Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Hire your air conditioner technician on 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 qualified. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their company history and practices, other web pages are available to anyone who wants to post an ad. Case in point, 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 experience.

If you hire a company or individual without getting to identify their qualifications and competence, it may end up costing you more in the long run. If the tech doesn’t have the skills to properly service your particular AC equipment, you may end up needing a different, more experienced technician to correct their mistakes and it could cost you multiple service charges.

Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be great for some small fixes – it’s wonderful for the local business, good for the economy, and probably even great for your pocket book. But be careful: small companies or one-person businesses could leave you holding the bag. If something bad happens, they may simply disappear and not be available to fix it, or they might not have the resources to get to you quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioning system dies in the heat of the summer.

Paying a little bit more for a sizable, more established and reliable company can come with benefits that help give you more confidence, 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 peace of mind that they’ll be there if you ever require their services.

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

With the government ending the manufacturing of R-22, many families are seeing the price of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant increasing. It may seem like an easy fix to just use a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician gives you that advice, you probably want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the equipment is developed for, and prior to 2010, it was usually R-22. Despite the extreme decrease of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioner, it could nullify your warranty. A nullified warranty may cost you way more in future parts due to possible damage.

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

Many people who are not currently having trouble with their air conditioner may believe they don’t actually need routine maintenance. It’s running fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that a yearly AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers instruct you to receive annual maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so disregarding your annual tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, meaning a big payout if your AC decides to go out on the hottest day of the year.

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

It’s crucial to check that you do your research before deciding on an air conditioner service contractor, especially if you feel a particular company is intimidating you. As we said in Myth #1, some websites don’t demand a company to be qualified to market their services. You need to know their qualifications and history so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service twice.

Online reviews, references from family, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of company you will be giving your business to and help you choose if they are ideal for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all good places to start your homework. And, don’t be scared to ask for previous customer references. You might have to invest your hard-earned money with your AC company, so invest a little time and research to confirm they are the right company for you.

Myth 6: It costs you more to turn your thermostat to a higher temperature while you’re out of your home.

Long-term, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature all through the day than to raise it 10 degrees while you’re away. It usually will not need an exorbitant amount of extra energy to get your home comfortable once you arrive, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be increased or decreased from a mobile device so you can just adjust the temperature back down before arriving home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you get home. This decreases your energy throughout the day, as well as decreasing your cooling bills.

Myth 7: Always running ceiling fans will help lower the temperature in 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 increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to function creates heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. An efficient ceiling fan could help level the temperature of the room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person beneath the fan to feel the breeze, all it’s doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the AC is already running. So leave ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and extra air circulation is unnecessary.

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

Thermostats measure the temperature near it to choose whether it needs to turn on the air conditioner to cool your home. Installing a thermostat in the bedroom will only ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once that bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will turn off and the remainder of the floor or home could be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a sunny window or an appliance, it might continuously think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home actually is and keep running your air conditioner, increasing your energy bills.

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

Turning your air down lower may only make your air conditioner run longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really feel better at 75, then put it at 75 and it will kick on until it cools to that temperature. Decreasing the thermostat to 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, costing you money and energy.

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

Depending on the health issues for the people living in the home, and the style of air filter you utilize for your air conditioner, your air filter could need to be swapped out as often as every month. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only makes your air conditioner to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

Call Wesley Wood Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today if you have any questions about your air conditioner or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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