Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Get your air conditioning technician from Craigslist.

The internet has provided us with a variety of places to go to get an A/C system service technician, but be careful because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau provides you with information on whether a business is accredited determined by their company history and practices, other sites are open to anyone wanting to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad providing their services, regardless of whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and knowledge.

If you choose a contractor or individual without getting to confirm their qualifications and competence, it may end up costing you more over time. If the tech doesn’t have the qualifications to properly fix your actual air conditioning system, you could end up needing another, more experienced contractor to repair 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 small fixes – it’s good for the local business, good for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your bank account. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person operations could let you down. If something bad happens, they may merely disappear and not be there to rectify the situation, or they may not have the manpower to get you taken care of quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioner goes out in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Budgeting a little bit more for a bigger, more established and reliable company can come with benefits that help give 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 okay to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioner.

With the government discontinuing the manufacturing of R-22, many people are observing the fee of refilling their air conditioning system’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician gives you that advice, you may want to get a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the system is produced for, and previous to 2010, it was commonly R-22. Regardless of the extreme decline of the production of R-22, those air conditioners are still designed for it, and substituting a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your air conditioner, it could invalidate your warranty. An invalidated warranty could cost you a lot more in future parts due to likely damage.

Myth 4: You don’t need annual A/C system maintenance.

A lot of people who are not currently having trouble with their air conditioning system may think they don’t truly need annual maintenance. It’s operating fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that a yearly AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Also, most manufacturers require yearly maintenance to maintain your warranty, so disregarding your annual tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, resulting in a big payout if your air conditioner decides to die on the hottest day of the season.

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

It’s important to make sure you do your homework before deciding on an AC service business, especially if you feel a specific company is pressuring you. As we mentioned in Myth #1, some sites don’t require a company to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to pay for the same service twice.

Online reviews, references from friends, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all assure you of the type of company you will be trusting your business to and help you decide if they are ideal for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all great places to start your research process. Also, don’t be shy to ask for past customer references. You could have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning technician, so invest a little time and research to make sure they are the best company for you.

Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat higher while you’re out of your home.

Long-term, it will actually cost you more to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature throughout the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It usually will not require an excessive amount of additional energy to cool your home once you arrive, depending on variables of the home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be increased or decreased from a phone or tablet so you can simply adjust the temperature back down before arriving 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 lower the temperature in your home.

Fans help cool people, they don’t really reduce the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan function creates heat, which can add heat to the air in your home. An efficient ceiling fan could help level the temperature of the room and may assist in cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone beneath the fan to feel the cool air, all it’s doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already working. So keep ceiling fans off when there is no one 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 decide whether it needs to start up the air conditioning system to cool down your home. Putting a thermostat in your bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once that bedroom is cooled, the AC will shut off and the remaining floor or home could be much warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a sunny window or an appliance, it might constantly think the temperature is much higher than the rest of the home truly is and continuously run your air conditioner, increasing your utility bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioner run longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really want it to be 75, then put it at 75 and it will work until it reaches that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 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 ok to swap out your air filter once a year.

Depending on the health issues for the people living in the home, and the kind of air filter you utilize for your AC, your air filter may need to be changed as often as every 30 days. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only means for your air conditioner to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

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

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