How To Tell Your HVAC System Is Not Running Efficiently
Air conditioning systems are one of the more expensive investments that are made in our homes. Today, the technology behind these systems can drive the price up into the thousands of dollars. Since so much money is spent buying and maintaining HVAC systems, we want to make sure that we are getting optimum performance from them. Unfortunately, no matter how well maintained and clean the system is, at some point, it will have to be replaced.
According to experts, an air conditioning unit lasts on average 10 to 15 years. As HVAC systems age, they can become damaged and less efficient which could lead to increased energy bills or poor air quality. If you begin to notice that it isn’t as cool in your home as it used to be or that your energy bills are higher than last season, it could mean that your HVAC needs to be looked at. Let’s take a look at how you can tell that your HVAC system is not running efficiently.
HVAC System Age
As mentioned above, air conditioning systems usually last 10-15 years. It is not uncommon, however, to prolong the life of a system to 20 years by keeping it well maintained and regularly serviced. As the unit ages, though, it will typically begin to use more energy and that will usually be accompanied by being considerably less effective at cooling. With advancements in new technology and energy management systems, HVAC systems are much more efficient now than they were just 10 years ago. Upgrading the unit could improve the efficiency of the HVAC system on the property by 20%. Even though your older unit is still working, it could be greatly inefficient.
High Energy Bills
Similar to your older car that doesn’t run as well as it used to, your HVAC unit also might not be performing like it once did. As a result, an old underperforming HVAC unit could lead to costly maintenance bills and significant energy usage. As a result of this, it will be inevitable that your utility bills increase. Higher than usual energy bills could mean that there is a problem with your HVAC efficiency. To avoid these unnecessary costs, it might be a good idea to invest in a new HVAC system before it completely breaks. A new system could mean significant energy savings as well as cost savings on utilities.
Low Energy Rating
The most efficient HVAC equipment in use today has a U.S. Department of Energy Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) that is higher than 16. For units made after 2006, the average rating is 13. Systems that have a SEER that is less than 13 is considered inefficient by HVAC standards today. If your unit has a department of energy SEER that is less than 13, you might consider upgrading the unit to reduce energy use and get the most out of your system.
If you notice that rooms with varying temperatures, could mean that your air conditioner or furnace is having a hard time keeping up. Even when adjusting the thermostat, if your HVAC unit is having problems producing enough cool air or heat, you will have varying temperatures. This could be the result of old or broken equipment like the compressor, condenser, or chiller or it could be a problem with the system’s energy performance.
You Aren’t Comfortable
The biggest indicator that you may have an HVAC efficiency problem is that your system isn‚Äôt improving the comfort in your home. If it is too hot or too cold even after adjusting the temperature setting there is probably a problem somewhere. From efficiency to airflow, if the temperature in your home or commercial property isn’t comfortable, then it’s time to get your unit checked out. The reason we have these central air systems is to regulate the temperature. If your system isn’t doing that, there could be a problem.
The best way to ensure your HVAC unit is running efficiently and prolong its life is by conducting regular maintenance and service with a professional HVAC contractor. Aside from a regular maintenance schedule, the first sign of varying energy bills or inconsistent temperatures should also be an indicator that you need a technician. Ensuring that your unit is running efficiently is the key to creating cost savings and comfortable environments.