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Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your AC technician from Craigslist.

The internet has gifted us with a variety of options to go to find an A/C system service technician, but proceed with caution because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau gives you information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade depending on their company history and practices, other web pages are accessible to anyone wanting to post an ad. For example, Craigslist will allow anyone to post an ad for their services, regardless of whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the proper training and experience.

If you choose a company or individual without having the ability to verify their qualifications and capability, it might end up costing you more over time. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t have the knowledge to properly service your actual air conditioner, you could end up needing another, more experienced technician to correct their mistakes and it could end up costing you multiple service charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Hiring small businesses can be great for some odd jobs – it’s wonderful 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 leave you holding the bag. If something bad happens, they may conveniently disappear and not be available to repair it, or they may not have the manpower to get you taken care of quickly, which is not what you want if your air conditioning system goes out in the extreme temperatures of summer.

Spending a little bit more for a larger, more reputable and reliable company can come with benefits that help offer you more assurance, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, quality 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: You can use any type of refrigerant in your air conditioning system.

With the government putting an end to the production of R-22, many homeowners are seeing the price of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant going up. It may sound like a simple fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician gives you that advice, you probably want to get a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the air conditioner is designed for, and before 2010, it was commonly R-22. Although there is extreme decrease of the production of R-22, those AC systems are still designed for it, and using a different refrigerant may not only cause damage to your AC system, it could invalidate your warranty. A nullified warranty could cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to possible damage.

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

A lot of people who don’t currently have trouble with their AC may believe they don’t truly need yearly maintenance. It’s working fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Except for the fact that a routine AC tune- up runs you around $79 while repairs will cost you around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers instruct you to receive annual maintenance to keep your warranty valid, so skipping your annual tune-up could also mean foregoing your warranty, resulting in a big payout if your air conditioning system decides to go out on the hottest day of the season.

Myth 5: Finding out about the contractor isn’t valuable.

It’s important to ensure you do your due diligence before deciding on an air conditioning service contractor, especially if you feel a particular company is pressuring you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some websites don’t demand a contractor to be qualified to advertise their services. You need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same service again.

Social media reviews, references from family, and an a high accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of business you will be offering your business to and help you choose if they are best for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all wonderful websites to start your search. And, don’t be scared to ask for previous customer testimonials. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning contractor, so invest some time and research to confirm they are the best 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 increase your bills to leave the thermostat at a cooler temperature all through 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 additional energy to cool your home once you return, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat allows for the temperature to be changed from a tablet or phone so you can actually adjust the temperature cooler before coming home, so your home is cool and comfy when you enter. This decreases your energy over the course of the day, as well as saving you money on your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep people cool, they don’t truly lower the temperature of the home alone. In fact, fans (like refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is causing your fan to function creates heat, which can put heat in the air in your family’s home. A well-working ceiling fan does help level the temperature of your room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if nobody is under the fan to feel the breeze, all you’re doing is wasting energy and money, especially if the AC is already on. So leave ceiling fans off when no one is in the room and additional air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats measure the temperature surrounding it to choose whether it needs to turn on the air conditioning system to cool down your home. Placing a thermostat in a bedroom will only ensure that bedroom cools to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once your bedroom is cooled, the air conditioner will turn off and the remainder of the floor or home might be much warmer. If the thermostat is placed near a warm window or an appliance, it might always determine the temperature is much higher than the home really is and continuously run your AC, increasing your cooling bills.

Myth 9: Turning your thermostat down much lower will help it cool more speedily.

Lowering your air excessively may only make your air conditioning system operate longer, it won’t get to a colder temperature any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then put it at 75 and it will run until it gets to that temperature. Lowering the thermostat to 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will make your system run longer, wasting money and energy.

Myth 10: It’s fine to replace your air filter annually.

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the residents of the home, and the type of air filter you utilize for your AC, your air filter could need to be changed as often as every month. Not changing the air filter often enough not only means for your AC to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also exacerbate respiratory conditions like common allergy symptoms.

Call Abbey Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today to inquire about your air conditioning system or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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