Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your AC technician on Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has gifted us with a variety of places to go to find an A/C system service technician, but beware because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their organization’s history and practices, other sites are open to anyone who wants to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad for their services, regardless of whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and knowledge.

If you hire a business or individual without being able to identify their qualifications and capability, it could end up costing you more in the long run. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the knowledge to properly repair your actual AC equipment, you could end up needing another, more experienced company to repair their mistakes and end up paying multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be great for some small fixes – it’s wonderful for the local business, great for the economy, and likely even wonderful for your pocket book. But use caution: small businesses or one-person businesses could let you down. If something fails, they may simply disappear and not be around to rectify the situation, or they may not have the workforce to get you taken care of quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner breaks down in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Paying a little bit more for a bigger, more trusted and reliable company can come with benefits that help provide you with more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified team of servicemen and women who provide you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be a call away if you ever require their services.

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

With the government stopping the production of R-22, many families are seeing the price of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant increasing. It may seem like an easy fix to just use 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 identify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is designed for, and prior to 2010, it was normally R-22. Despite the extreme decline of the production of R-22, those air conditioners are still designed for it, and using a different refrigerant may not only cause harm to your air conditioning equipment, it could void your warranty. A voided warranty could cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

Most people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioner may think they don’t truly need yearly maintenance. It’s running fine, so why spend the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that a yearly AC tune- up is priced around $79 while repairs will run you around $500. Additionally, most manufacturers instruct you to receive routine maintenance to maintain your warranty, so disregarding your routine tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, resulting in a large payout if your air conditioner decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the summer.

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

It’s crucial to check that you do your due diligence before deciding on an air conditioner service company, especially if you feel a specific company is pushing you. As we said in Myth #1, some websites don’t require a person to be qualified to market their services. It’s important to know their qualifications and history so you don’t have to pay for the same service twice.

Social media reviews, testimonials from family, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of business you will be offering your business to and help you figure out if they are right for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all good review sites to start your search. And, don’t be shy to ask for prior customer references. You might have to invest your money with your AC technician, so invest some time and research to ensure they are the ideal company for you.

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

Long-term, it will increase your costs to leave the thermostat at a lower temperature all through the day than to bump it up 10 degrees while you are away from your home. It typically will not need an outrageous amount of extra energy to get your home cooled down once you return, depending on the home.

A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be adjusted from a mobile device so you can easily adjust the temperature lower before returning home, so your home is cool and comfortable when you get home. This decreases your energy over the course of the day, as well as reducing your cooling bills.

Myth 7: Constantly running ceiling fans will help lower the temperature in your home.

Fans help keep you cool, they don’t actually decrease the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is causing your fan to operate produces heat, which can add heat to the air in your home. A well-working ceiling fan can help level the temperature of the room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person under the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already working. So turn off ceiling fans when no one is in the room and extra air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats use the temperature near it to decide whether it needs to activate the AC to cool the home. Placing a thermostat in a bedroom will only ensure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once the bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will go off and the remaining floor or home may be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is put near a well-lit window or an appliance, it may continuously think the temperature is much higher than the living area really is and constantly run your air conditioner, upping your energy bills.

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

Turning your air down lower may only make your AC operate longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is says 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then set it on 75 and it will kick on until it cools to that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it get to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, wasting money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s ok to swap out your air filter annually.

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the residents of the home, and the kind of air filter you utilize for your air conditioner, your air filter could need to be changed as often as every month. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only causes your air conditioner to work harder and reduce efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call Levy & Son Service Experts today if you have any questions about your AC or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.

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