, especially if you feel a single company is intimidating you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some sites don’t require a contractor to be qualified to market 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.

Website reviews, testimonials from neighbors, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of company you will be giving your business to and help you figure out if they are ideal for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all wonderful places to start your homework. And, don’t be afraid to ask for previous customer referrals. You might have to invest your hard-earned money with your AC company, so invest some time and research to make sure they are the ideal company for you.

Myth 6: It costs you more to turn your thermostat higher while you’re away from home.

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

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

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

Fans help keep you cool, they don’t really reduce the temperature of the home solo. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to run creates heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. A good ceiling fan does help level the temperature of the room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone beneath the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the AC is already on. So keep ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and more air circulation is unnecessary.

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

Thermostats measure the temperature surrounding it to determine whether it needs to start up the air conditioning system to cool your home. Placing a thermostat in your bedroom will only make sure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is adjusted to. Once the 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 actually is and constantly run your air conditioner, increasing your energy bills.

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

Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioning system work longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then set it on 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 result in your system running longer, wasting money and energy.

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

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the home’s occupants, and the type of air filter you use for your AC, your air filter might need to be changed as often as every four weeks. Not changing the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioning system to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Fras-Air/General Service Experts today if you have any questions about your air conditioner or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.

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