Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your AC technician through Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has provided us with a variety of places to go to find an A/C system service technician, but beware because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a business is accredited depending on their business history and practices, other web pages are open to anyone who requests to post an ad. For example, 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 experience.

If you hire a company or individual without having the ability to verify their qualifications and expertise, it could 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 conditioning system, you may end up needing a second, more experienced technician to correct their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Hiring small businesses can be wonderful for some small fixes – it’s good for the local business, great for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your wallet. But proceed with caution: small businesses or one-person businesses could leave you in a lurch. If something goes wrong, they may merely disappear and not be there to repair it, or they could not have the workforce to get to you quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner malfunctions in the heat of the summer.

Spending a little bit more for a bigger, more reputable and reliable company can come with benefits that help offer you more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality 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 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 putting an end to the making of R-22, many homeowners are seeing the price of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant going up. It may seem like an easy fix to just substitute a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an AC service technician recommends this, you likely want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify 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 conditioners are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your AC system, it could invalidate your warranty. A voided warranty could cost you a lot more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

Many people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioner may think they don’t actually need annual maintenance. It’s operating fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that a yearly AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Also, most manufacturers demand routine maintenance to maintain your warranty, so disregarding your routine tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, which means a big payout if your air conditioning system decides to go out on the hottest day of the year.

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

It’s crucial to make sure you do your homework before deciding on an air conditioning service company, especially if you feel a particular company is pushing you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some websites don’t demand a person to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You absolutely need to know who you’re working with 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 choose if they are right for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all good places to start your research process. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for prior customer references. You might have to invest your money with your air conditioner company, so invest some time and research to make sure they are the ideal company for your home.

Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat up while you’re away from home.

Long-term, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature throughout the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It normally will not take an excessive amount of additional 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 mobile device so you can simply adjust the temperature lower before returning 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.

Nest Thermostat

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 (like refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan 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 your room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone under the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the AC is already on. 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 around it to determine whether it needs to activate the air conditioning system to cool down your home. Installing 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 shut off and the remaining floor or home might be much warmer. If the thermostat is put near a warm window or an appliance, it might continuously think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home really is and keep running your system, upping your cooling bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioning system operate 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 to 75 and it will run until it reaches that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 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 change your air filter annually.

Depending on the health issues for the home’s occupants, and the kind of air filter you utilize for your AC, your air filter may need to be changed as often as every four weeks. Not changing 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 today to inquire about your air conditioner or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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