Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Hire your AC technician from Craigslist.

The interweb has gifted us with a variety of options to go to look for an AC service technician, but be careful because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a contractor is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their company history and practices, other websites are open to anyone who requests to post an ad. For example, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad promoting their services, despite whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and background.

If you decide on a company or individual without getting to verify their qualifications and competence, it might end up costing you more ultimately. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t know how to properly repair your specific air conditioner, you could end up needing a different, more experienced company to fix their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.

Hiring small businesses can be good for some odd jobs – it’s wonderful for the local business, great for the economy, and likely even good for your bank account. But beware: small operations or one-person operations could let you down. If something goes wrong, they may merely disappear and not be available to rectify the situation, or they may not have the workforce to get your issue resolved quickly, which is not what you want if your AC malfunctions in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Budgeting a little bit more for a larger, more reputable and reliable company can come with perks that help offer you more confidence, 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 there if you ever require their services.

Myth 3: You can use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioner.

With the government stopping the production of R-22, many homeowners are seeing the cost of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like a simple fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician gives you that advice, you may want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the system is produced for, and prior to 2010, it was commonly R-22. Although there is 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 harm to your air conditioner, it could invalidate your warranty. A voided warranty could cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to possible damage.

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

Many people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioning system may assume they don’t truly need yearly maintenance. It’s running fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that an annual AC tune- up runs you around $79 while the cost of a repair averages around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers require yearly maintenance to maintain your warranty, so foregoing your yearly tune-up could cost you your warranty, meaning a huge payout if your AC decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the year.

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

It’s critical to check that you do your homework before deciding on an air conditioning service company, especially if you feel a single company is pushing you. As we said in Myth #1, some sites don’t demand a company to be qualified to market their services. You need to know who you’re working with so you don’t end up paying for the same service twice.

Website reviews, referrals from neighbors, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of business you will be offering your business to and help you figure out if they are right for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all wonderful review sites to start your search. Also, don’t be scared to ask for prior customer referrals. You may have to invest your money with your AC contractor, so invest the time and research to confirm they are the right company for you.

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

Ultimately, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature throughout the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you are gone. It typically will not require an outrageous amount of more energy to get your home comfortable once you enter, depending on the home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be adjusted from a mobile device so you can simply adjust the temperature cooler before coming home, so your home is nice and comfy when you get home. This saves you 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 actually lower the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to operate creates heat, which can put heat in the air in your home. A well-working ceiling fan could help level the temperature of the room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone under the fan to feel the breeze, all it’s doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already working. So turn off ceiling fans when no one is in the room and extra air circulation is unneeded.

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

Thermostats use the temperature near it to decide whether it needs to activate the air conditioning system to cool the home. Installing a thermostat in your bedroom will only make sure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once that bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will go off and the remaining floor or home could be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a sunny window or an appliance, it might continuously determine the temperature is much higher than the living area truly is and continuously run your AC, increasing your energy bills.

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

Lowering your air excessively may only make your AC operate longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then set it to 75 and it will kick on until it cools to that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, squandering money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s ok to change your air filter once a year.

Depending on the health issues for the residents of the home, and the style of air filter you use for your air conditioner, your air filter may need to be changed as often as every 30 days. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioner to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Strand Brothers Service Experts today to inquire about your AC or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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