Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Hire your AC technician on Craigslist.

The internet has given us a variety of places to go to get an air conditioning service technician, but beware because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their company history and practices, other web pages are open to anyone who wants to post an ad. For instance, Craigslist will let anyone post an ad providing their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and knowledge.

If you decide on a contractor or individual without being able to identify their qualifications and skill set, it could end up costing you more in the long run. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the knowledge to properly service your actual air conditioner, you could end up needing another, more experienced contractor to fix their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Choosing a small business is better.

Hiring small businesses can be wonderful for some odd jobs – it’s wonderful for the local business, good for the economy, and maybe even good for your bank account. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person operations could leave you holding the bag. If something backfires, they may simply disappear and not be around to rectify the situation, or they might not have the manpower to get your issue resolved quickly, which is not what you want if your AC breaks down in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Spending a little bit more for a bigger, more established and reliable company can come with advantages that help give you more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the assurance that they’ll be a call away if you need them again.

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

With the government discontinuing the making of R-22, many families are observing the cost of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant increasing. It may seem like a simple fix to just substitute a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician gives you that advice, you probably want to get a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the equipment is designed for, and prior to 2010, it was commonly R-22. Regardless of the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your AC system, it could nullify your warranty. A nullified warranty may cost you way more in future parts due to potential damage.

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

Many people who are not currently having trouble with their air conditioner may believe they don’t really need routine maintenance. It’s operating fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that an annual AC tune- up is priced around $79 while repairs will run you around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers demand yearly maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so skipping your routine tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, which means a big payout if your air conditioner decides to die on the hottest day of the season.

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

It’s critical to check that you do your homework before deciding on an air conditioner service contractor, especially if you feel a single company is pressuring you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some sites don’t require a contractor to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You absolutely need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t end up paying for the same service twice.

Online reviews, testimonials from friends, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of company you will be giving your business to and help you figure out if they are ideal for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all good websites to start your homework. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for past customer references. You may have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioner company, so invest the time and research to make sure they are the right company for you.

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

Over time, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature all through the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are gone. It normally will not require an excessive amount of more energy to get your home comfortable once you arrive, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be increased or decreased from a phone or tablet so you can simply adjust the temperature cooler before returning home, so your home is cool and comfy when you enter. This decreases your energy throughout the day, as well as saving you money on 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 actually reduce the temperature of the home solo. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is making your fan run creates heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. A well-working ceiling fan does 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 cool, all the fan is doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already working. So turn off ceiling fans when no one is in the room and additional air circulation is unnecessary.

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

Thermostats read the temperature near it to decide whether it needs to start up the air conditioning system to cool down your home. Placing a thermostat in your bedroom will only make sure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once your bedroom is cooled, the system will go off and the rest of the floor or home may be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a sunny window or an appliance, it may continuously determine the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home truly is and continuously run your air conditioner, upping your utility bills.

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

Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioning system work longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 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 get to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, squandering money and energy.

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

Depending on the health conditions of the people living in the home, and the kind of air filter you have for your AC, your air filter could need to be swapped out as often as every month. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioner to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

Call R & M Climate Control Service Experts today for more information about your AC or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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