Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your AC technician from Craigslist.

The internet has given us a variety of options to go to look for an A/C system service technician, but beware because not all are created equal. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their company 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, despite whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and background.

If you decide on a company 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 tech doesn’t know how to properly fix your actual air conditioning system, you might end up needing a different, more experienced company to repair their mistakes and it could cost you multiple service charges.

Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.

Hiring small businesses can be good for some minor home services – it’s great for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and probably even good for your wallet. But beware: small operations or one-person companies could leave you holding the bag. If something backfires, they may simply disappear and not be around to repair it, or they might not have the manpower to get you taken care of quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioner dies in the heat of the summer.

Spending a little bit more for a larger, more reputable and reliable company can come with benefits 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 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 ending the production of R-22, many people are noticing the fee of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant going up. It may sound like a simple fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an AC service technician recommends this, you likely want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is developed for, and previous to 2010, it was typically R-22. Despite the 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 a lot more in future parts due to potential damage.

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

Most people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioning system may assume they don’t actually need yearly maintenance. It’s working fine, so why waste 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 demand routine maintenance to maintain your warranty, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, meaning a big payout if your AC decides to die on the hottest day of the summer.

Myth 5: Finding out about the business isn’t important.

It’s critical to check that you do your research before picking an AC 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 advertise their services. It’s important to know who you’re working with so you don’t end up paying for the same service multiple times.

Social media reviews, referrals from friends, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of company you will be offering your business to and help you decide if they are best for you. Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google+ are all good review sites 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 conditioning company, 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 actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature over the course of the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you’re away. It typically will not take an excessive amount of extra energy to get your home cooled down once you enter, depending on the home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be adjusted from a mobile device so you can just adjust the temperature lower before returning home, so your home is nice and comfy when you get home. This reduces your energy during the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

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

Fans help cool people, they don’t actually 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 can help level the temperature of your room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is under the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the AC is already running. So keep ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and extra 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 AC to cool the home. Placing a thermostat in your bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once the 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 think the temperature is much higher than the living area actually is and keep running your air conditioner, raising your utility bills.

Myth 9: Excessively lowering your thermostat will help it cool more speedily.

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioner operate longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is says 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. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, squandering money and energy.

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

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the home’s occupants, and the style of air filter you have for your air conditioning system, your air filter might need to be swapped out as often as every four weeks. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only causes your AC to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call McElroy Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today if you have any questions about your AC or to set-up your free in-home consultation.

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