Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioner technician from Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has gifted us with a variety of places to go to look for an A/C system 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 depending on their business history and practices, other websites are open to anyone wanting to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad for their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and background.

If you decide on a business or individual without having the ability to identify their qualifications and skill set, it might end up costing you more in the long run. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the knowledge to properly fix your specific air conditioning system, you might end up needing another, more experienced company to correct their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.

Contracting with small businesses can be wonderful for some minor home services – it’s great for the local business, great for the economy, and maybe even good for your wallet. But beware: small operations or one-person companies could leave you holding the bag. If something bad happens, they may conveniently disappear and not be around to repair it, or they could not have the resources to get your issue resolved quickly, which is a problem if your AC malfunctions in the heat of the summer.

Budgeting a little bit more for a sizable, more reputable and reliable company can come with perks that help offer you more assurance, 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 available in the future if you ever need them again.

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

With the government discontinuing the manufacturing of R-22, many homeowners are observing the price of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like a simple fix to just substitute a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an AC service technician advises you to do that, you likely want to get a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the equipment is developed for, and previous to 2010, it was typically R-22. Despite the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and using a different refrigerant may not only cause harm to your air conditioner, it could invalidate your warranty. A voided warranty may cost you a lot more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

Many people who are not currently having trouble with their air conditioning system may think they don’t really need annual maintenance. It’s running fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that a routine AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will run you around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers require annual maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so disregarding your annual tune-up could cost you your warranty, meaning a big payout if your air conditioner decides to die on the hottest day of the summer.

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

It’s critical to check that you do your homework before deciding on an air conditioning service business, especially if you feel a particular company is intimidating 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 their qualifications and history so you don’t end up paying for the same service again.

Website reviews, references from family, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of company you will be giving your business to and help you decide if they are ideal for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all wonderful review sites to start your homework. And, don’t be shy to ask for prior customer references. You might have to invest your hard-earned money with your AC contractor, so invest a little time and research to confirm they are the ideal company for you.

Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat higher while you’re not at 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’re away. It typically will not require an outrageous amount of more energy to get your home cooled down once you enter, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be adjusted from a tablet or phone so you can actually adjust the temperature cooler before coming home, so your home is nice and comfy when you get home. This decreases your energy throughout the day, as well as decreasing your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep you cool, they don’t actually lower the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is making your fan function produces heat, which can add heat to the air in your home. An efficient ceiling fan can help level the temperature of the room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if nobody is under the fan to feel the cool air, all it’s doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already working. So leave ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and extra air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats measure the temperature around it to decide whether it needs to turn on the AC to cool down your home. Putting a thermostat in a bedroom will only make sure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the system will shut off and the remaining floor or home might be much warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a sunny window or an appliance, it might continuously read the temperature as being much higher than the home actually is and continuously run your AC, upping your utility bills.

Myth 9: Turning your thermostat down much lower will help it cool more quickly.

Lowering your air excessively may only make your AC operate longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really feel better at 75, then set it on 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 cause your system to run long, squandering money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s ok to swap out your air filter annually.

Depending on the health issues for the people living in the home, and the type of air filter you use for your AC, your air filter might need to be replaced as often as every 30 days. Not changing the air filter often enough not only makes your AC to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call Donelson Air Service Experts today to inquire about your air conditioning system or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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