Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Hire your air conditioning technician from Craigslist.

The interweb has gifted us with a variety of options to go to find 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 based on their business history and practices, other web pages are available 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 actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and background.

If you decide on a company or individual without getting to confirm their qualifications and competence, it might end up costing you more ultimately. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t know how to properly fix your particular air conditioning system, you could end up needing another, 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 good for some odd jobs – it’s wonderful for the local business, good for the economy, and likely even great 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 manpower to get your issue resolved quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioning system 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 work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the assurance that they’ll be available in the future if you ever need them again.

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

With the government putting an end to the making 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 advises you to do that, you may want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the system is designed for, and prior to 2010, it was commonly R-22. Although there is extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioners are still designed for it, and using a different refrigerant may not only cause harm to your air conditioner, it could void your warranty. A voided warranty could cost you a lot more in future parts due to potential damage.

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

Many people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioning system 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 runs you around $79 while the cost of a repair averages around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers demand yearly maintenance to maintain your warranty, so foregoing your yearly tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, resulting in a huge payout if your AC decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the summer.

Myth 5: Researching the business isn’t necessary.

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 mentioned in Myth #1, some sites don’t demand a person to be qualified to market their services. It’s important to know what you’re getting into so you don’t end up paying for the same service again.

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

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

Ultimately, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature over the course of the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you are gone. It typically will not require an outrageous amount of more energy to cool your home once you enter, depending on variables of the home.

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

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

Fans help cool people, they don’t actually lower the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to run generates heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. A well-working ceiling fan could help level the temperature of your room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone below the fan to feel the breeze, all it’s doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already working. So leave ceiling fans off when there is no one in the room and additional air circulation is not needed.

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. Putting a thermostat in your bedroom will only make sure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will go off and the remaining floor or home may be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a sunny window or an appliance, it might continuously determine the temperature is much higher than the home actually is and constantly run your system, increasing your energy bills.

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

Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioner operate longer, it won’t get cooler 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 kick on until it reaches that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, squandering money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s ok to change your air filter annually.

Depending on the health issues for the residents of the home, and the style of air filter you have for your air conditioner, your air filter might need to be replaced 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 conditions 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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