Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Hire your air conditioner technician through Craigslist.

The internet has gifted us with a variety of options to go to get an air conditioning service technician, but be careful because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a contractor is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their business history and practices, other websites are accessible to anyone wanting to post an ad. For example, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad providing their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and knowledge.

If you decide on a business or individual without getting 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 repair your particular air conditioner, you may end up needing another, more experienced company to correct their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be good for some odd jobs – it’s great for the local business, good for the economy, and maybe even good for your bank account. But use caution: small operations or one-person operations could leave you in a lurch. If something backfires, they may merely disappear and not be available to repair it, or they might not have the manpower to get your issue resolved quickly, which is a problem if your AC malfunctions in the dog days of summer.

Budgeting a little bit more for a bigger, more trusted and reliable company can come with perks that help give you more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind that they’ll be there in the future if you ever need them again.

 
Myth 3: It’s okay to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioning system.

With the government stopping the manufacturing of R-22, many homeowners are noticing the fee of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant going up. It may seem like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician advises you to do that, you likely want to get a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the equipment is produced for, and before 2010, it was usually R-22. Despite the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and using a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your AC system, it could void your warranty. A nullified warranty could cost you way 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 AC may assume they don’t truly need routine 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 runs you around $79 while repairs will run you around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers require routine maintenance to continue your warranty, so skipping your annual tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, resulting in a big payout if your AC decides to die on the hottest day of the year.

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

It’s crucial to ensure you do your research before deciding on an AC service company, especially if you feel a single company is pressuring you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some websites don’t need a person to be qualified to place an ad for their services. It’s important to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service again.

Social media reviews, references from neighbors, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of company you will be offering your business to and help you choose if they are ideal for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all great places to start your research process. And, don’t be shy to ask for past customer testimonials. You could have to invest your hard-earned money with your air conditioner company, so invest a little time and research to ensure they are the best company for you.

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

Long-term, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature over the course of the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you’re away. It usually will not take an outrageous amount of more energy to get your home cooled down once you return, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be adjusted from a phone or tablet so you can simply adjust the temperature lower before arriving home, so your home is nice and comfy when you enter. This reduces your energy over the course of the day, as well as decreasing your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep you cool, they don’t really lower the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is causing your fan to run generates heat, which can push heat into the air in your family’s home. An efficient ceiling fan can help level the temperature of a room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone beneath the fan to feel cool, all the fan is doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already on. So turn off ceiling fans when there is no one in the room and more air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats measure the temperature around it to determine whether it needs to activate the air conditioner to cool your home. Installing a thermostat in the bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is adjusted to. Once the bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will go off and the rest of the floor or home could be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it may continuously think the temperature is much higher than the home really is and continuously run your air conditioner, upping your utility bills.

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

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your AC operate 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 kick on until it cools to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, wasting money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s acceptable to replace your air filter once every twelve months.

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the people living in the home, and the kind of air filter you use for your air conditioner, your air filter might need to be swapped out as often as every four weeks. Not changing the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioner to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

Call Strogen's Service Experts today for more information about your AC or to set-up your free in-home consultation.

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