Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your AC technician from Craigslist.

The internet has provided us with a variety of choices to go to find an AC service technician, but be careful because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a contractor is accredited 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, despite whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and knowledge.

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 technician doesn’t have the skills to properly service your particular AC equipment, you might end up needing a second, more experienced company to correct their mistakes and end up paying multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be good for some small fixes – it’s wonderful for the local business, good for the economy, and maybe even good for your wallet. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person companies could leave you holding the bag. If something goes wrong, they may conveniently disappear and not be around to fix it, or they could not have the resources to get to you quickly, which is not what you want if your AC dies in the dog days of summer.

Budgeting a little bit more for a larger, more reputable 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 available 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 a simple 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 specify the exact refrigerant the system 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 conditioners are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioner, it could void your warranty. An invalidated warranty may 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 run you around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers demand routine maintenance to continue your warranty, so skipping your yearly tune-up could cost you your warranty, resulting in a large payout if your air conditioner decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the summer.

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

It’s important to make sure you do your due diligence before choosing an air conditioning service contractor, especially if you feel a single company is putting pressure on you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some websites don’t require a company to be qualified to advertise their services. It’s important to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service multiple times.

Social media reviews, references from family, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm 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 good websites to start your search. Also, don’t be shy to ask for prior customer references. You could have to invest your money with your AC technician, so invest the time and research to ensure they are the right company for your home.

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

Over time, 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 take an exorbitant amount of additional energy to get your home cooled down once you enter, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be changed from a phone or tablet so you can simply adjust the temperature lower before returning home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you arrive. This reduces your energy throughout the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

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

Fans help keep people cool, they don’t truly reduce the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan operate 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 it’s 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 additional air circulation is unneeded.

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

Thermostats read the temperature around it to determine whether it needs to activate the air conditioner to cool your home. Placing a thermostat in the 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 much warmer. If the thermostat is put near a well-lit window or an appliance, it might constantly think the temperature is much higher than the living area actually is and continuously run your AC, increasing your energy bills.

Thermostat screen

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

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 set on 77, but you really want it to be 75, then set it to 75 and it will run until it gets 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, squandering money and energy.

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

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the residents of the home, and the style of air filter you utilize for your air conditioning system, your air filter might need to be swapped out as often as every 30 days. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only means for your AC to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

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

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