Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioning technician through Craigslist.

The internet has provided us with a variety of places to go to find an A/C system service technician, but be careful because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their business history and practices, other web pages are available to anyone who requests to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist allows anyone to post an ad promoting their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and knowledge.

If you hire a company or individual without having the ability to verify their qualifications and expertise, it may end up costing you more in the long run. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the qualifications to properly fix your specific air conditioner, you may end up needing a second, more experienced technician to fix 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 small fixes – it’s great for the local business, good for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your pocket book. But use caution: small businesses or one-person companies could let you down. If something goes wrong, they may merely disappear and not be there to fix it, or they could not have the manpower to get to you quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioner dies in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Paying a little bit more for a bigger, more established and reliable company can come with perks 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 there 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 making of R-22, many people are seeing the price of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant increasing. It may seem like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an AC service technician recommends this, you likely want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the equipment is developed for, and before 2010, it was typically R-22. Despite 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 destruction to your AC system, it could invalidate your warranty. An invalidated warranty could cost you a lot 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 conditioner may think they don’t actually need yearly maintenance. It works just fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Except for 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 require routine maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so disregarding your routine tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, which means a big payout if your AC decides to die on the hottest day of the summer.

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

It’s important to ensure you do your research before deciding on an AC service company, especially if you feel a particular company is putting pressure on you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some websites don’t demand a company 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 worry about paying for the same service twice.

Website reviews, testimonials from neighbors, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of contractor you will be offering your business to and help you decide if they are right for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all great places to start your search. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for prior customer references. You might have to invest your money with your air conditioner contractor, so invest a little time and research to make sure they are the ideal company for your home.

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

Over time, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature over the course of the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It normally will not take an exorbitant amount of extra energy to get your home cooled down once you enter, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be changed from a phone or tablet so you can just adjust the temperature back down before coming home, so your home is cool and comfy when you enter. This decreases your energy over the course of the day, as well as decreasing your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep you cool, they don’t truly decrease the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is causing your fan to run produces heat, which can put heat in the air in your family’s home. A well-working ceiling fan could help level the temperature of the room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is below the fan to feel cool, all you’re doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the AC is already running. So turn off ceiling fans when there is nobody in the room and more air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats use the temperature near it to decide whether it needs to turn on the AC to cool the home. Putting a thermostat in your bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once that bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will turn off and the remaining floor or home might be much warmer. If the thermostat is put near a warm window or an appliance, it may continuously think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home really is and keep running your AC, upping your energy bills.

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

Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioning system operate longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really feel better at 75, then set it to 75 and it will run until it cools to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, wasting money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s fine to replace your air filter annually.

Depending on the health issues for the people living in the home, and the kind of air filter you utilize for your air conditioning system, your air filter may need to be changed as often as every four weeks. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only means for your AC to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call Knochelmann Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today to inquire about your air conditioner or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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