Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Hire your AC technician through Craigslist.

The interweb has given us a variety of options to go to find an A/C system service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a business is accredited determined by their business history and practices, other sites are open to anyone who wants to post an ad. For example, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad providing their services, regardless of whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and background.

If you hire a contractor or individual without being able to verify their qualifications and capability, it could end up costing you more in the long run. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the knowledge to properly fix your particular air conditioner, you could end up needing a second, more experienced technician to correct their mistakes and end up paying multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be great for some small fixes – it’s great for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and likely even good for your pocket book. But use caution: small businesses or one-person businesses could leave you holding the bag. If something goes wrong, they may merely disappear and not be around to rectify the situation, or they may not have the resources to get your issue resolved quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner dies in the heat of the summer.

Paying a little bit more for a sizable, more trusted and reliable company can come with benefits 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 air conditioner.

With the government stopping the production of R-22, many people are seeing the price of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant going up. It may seem like an easy fix to just substitute a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician gives you that advice, you may want to get a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the system is designed for, and before 2010, it was usually R-22. Although there is extreme decrease of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your AC system, it could invalidate your warranty. A voided warranty could cost you a lot more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

Many people who are not currently having trouble with their air conditioning system may think they don’t really need routine maintenance. It works just fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that an annual AC tune- up is priced around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers demand routine maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so skipping your routine tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, resulting in a big payout if your air conditioning system decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the summer.

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

It’s crucial to check that you do your due diligence before deciding on an air conditioning service contractor, especially if you feel a single company is pushing you. As we said in Myth #1, some sites don’t need a person to be qualified to advertise their services. You need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t end up paying for the same service again.

Online reviews, references from neighbors, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of contractor you will be offering your business to and help you choose if they are best for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all wonderful websites to start your research process. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for previous customer references. You could have to pay a pretty penny to your AC contractor, so invest a little time and research to make sure they are the ideal company for your home.

Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat higher while you’re not at home.

Long-term, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature over the course of the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you’re away. It normally will not take an excessive amount of additional energy to cool your home once you arrive, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be adjusted from a tablet or phone so you can simply adjust the temperature cooler before arriving home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you get home. This saves you energy throughout the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

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

Fans help keep people cool, they don’t actually decrease the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is forcing your fan to operate produces heat, which can put heat in the air in your home. A well-working ceiling fan can help level the temperature of your room and may assist in cooling 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 AC is already running. So keep ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and extra air circulation is unnecessary.

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

Thermostats use the temperature surrounding it to choose whether it needs to start up the AC to cool down your home. Placing a thermostat in the bedroom will only ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the system will go off and the remaining floor or home could be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a sunny window or an appliance, it may constantly read the temperature as being much higher than the living area truly is and constantly run your AC, upping your cooling bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Turning your air down lower may only make your AC run 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 work until it reaches that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, costing you money and energy.

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

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the people living in the home, and the type of air filter you have for your AC, your air filter might need to be changed as often as every four weeks. Not changing the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioning system to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Freschi 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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