Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioning technician through Craigslist.

The interweb has given us a variety of places to go to get an air conditioning service technician, but beware because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau shows you information on whether a business is accredited determined by their company history and practices, other web pages are accessible to anyone who wants to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad providing their services, despite whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and background.

If you choose a business or individual without getting to identify their qualifications and expertise, it may end up costing you more in the long run. If the technician doesn’t have the qualifications to properly repair your specific air conditioner, you may end up needing a second, more experienced technician to correct their mistakes and end up paying multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Hiring small businesses can be wonderful for some minor home services – it’s good for the local business, great for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your wallet. But beware: small companies or one-person companies could leave you in a lurch. If something backfires, they may merely disappear and not be available to rectify the situation, or they could not have the resources to get you taken care of 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 established and reliable company can come with benefits that help offer you more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality 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 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 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 less expensive refrigerant, but if an AC service technician advises you to do that, you likely want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the equipment is produced for, and before 2010, it was usually R-22. Although there is extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems 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 a lot more in future parts due to potential 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 actually 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. Also, most manufacturers instruct you to receive routine maintenance to maintain your warranty, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, meaning a big payout if your AC decides to die on the hottest day of the season.

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

It’s critical to ensure you do your homework before deciding on an air conditioner service company, especially if you feel a particular company is putting pressure on you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some sites don’t demand a contractor to be qualified to market their services. It’s important to know their qualifications and history so you don’t end up paying 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 company you will be giving your business to and help you choose if they are right for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all good review sites to start your homework. Remember, don’t be shy to ask for past customer referrals. You might have to invest your hard-earned money with your AC contractor, 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 up while you’re out of your home.

Ultimately, it will actually cost you more 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 typically will not require an excessive amount of additional energy to cool your home once you enter, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be increased or decreased from a mobile device so you can actually adjust the temperature back down before returning home, so your home is cool and comfy when you get home. This decreases your energy throughout the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

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 by themselves. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan operate creates heat, which can add heat to the air in the home. An efficient ceiling fan does help level the temperature of your room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone under the fan to feel cool, all you’re doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already working. So leave ceiling fans off 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 down your 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 turn off and the remainder of the floor or home could be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a warm window or an appliance, it may always think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home actually is and continuously run your air conditioner, raising your energy bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Lowering your air excessively 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 want it to be 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 cause your system to run long, squandering money and energy.

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

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the home’s occupants, and the kind of air filter you utilize for your air conditioning system, 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 exacerbate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

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

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