Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioning technician from Craigslist.

The interweb has gifted us with a variety of places to go to get an A/C system service technician, but be careful because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a company is accredited based on their organization’s history and practices, other sites are open to anyone who requests to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist allows anyone to post an ad for their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and background.

If you choose a company or individual without being able to confirm their qualifications and capability, it may end up costing you more over time. If the technician doesn’t have the skills to properly service your particular AC equipment, you might end up needing another, more experienced contractor 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 great for some odd jobs – it’s great for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your wallet. But proceed with caution: small operations or one-person businesses could leave you in a lurch. If something bad happens, they may conveniently disappear and not be around to fix it, or they may not have the manpower to get you taken care of quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner goes out in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Budgeting a little bit more for a sizable, more trusted and reliable company can come with advantages that help give you more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be available if you need them again.

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

With the government putting an end to the making of R-22, many homeowners are noticing the price of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant increasing. It may sound like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician advises you to do that, you probably want to get a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is developed for, and prior to 2010, it was normally R-22. Although there is extreme decline 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 harm to your AC system, it could nullify your warranty. A voided warranty could cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to possible damage.

Myth 4: You don’t need yearly air conditioning maintenance.

Most people who aren’t having trouble with their AC may assume they don’t actually need annual maintenance. It’s operating fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that a yearly AC tune- up is priced around $79 while the cost of a repair averages around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers instruct you to receive annual maintenance to maintain your warranty, so foregoing your annual tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, which means a large payout if your AC decides to die on the hottest day of the year.

Myth 5: Researching the company isn’t necessary.

It’s critical to check that you do your research before choosing an air conditioning service business, especially if you feel a single company is pressuring you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some domains don’t need a company to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You absolutely need to know who you’re working with so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service again.

Website reviews, referrals from family, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of company you will be trusting your business to and help you figure out if they are right for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all good websites to start your search. Remember, don’t be scared to ask for previous customer references. You may have to invest your money with your AC contractor, so invest the time and research to make sure they are the right company for your home.

Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat to a higher temperature while you’re not at home.

Over time, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature throughout the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you’re away. It normally will not need an outrageous amount of extra energy to get your home comfortable once you enter, depending on the home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be increased or decreased from a mobile device so you can easily adjust the temperature lower before returning home, so your home is nice and comfy when you arrive. 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 really decrease the temperature of the home solo. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is causing your fan to run produces heat, which can add heat to the air in your home. A well-working ceiling fan can help level the temperature of the room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if nobody is below the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already on. So leave ceiling fans off when there is no one in the room and more air circulation is unnecessary.

Myth 8: Don’t worry about where the thermostat is installed.

Thermostats measure the temperature near it to determine whether it needs to start up the AC to cool the home. Installing a thermostat in your bedroom will only ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the AC will turn off and the remainder of the floor or home might be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a sunny window or an appliance, it might constantly read the temperature as being much higher than the rest of the home truly is and continuously run your AC, upping your cooling bills.

Thermostat screen

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

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

Myth 10: It’s acceptable to replace your air filter annually.

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the people living in the home, and the style of air filter you use for your air conditioning system, your air filter could need to be replaced as often as every four weeks. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only causes your AC to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

Call Orangutan Home Services today for more information about your air conditioning system or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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