Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Hire your air conditioning technician through Craigslist.

The interweb has provided us with a variety of places to go to look for an A/C system service technician, but proceed with caution 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 sites are available to anyone wanting to post an ad. For instance, 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 choose a contractor or individual without being able to confirm their qualifications and capability, it may end up costing you more over time. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the knowledge to properly fix your particular air conditioning system, you could end up needing a second, more experienced technician to fix their mistakes and end up paying multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.

Hiring small businesses can be good for some small fixes – it’s good for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and likely even great for your wallet. But proceed with caution: small businesses or one-person companies could leave you holding the bag. If something goes wrong, they may merely disappear and not be there to rectify the situation, or they might not have the resources to get you taken care of quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioner malfunctions in the extreme temperatures of 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 confidence 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 air conditioner.

With the government putting an end to the making of R-22, many homeowners 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 AC service technician advises you to do that, you may want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the equipment is designed for, and before 2010, it was usually R-22. Despite the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioners are still designed for it, and using a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your AC system, it could invalidate your warranty. An invalidated warranty could cost you a lot more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

Most people who are not currently having trouble with their air conditioning system may think they don’t actually 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. Also, most manufacturers require routine maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so skipping your routine tune-up could cost you your warranty, resulting in a big payout if your AC decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the summer.

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

It’s important to check that you do your due diligence before choosing an air conditioning service company, especially if you feel a single company is pushing you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some websites don’t need a company to be qualified to advertise their services. It’s important to know who you’re working with so you don’t have to pay for the same service again.

Online reviews, referrals 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. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all wonderful websites to start your search. Remember, don’t be scared to ask for past customer referrals. You could have to pay a pretty penny to your AC contractor, so invest some time and research to make sure they are the ideal company for you.

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

Long-term, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature throughout the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are gone. It normally will not take an excessive amount of extra energy to get your home comfortable once you return, depending on 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 nice and comfy when you arrive. This saves you energy during the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

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

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 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 nobody is under the fan to feel the cool air, all you’re 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: Where the thermostat is installed doesn’t matter.

Thermostats use the temperature surrounding it to choose whether it needs to start up the air conditioning system 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 on. Once the bedroom is cooled, the system will go off and the remaining floor or home could be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a sunny window or an appliance, it might constantly think the temperature is much higher than the home actually is and continuously run your system, upping your cooling bills.

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

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 set it on 75 and it will run until it cools to 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, costing you money and energy.

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

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the home’s occupants, and the type of air filter you use for your AC, your air filter may 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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