Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your AC technician on Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has provided us with a variety of options to go to find an A/C system service technician, but beware because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their business history and practices, other web pages are accessible to anyone who requests to post an ad. For example, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad promoting their services, regardless of 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 confirm their qualifications and skill set, it may end up costing you more in the long run. If the technician doesn’t know how to properly fix your actual air conditioner, you may end up needing a different, more experienced contractor to repair their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.

Hiring small businesses can be great for some odd jobs – it’s great for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and maybe even good for your pocket book. But beware: small operations or one-person businesses could leave you holding the bag. If something backfires, they may conveniently disappear and not be there to repair it, or they might not have the workforce to get you taken care of quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner malfunctions in the heat of the summer.

Spending a little bit more for a larger, more established and reliable company can come with perks that help offer you more peace of mind, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give you service 24/7/365, and the peace of mind 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 conditioning system.

With the government ending the making of R-22, many homeowners are seeing the fee of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant going up. It may sound like an easy fix to just substitute a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician recommends this, you likely want to get a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is developed for, and previous to 2010, it was typically R-22. Although there is extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioners are still designed for it, and replacing R-22 with a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your AC system, it could nullify your warranty. A voided warranty may cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to potential damage.

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

Many people who don’t currently have trouble with their AC may think they don’t really need annual maintenance. It’s working fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that an annual AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers require routine maintenance to maintain your warranty, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, meaning a huge payout if your air conditioning system decides to go out on the hottest day of the summer.

Myth 5: Researching the business isn’t necessary.

It’s critical to check that you do your research before picking an air conditioning service company, especially if you feel a particular company is putting pressure on you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some sites don’t require a person to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t end up paying for the same service multiple times.

Social media reviews, referrals from family, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of business you will be offering 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 shy to ask for previous customer testimonials. You could have to pay a pretty penny to your AC contractor, so invest a little time and research to confirm they are the right company for your home.

Myth 6: It costs you more to turn your thermostat up while you’re not at home.

Long-term, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature throughout the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are gone. It typically will not require an exorbitant amount of extra energy to get your home cooled down once you enter, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be changed from a phone or tablet so you can simply adjust the temperature back down before returning home, so your home is nice and comfy when you get home. This reduces your energy throughout the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep people cool, they don’t really decrease the temperature of the home solo. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is forcing your fan to run creates heat, which can put heat in the air in your family’s home. A well-working ceiling fan does help level the temperature of your room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone under the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the AC is already running. So keep ceiling fans off when there is no one in the room and additional air circulation is unnecessary.

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

Thermostats use the temperature near it to determine whether it needs to activate the air conditioning system to cool the home. Placing a thermostat in your bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once that bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will go off and the remaining floor or home could be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is put near a well-lit window or an appliance, it could continuously read the temperature as being much higher than the living area actually is and keep running your air conditioner, raising your utility bills.

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

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your AC operate longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then set it to 75 and it will run until it gets 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, squandering money and energy.

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

Depending on the health conditions of the home’s occupants, and the style of air filter you have for your AC, your air filter may need to be swapped out as often as every four weeks. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only makes your AC to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call McElroy Service Experts today for more information about your air conditioning system or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.

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