If this is your first home with central air conditioning, you may find that well-meaning friends and family offer you a lot of advice about how to care for it. Unfortunately, some of that advice may actually fall under some of the most common myths and misconceptions about these units. Here's a look at some of the advice you might hear and the truth you should know.
"You can use any kind of refrigerant in your central air conditioner."
Most new central air conditioning units are fitted with a new type of refrigerant, known as 134A, instead of the R-22 that was used for so many years. With R-22 being phased out, you'll only be able to recharge your air conditioning with reclaimed R-22. Because of the phase-out, many homeowners believe that you can recharge an air conditioner with either type of refrigerant. This isn't the case. The manufacturer of your air conditioner will specify what type of refrigerant can be used in the system. If you use the wrong refrigerant, it could not only void your warranty, but could also cost you thousands in repairs.
"Your air conditioner doesn't need maintenance every year."
It's easy to convince yourself that your air conditioner doesn't need maintenance when it seems to be running fine. However, what many homeowners fail to understand is that by skipping that annual maintenance appointment, you put your air conditioner at greater risk of a serious malfunction. After all, annual service inspections and maintenance will ensure that things are properly lubricated, belts are in good condition, and there are no other signs of wear that could mean impending failure. In addition, many manufacturers require that you document annual maintenance for the life of the unit in order for repairs to be covered under a warranty.
"It costs more to cool the house when you turn the temperature up before leaving."
You might think that it would cost you more to cool things down that extra few degrees when you come home, but the truth is that air conditioner will have to function just as hard to maintain the temperature then as it would if you had the temperature lower. In fact, it might cost you more with a lower temperature because the air conditioner will have to run more to maintain that temperature.
These are three of the most common myths associated with central air conditioning. Now that you understand the truth behind them, you'll be better equipped to take care of your central air.