Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your air conditioner technician from Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has given us a variety of places to go to find an A/C system service technician, but beware because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a company is accredited determined by their business history and practices, other sites are accessible to anyone who wants to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad providing their services, regardless of whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and background.

If you hire a business or individual without having the ability to identify their qualifications and capability, it could end up costing you more ultimately. If the technician doesn’t have the knowledge to properly repair your particular air conditioner, you might end up needing a second, more experienced company to fix their mistakes and it could cost 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 great for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and maybe even good for your wallet. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person operations could leave you in a lurch. If something backfires, they may conveniently disappear and not be there to fix it, or they might not have the manpower to get you taken care of quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioner malfunctions in the dog days of summer.

Paying a little bit more for a larger, more established and reliable company can come with perks that help provide you with more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the assurance that they’ll be a call away if you need them again.

Myth 3: It’s fine to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioner.

With the government putting an end to the manufacturing of R-22, many homeowners are observing the price of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant rising. It may sound like a simple fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician gives you that advice, you may want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is designed for, and previous to 2010, it was commonly R-22. Regardless of the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your AC system, it could nullify your warranty. An invalidated warranty might cost you way more in future parts due to potential damage.

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

Many people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioner may think they don’t truly need yearly maintenance. It’s running fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that an annual AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Also, most manufacturers instruct you to receive yearly maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, which means a big payout if your air conditioning system decides to go out on the hottest day of the season.

Myth 5: Researching the contractor isn’t important.

It’s important to check that you do your research before choosing an air conditioner service company, especially if you feel a particular company is putting pressure on you. As we said in Myth #1, some websites don’t demand a contractor to be qualified to market their services. You absolutely need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t end up paying for the same service twice.

Online reviews, referrals from friends, and an a high 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 best for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all wonderful review sites to start your research process. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for past customer testimonials. You might have to invest your money with your AC technician, so invest the time and research to ensure they are the right company for you.

Myth 6: It costs 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 colder temperature all through the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are gone. It typically will not take an outrageous amount of additional energy to get your home comfortable once you return, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be increased or decreased from a phone or tablet so you can actually adjust the temperature back down before coming home, so your home is cool and comfy when you arrive. This decreases your energy throughout the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

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

Fans help cool people, they don’t really lower the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to operate produces heat, which can add heat to the air in your home. An efficient ceiling fan can help level the temperature of a room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is under the fan to feel cool, all the fan is doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already running. So leave ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and more air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats use the temperature around it to decide whether it needs to activate the air conditioning system to cool down your home. Installing a thermostat in a bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is adjusted to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the AC will go off and the remaining floor or home may be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a warm window or an appliance, it could constantly think the temperature is much higher than the living area really is and constantly run your AC, upping your cooling bills.

Thermostat screen

Myth 9: Turning your thermostat down much lower will help it cool more quickly.

Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioner operate longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really feel better at 75, then put it at 75 and it will work until it reaches 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 fine to change your air filter annually.

Depending on the health issues for the home’s occupants, and the type of air filter you use for your air conditioning system, your air filter may need to be replaced as often as every month. Not changing the air filter often enough not only makes your air conditioner to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call A-PLUS Service Experts today if you have any questions about your AC or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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