Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Hire your AC technician on Craigslist.

The internet has provided us with a variety of options to go to look for an air conditioning service technician, but proceed with caution 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 based on their business history and practices, other sites are accessible to anyone wanting to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist allows anyone to post an ad for their services, despite whether or not they’re really qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and experience.

If you decide on a contractor or individual without getting to verify their qualifications and competence, it may end up costing you more ultimately. If the technician doesn’t have the qualifications to properly repair your particular AC equipment, you may end up needing a second, more experienced contractor to correct their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple service charges.

Myth 2: Hiring a small business is better.

Working with small businesses can be great for some odd jobs – it’s great for the local business, great for the economy, and maybe even wonderful for your pocket book. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person companies could let you down. If something fails, they may merely disappear and not be around to repair it, or they may not have the manpower to get to you quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner dies in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Paying a little bit more for a sizable, more trusted and reliable company can come with benefits that help give you 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 assurance that they’ll be there if you ever require their services.

 
Myth 3: It’s fine to use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioner.

With the government putting an end to the making of R-22, many families are seeing the cost of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant rising. It may seem like an easy fix to just use a different and less expensive refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician gives you that advice, you likely want to call for a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is produced for, and before 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 using a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your AC system, it could nullify your warranty. A nullified warranty might cost you a lot more in future parts due to potential damage.

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

Most people who don’t currently have trouble with their air conditioning system may believe they don’t truly need annual maintenance. It’s working fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Don’t forget the fact that a routine AC tune- up costs around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers instruct you to receive yearly maintenance to continue your warranty, so foregoing your annual tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, which means a big payout if your air conditioning system decides to die on the hottest day of the season.

Myth 5: Researching the company isn’t important.

It’s crucial to make sure you do your research before choosing an AC service company, especially if you feel a particular company is pressuring you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some websites don’t need a person to be qualified to market their services. You absolutely need to know their qualifications and history so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service twice.

Social media reviews, referrals from family, and an a good accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of company you will be giving your business to and help you choose 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 previous customer referrals. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning company, so invest some 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 away from home.

Ultimately, 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 excessive amount of extra energy to get your home comfortable once you return, depending on the home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be adjusted from a tablet or phone so you can easily adjust the temperature back down before coming home, so your home is nice and comfy when you arrive. This decreases your energy during the day, as well as decreasing your cooling bills.

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

Fans help cool people, they don’t truly decrease the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually raise the temperature in your home. The motor that is making your fan operate creates heat, which can put heat in the air in your family’s home. An efficient ceiling fan can help level the temperature of the room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone under the fan to feel the breeze, all it’s doing is blowing through energy and money, especially if the AC is already on. So leave ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and extra air circulation is unneeded.

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

Thermostats read the temperature near it to decide whether it needs to activate the AC to cool down your home. Putting a thermostat in the bedroom will only make sure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set to. Once your bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will turn off and the rest of the floor or home could be much warmer. If the thermostat is put near a well-lit window or an appliance, it might always think the temperature is much higher than the home truly is and keep running your system, increasing your cooling bills.

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

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioning system operate longer, it won’t get cooler any faster. If your thermostat is set on 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, costing you money and energy.

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

Depending on the health conditions of the people living in the home, and the type of air filter you have for your air conditioner, your air filter may need to be replaced as often as every four weeks. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only causes your AC to work harder and lower efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call Rolf Griffin Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today if you have any questions about your air conditioner or to set-up your complimentary in-home consultation.

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