Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioner technician from 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 qualified. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a company is accredited determined by their company history and practices, other web pages are available to anyone who wants to post an ad. For example, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad for their services, despite whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and experience.

If you decide on a contractor or individual without getting to identify their qualifications and capability, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the technician doesn’t have the qualifications to properly fix your specific air conditioner, you might end up needing a different, more experienced company to repair their mistakes and end up paying multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.

Contracting with small businesses can be wonderful for some odd jobs – it’s wonderful for the local business, great for the economy, and maybe even wonderful for your pocket book. But beware: small businesses or one-person companies could leave you in a lurch. If something backfires, they may merely disappear and not be around to rectify the situation, or they might not have the resources to get your issue resolved quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioning system breaks down in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Spending a little bit more for a sizable, more established and reliable company can come with perks that help give you more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be a call away in the future if you ever need them again.

Myth 3: You can use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioner.

With the government putting an end to the production of R-22, many homeowners are observing the price of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant going up. It may sound 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 likely want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is developed for, and prior to 2010, it was typically R-22. Although there is extreme decline of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and replacing R-22 with a different refrigerant may not only cause harm to your air conditioner, it could nullify your warranty. A nullified warranty could cost you way more in future parts due to potential damage.

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

Most people who don’t currently have trouble with their AC may think they don’t really need routine maintenance. It’s operating fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that an annual AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will run you around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers require annual maintenance to continue your warranty, so skipping your yearly tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, resulting in a large payout if your AC decides to go out on the hottest day of the summer.

Myth 5: Researching the contractor isn’t important.

It’s critical to check that you do your research before choosing an air conditioning service business, especially if you feel a particular company is pressuring you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some websites don’t demand a company to be qualified to place an ad for their services. It’s important to know who you’re working with so you don’t have to pay for the same service multiple times.

Social media reviews, testimonials from family, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of contractor you will be trusting your business to and help you decide if they are right for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all great review sites to start your search. And, don’t be afraid to ask for past customer testimonials. You could have to invest your hard-earned money with your AC technician, so invest the time and research to ensure they are the ideal company for you.

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

Over time, it will increase your bills to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature throughout the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It usually will not take an outrageous amount of more energy to get your home comfortable once you enter, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be changed from a tablet or phone so you can just adjust the temperature back down before coming home, so your home is nice and comfy when you arrive. This decreases your energy during 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 cool people, they don’t actually lower the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan operate produces heat, which can put heat in the air in your family’s home. An efficient ceiling fan does help level the temperature of the room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is below the fan to feel cool, all the fan is doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the AC is already on. So keep ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and additional air circulation is unneeded.

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

Thermostats read the temperature near it to choose whether it needs to activate the air conditioner to cool your home. Putting a thermostat in a bedroom will only make sure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the AC will shut off and the remainder of the floor or home might be much warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a sunny window or an appliance, it could continuously think the temperature is much higher than the living area really is and constantly run your air conditioner, increasing your energy bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Lowering your air excessively may only make your AC run longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really feel better at 75, then put it at 75 and it will work 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, squandering money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s fine to swap out your air filter once every twelve months.

Depending on the health issues for the people living in the home, and the kind of air filter you use for your AC, your air filter could need to be swapped out as often as every month. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioner to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

Call McKinley Heating Service Experts today to inquire about your air conditioner or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.

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