Air Conditioning Myths That May Cost You More Money

August 08, 2016

Myth 1: Find your air conditioning technician on Craigslist.

The interweb has given us a variety of options to go to find an AC service technician, but beware because not all are qualified. While the Better Business Bureau displays information on whether a business is accredited depending on their organization’s history and practices, other web pages are accessible to anyone who requests to post an ad. Case in point, Craigslist allows anyone to post an ad for their services, not requiring them to verify whether or not they’re truly qualified, licensed and bonded, or have the actual training and background.

If you decide on a contractor or individual without getting to verify their qualifications and competence, it could end up costing you more over time. If the tech doesn’t have the knowledge to properly fix your actual AC equipment, you may end up needing a different, more experienced contractor to fix their mistakes and it could cost you multiple Trip Charges.

Myth 2: Working with a small business is better.

Contracting with small businesses can be great for some odd jobs – it’s wonderful for the local business, great for the economy, and likely even good for your wallet. But proceed with caution: small companies or one-person companies could leave you holding the bag. If something backfires, they may merely disappear and not be around to fix it, or they could not have the resources to get to you quickly, which is a problem if your air conditioner breaks down in the dog days of summer.

Spending a little bit more for a larger, more established and reliable company can come with advantages that help provide you with more confidence, including a one-year satisfaction guarantee, expert workmanship, a large certified team of servicemen and women who provide you service 24/7/365, and the confidence that they’ll be there if you ever require their services.

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

With the government stopping the production of R-22, many people are seeing the price of refilling their AC system’s refrigerant going up. It may seem like a simple fix to just replace your R-22 with a different and lower cost refrigerant, but if an air conditioner service technician gives you that advice, you likely want to get a second opinion.

Manufacturers detail the exact refrigerant the equipment is produced for, and previous to 2010, it was typically R-22. Regardless of the extreme reduction of the production of R-22, those air conditioning systems are still designed for it, and replacing R-22 with a different refrigerant may not only cause destruction to your air conditioning equipment, it could nullify your warranty. A nullified warranty could cost you hundreds or thousands more in future parts due to potential damage.

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

Most people who aren’t having trouble with their air conditioner may assume 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 an annual AC tune- up runs you around $79 while the cost of a repair averages around $500. Not to mention, most manufacturers demand routine maintenance to continue your warranty, so disregarding your annual tune-up could cause you to lose your warranty, which means a large payout if your AC decides to breakdown on the hottest day of the year.

Myth 5: Researching the business isn’t valuable.

It’s important to check that you do your homework before picking an air conditioning service contractor, especially if you feel a particular company is putting pressure on you. As we discussed in Myth #1, some domains don’t need a contractor to be qualified to place an ad for their services. You need to know their qualifications and history so you don’t end up paying for the same service twice.

Website reviews, testimonials from friends, and an a great accreditation grade with the Better Business Bureau will all confirm the type of company you will be giving your business to and help you decide if they are right for you. Google+, Angie’s List, and the BBB are all wonderful places to start your search. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for past customer referrals. You might have to pay a pretty penny to your air conditioning contractor, so invest some time and research to ensure they are the best company for your AC.

Myth 6: It will cost more to turn your thermostat up while you’re not at home.

Over time, it will increase your bills to leave the thermostat at a colder temperature all through the day than to increase it 10 degrees while you’re away. It usually will not require an excessive amount of more energy to get your home cooled down once you enter, depending on the 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 cool and comfortable when you get home. This saves you energy during the day, as well as saving you money on your cooling bills.

Nest Thermostat

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

Fans help cool people, they don’t really reduce the temperature of the home by themselves. In fact, fans (similar to refrigerators) actually heat up homes. The motor that is making your fan run produces heat, which can add heat to the air in your home. A good ceiling fan does help level the temperature of the room and may help to cool air by circulating, but if there isn’t anyone below the fan to feel the cool air, all it’s doing is squandering energy and money, especially if the air conditioning system is already running. So leave ceiling fans off when there is no one in the room and more air circulation is not needed.

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

Thermostats use the temperature near it to determine whether it needs to turn on the AC to cool the home. Placing a thermostat in a bedroom will only ensure that bedroom lowers to the temperature that the thermostat is adjusted to. Once your bedroom is cooled, the system will go off and the rest of the floor or home might be quite a bit warmer. If the thermostat is put near a warm window or an appliance, it might always read the temperature as being much higher than the living area really is and keep running your system, upping your cooling bills.

Thermostat screen

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

Decreasing your air by too much may only make your air conditioner run longer, it won’t get colder any faster. If your thermostat is set on 77, but you really would be more comfortable at 75, then put it at 75 and it will run until it cools to that temperature. Decreasing the thermostat to 73 won’t make it cool to 75 any faster, and it will cause your system to run long, costing you money and energy.

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

Depending on the health conditions of the people living in the home, and the style of air filter you utilize for your air conditioner, your air filter could need to be swapped out as often as every four weeks. Not changing the air filter often enough not only makes your air conditioning system to work harder and decrease efficiency, it could also aggravate respiratory ailments like common allergy symptoms.

Call TML Service Experts today to inquire about your air conditioning system or to set-up your free in-home consultation.

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