Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your AC technician through Craigslist.

The interweb has provided us with a variety of places to go to get an AC service technician, but beware because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau shows you information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their business history and practices, other websites are accessible to anyone wanting to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad for their services, despite whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and background.

If you hire a company or individual without getting to identify their qualifications and expertise, it could end up costing you more in the long run. If the technician doesn’t have the skills to properly fix your specific air conditioner, you might end up needing a second, more experienced technician to correct their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.

Hiring small businesses can be wonderful for some minor home services – it’s great for the local business, great for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your wallet. But beware: small businesses or one-person companies could let you down. If something backfires, they may merely disappear and not be available to rectify the situation, or they could not have the resources to get your issue resolved quickly, which is not what you want if your AC goes out in the dog days of summer.

Paying a little bit more for a bigger, 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 work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind that they’ll be a call away in the future if you ever need them again.

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 cost of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an AC service technician advises you to do that, you likely want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the equipment is designed for, and before 2010, it was usually R-22. Despite the extreme decrease of the production of R-22, those air conditioners are still designed for it, and replacing R-22 with a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your air conditioner, it could nullify your warranty. A nullified warranty may cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to possible damage.

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

Many people who aren’t having trouble with their AC may assume they don’t really need annual maintenance. It’s working fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that a yearly AC tune- up runs you around $79 while the cost of a repair averages around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers instruct you to receive routine maintenance to maintain your warranty, so disregarding your annual tune-up could cost you your warranty, meaning a huge payout if your AC decides to die on the hottest day of the season.

Myth 5: Learning about the business isn’t valuable.

It’s critical to make sure 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 discussed in Myth #1, some websites don’t demand a contractor to be qualified to market their services. You need to know their qualifications and history so you don’t have to pay for the same service multiple times.

Social media reviews, testimonials from neighbors, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of business you will be giving your business to and help you decide if they are right for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all good review sites to start your homework. Remember, don’t be shy to ask for past customer references. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning company, so invest the time and research to confirm they are the ideal company for your home.

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

Ultimately, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature over the course of the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are gone. It usually will not take an excessive amount of extra energy to get your home comfortable once you enter, depending on the home.

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

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

Fans help keep people cool, they don’t truly decrease the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is causing your fan to operate generates heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. A good ceiling fan can help level the temperature of the room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is under the fan to feel cool, all you’re doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the AC is already working. So turn off ceiling fans when there is nobody in the room and additional air circulation is unneeded.

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

Thermostats measure the temperature near it to choose whether it needs to activate the air conditioner to cool the home. Putting a thermostat in your bedroom will only make sure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is adjusted to. Once your bedroom is cooled, the AC will shut off and the rest of the floor or home may be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a warm window or an appliance, it might always think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home truly is and continuously run your air conditioner, raising your cooling bills.

Myth 9: Lowering your thermostat way low will help it cool more quickly.

Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioner work longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really would be more comfortable 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 cool to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, squandering money and energy.

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

Depending on the health conditions of the home’s occupants, and the kind of air filter you utilize for your AC, your air filter could need to be swapped out as often as every four weeks. Not changing the air filter often enough not only makes your air conditioner to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Atmostemp Service Experts today if you have any questions about your air conditioner or to set-up your free in-home consultation.

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