Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your AC technician from Craigslist.

The interweb has given us a variety of places to go to look for an AC service technician, but beware because not all are comparable. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a business is accredited and, if so, a letter grade based on their company 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 promoting their services, despite whether or not they’re actually qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the correct training and experience.

If you decide on a company or individual without being able to verify their qualifications and skill set, it might end up costing you more ultimately. If the serviceman or woman doesn’t know how to properly service your particular air conditioner, you could end up needing a second, more experienced company to correct their mistakes and it could cost 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 good for the local business, wonderful for the economy, and maybe even great for your wallet. But be careful: small operations or one-person companies could leave you holding the bag. If something goes wrong, they may simply disappear and not be around to rectify the situation, or they could not have the resources to get you taken care of quickly, which is bad news if your air conditioner malfunctions in the heat of the summer.

Paying a little bit more for a larger, more reputable and reliable company can come with perks that help offer you more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, excellent workmanship, a large certified team of technicians who give 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 okay to 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 observing the price of refilling their air conditioner’s refrigerant rising. It may sound like an easy fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and cheaper refrigerant, but if an air conditioning service technician advises you to do that, you may want to find a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the system is designed for, and prior to 2010, it was normally R-22. Although there is extreme decrease 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 voided warranty might cost you way more in future parts due to likely damage.

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

A lot of people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioner may think they don’t truly need routine maintenance. It works just fine, so why use the money on a tune-up, right? Well there’s the fact that a yearly AC tune- up is priced around $79 while repairs will set you back around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers instruct you to receive yearly maintenance to maintain your warranty, so disregarding your annual tune-up could cost you your warranty, which means a huge payout if your air conditioning system decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the season.

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

It’s crucial to check that you do your due diligence before choosing an air conditioning service company, especially if you feel a specific company is pressuring you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some websites don’t demand a company to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You need to know what you’re getting into so you don’t have to pay for the same service twice.

Website reviews, testimonials from family, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all help you to understand the type of contractor you will be offering your business to and help you decide if they are ideal for you. Angie’s List, Google+, and Yelp are all good review sites to start your research process. And, don’t be scared to ask for previous customer references. You could have to invest your hard-earned money with your air conditioner company, so invest the time and research to confirm they are the ideal company for your home.

Myth 6: It costs more to turn your thermostat to a higher temperature while you’re not at 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’re away. It typically will not require an excessive amount of extra energy to get your home cooled down once you return, depending on your home.

A programmable thermostat permits the temperature to be changed 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 throughout the day, as well as lowering your cooling bills.

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

Fans help keep people cool, 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 your room and may contribute to cooling air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone under the fan to feel cool, all you’re doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioner is already running. So turn off ceiling fans when no one is in the room and additional air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats measure the temperature surrounding it to determine whether it needs to turn on the air conditioner to cool the home. Installing a thermostat in a bedroom will only help ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is set on. Once that bedroom is cooled, the AC will go off and the remainder of the floor or home might be a lot warmer. If the thermostat is put near a well-lit window or an appliance, it might constantly read the temperature as being much higher than the home truly is and continuously run your AC, raising your energy bills.

Myth 9: Excessively lowering your thermostat will help it cool more quickly.

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your AC work longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is set to 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then set it on 75 and it will run until it cools to that temperature. Decreasing the thermostat to 73 won’t make it lower to 75 any faster, and it will result in your system running longer, squandering money and energy.

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

Depending on respiratory or allergy issues for the home’s occupants, and the kind of air filter you utilize for your AC, your air filter may need to be swapped out as often as every 30 days. Failure to change the air filter often enough not only makes your AC to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also irritate respiratory illnesses like common allergy symptoms.

Call Coastal Service Experts today for more information about your air conditioning system or to set-up your no-charge in-home consultation.

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