Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioner technician through Craigslist.

The internet has given us a variety of options to go to look for an AC service technician, but be careful because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau shows you information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their business history and practices, other sites are accessible to anyone who requests to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist lets anyone post an ad promoting their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and experience.

If you choose a business or individual without having the ability to identify their qualifications and skill set, it could end up costing you more over time. If the tech doesn’t have the skills to properly service your actual AC equipment, you could end up needing a different, more experienced contractor to repair their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Contracting with small businesses can be good for some small fixes – it’s wonderful for the local business, great for the economy, and probably even wonderful for your bank account. But use caution: small businesses or one-person businesses could let you down. If something bad happens, they may merely disappear and not be available to rectify the situation, or they may not have the resources to get to you quickly, which is not what you want if your AC dies in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Paying a little bit more for a sizable, more established and reliable company can come with advantages that help offer you more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality workmanship, a large certified work force that gives you service 24/7/365, and the assurance 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 conditioner.

With the government ending the production of R-22, many people are seeing the price of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like a simple fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an AC service technician gives you that advice, you likely want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers specify the exact refrigerant the equipment is produced for, and prior to 2010, it was usually R-22. Regardless of the extreme decline of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and using a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your AC system, it could void your warranty. A voided warranty may cost you way more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

Most people who aren’t having trouble with their AC may assume they don’t really need annual maintenance. It works just fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that an annual AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers demand yearly maintenance to continue your warranty, so disregarding your yearly tune-up could cost you your warranty, resulting in a huge payout if your AC decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the season.

Myth 5: Finding out about the company isn’t necessary.

It’s crucial to check that you do your due diligence before picking an air conditioner service business, especially if you feel a specific company is pushing you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some websites don’t need a contractor to be qualified to advertise their services. You need to know who you’re working with so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service multiple times.

Website reviews, referrals from friends, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of company you will be trusting your business to and help you decide if they are best for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all great websites to start your homework. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for prior customer testimonials. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your AC technician, so invest a little time and research to confirm they are the right company for you.

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

Over time, 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 are away from your home. It usually will not require an outrageous amount of extra energy to cool your home once you return, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be increased or decreased from a mobile device so you can actually adjust the temperature cooler before returning home, so your home is nice and comfy when you get home. This saves you energy over the course of the day, as well as saving you money on your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep people cool, they don’t really reduce the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan run generates heat, which can push heat into 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 there isn’t anyone beneath the fan to feel the cool air, all you’re doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already working. So keep ceiling fans off when there is nobody in the room and extra air circulation is unneeded.

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

Thermostats use the temperature surrounding it to decide whether it needs to turn on the air conditioner to cool down your home. Placing a thermostat in a bedroom will only make sure that bedroom reaches the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once that bedroom is cooled, the system will turn off and the rest of the floor or home may be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is installed near a well-lit window or an appliance, it could always think the temperature is much higher than the home actually is and continuously run your AC, raising your energy 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 air conditioner work longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then put it at 75 and it will work until it gets to that temperature. Putting the thermostat on 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, squandering money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s ok to change your air filter once a year.

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the residents of the home, and the kind of air filter you use for your air conditioner, your air filter might need to be changed as often as every month. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only makes your air conditioning system to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Midway Services today for more information about your air conditioner or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.

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