Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioning technician from Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has given us a variety of choices to go to find an air conditioning service technician, but beware because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a contractor is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their organization’s history and practices, other sites are available to anyone who wants to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad providing their services, regardless of whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and experience.

If you decide on a company or individual without getting to confirm their qualifications and competence, it might end up costing you more in the long run. If the tech doesn’t have the qualifications to properly service your particular AC equipment, you may end up needing a second, more experienced company to correct 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 great for some small fixes – it’s wonderful for the local business, great for the economy, and maybe even great for your wallet. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person businesses could leave you holding the bag. If something goes wrong, they may simply disappear and not be there to fix it, or they could not have the resources to get to you quickly, which is not what you want if your AC malfunctions in the dog days of summer.

Budgeting a little bit more for a bigger, more established and reliable company can come with perks that help offer you more peace of mind, 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 confidence that they’ll be there if you need them again.

Myth 3: It’s okay to use any type of refrigerant in your AC.

With the government discontinuing the manufacturing of R-22, many homeowners are noticing the price of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant rising. It may sound like an easy fix to just substitute a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an AC service technician recommends this, you probably want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the equipment is developed for, and prior to 2010, it was usually R-22. Regardless of the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioner, it could invalidate your warranty. An invalidated warranty might cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to possible damage.

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

A lot of people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioner may believe they don’t actually need yearly maintenance. It’s operating fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that a routine AC tune- up is priced around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers require routine maintenance to continue your warranty, so disregarding your annual tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, resulting in a large payout if your air conditioner decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the summer.

Myth 5: Researching the company isn’t necessary.

It’s crucial to make sure you do your due diligence before deciding on an AC service company, especially if you feel a single company is pushing you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some sites don’t require a person to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service multiple times.

Online reviews, references from family, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of company you will be trusting your business to and help you decide if they are best for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all great places to start your research process. Also, don’t be shy to ask for prior customer referrals. You could have to invest your money with your air conditioning technician, so invest the time and research to make sure they are the best company for your home.

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

Long-term, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature over the course of the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It typically will not require an excessive amount of extra energy to get your home cooled down once you enter, depending on the home.

A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be adjusted from a mobile device so you can just adjust the temperature back down before returning home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you get home. This reduces your energy during the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep people cool, they don’t truly lower the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is causing your fan to run generates heat, which can put heat in the air in your family’s home. A well-working ceiling fan does help level the temperature of a room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person beneath the fan to feel the cool air, all you’re 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 additional air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats measure the temperature around it to determine whether it needs to turn on the air conditioner to cool your home. Placing a thermostat in a bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once your bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will turn off and the remainder of the floor or home could be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is put near a sunny window or an appliance, it might constantly read the temperature as being much higher than the home truly is and constantly run your system, increasing your cooling bills.

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

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioning system operate longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really want it to be 75, then set it to 75 and it will run until it gets to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, squandering money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s ok to change your air filter once every twelve months.

Depending on the health conditions of the residents of the home, and the type of air filter you utilize for your AC, your air filter may need to be swapped out as often as every 30 days. 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 conditions like common allergy symptoms.

Call Jack Nelson Service Experts today to inquire about your AC or to set-up your free in-home consultation.

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