Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioning technician from Craigslist.

The World Wide Web has gifted us with 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 displays information on whether a company is accredited and, if so, a letter grade determined by their organization’s history and practices, other sites are open to anyone wanting 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 experience.

If you hire a company or individual without having the ability to identify their qualifications and capability, it could end up costing you more over time. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the knowledge to properly repair your actual AC equipment, you could end up needing a different, more experienced contractor 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 wallet. But use caution: small companies or one-person businesses could leave you in a lurch. If something fails, they may simply disappear and not be around to rectify the situation, or they might not have the manpower to get you taken care of quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioner breaks down in the heat of the summer.

Paying a little bit more for a larger, more trusted and reliable company can come with benefits that help provide you with more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality 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 making of R-22, many families are seeing the cost of refilling their air conditioner’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 advises you to do that, you probably want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers identify the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is produced for, and prior to 2010, it was typically R-22. Despite 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 damage to your air conditioning equipment, it could void your warranty. A voided warranty could cost you a lot more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

Many people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioner may assume they don’t truly need yearly maintenance. It’s running fine, so why waste the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that an annual 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 year.

Myth 5: Researching the business isn’t important.

It’s important 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 mentioned in Myth #1, some sites don’t need a company 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 again.

Online reviews, testimonials from friends, and an a great 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 figure out if they are best for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all good review sites to start your research process. Also, don’t be shy to ask for prior customer referrals. You might have to invest your money with your AC technician, so invest a little time and research to make sure they are the ideal company for your home.

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

Long-term, it will actually cost you more 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 additional energy to get your home cooled down once you arrive, depending on the home.

A programmable thermostat lets the temperature to be changed from a mobile device so you can easily adjust the temperature back down before returning home, so your home is nice and comfy when you arrive. This decreases your energy over the course of the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.

Myth 7: Continuously 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 alone. In fact, fans (comparable to refrigerators) actually increase the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan run produces heat, which can put heat in the air in the home. A well-working ceiling fan can help level the temperature of your room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t a person below the fan to feel cool, all it’s doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already working. So leave ceiling fans off 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 around it to determine whether it needs to activate the AC to cool down your home. Placing a thermostat in the bedroom will only make sure that bedroom cools 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 quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is put near a well-lit window or an appliance, it may constantly think the temperature is much higher than the living area really is and continuously run your air conditioner, upping your cooling 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 want it to be 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 cool 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 once a year.

Depending on the health conditions of the residents of the home, and the kind of air filter you utilize for your air conditioner, your air filter could need to be replaced as often as every 30 days. Skipping the replacement of the air filter often enough not only makes your air conditioner to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call Levy & Son Service Experts today for more information about your AC or to set-up your free in-home consultation.

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