Unfortunately, most people wait until our air conditioner or furnace is fully on the fritz before we call a heating and cooling contractor. After all, discussing when the last time you’d changed your air filters doesn’t typically rank at the top of most people’s conversation topics.
Still, many people know that their HVAC system can become less efficient over time. Let’s look at some common causes of HVAC inefficiencies that lead to higher heating and cooling bills:
Air leakage is common with older HVAC systems. In fact, this is arguably the most common problem with older houses.
According to an article written by Wayne Barnett detailing reasons why your HVAC system is inefficient on ECI’s blog page, air leakage is a leading cause of HVAC inefficiency:
As the years go by, the seams of a ventilation system start to slowly deteriorate, letting air out. This forces the operator to run the system at higher and higher levels to get the same amount of hot or cold air.
To solve this problem, it’s important to be using an HVAC system that has well-constructed ducts built from the right materials. Although almost any HVAC duct system will deteriorate over time, the best ones will last exponentially longer because they are constructed properly.
Air dumping can also have an impact on the efficiency of your HVAC system.
If your home has a room that is too hot while others remain frigid, you’ve most likely got some degree of air dumping going on with your system.
Not to be confused with air leakage, air dumping commonly occurs in large rooms. Barnett further explains this phenomenon in detail, as well as providing some solutions to remedy this issue:
This phenomenon is common in large rooms and ones that have higher ceilings. Traditional HVAC systems have a tendency to “dump” air into a specific space constantly, which creates a limited flow that doesn’t always reach the entire space. This leads to dramatic variations in temperature, even within a single room.
One way to resolve this is to use a small-duct high-velocity HVAC system. The outlets of these systems use a suction force to create a gentle stream of air throughout an entire room, which ensures that you can avoid air dumps and keep your temperature consistent.
How to Avoid Common Problems
Above are just a few common problems that can lead to high energy bills and HVAC inefficiency. How can we avoid these problems?
The first piece of advice comes from the Illinois company Shavitz Heating and Air’s blog:
If you didn’t do so before the heating season began, it’s never too late to schedule heating maintenance (in the absence of a complete system breakdown, that is). Preventive heating maintenance is one of the best ways to make sure you are getting the most out of your heating system—in other words, that you’re getting the most “bang for your buck.” This will make your heating bills lower, your comfort greater, and even the air you breathe in your home healthier!
Heater tune-ups are not expensive—particularly when you compare them to the repair costs you’re avoiding just by having maintenance done.
Another way to avoid costly repairs and energy inefficiency is to install a smart thermostat that can help regulate the temperature of your home automatically so that it always runs at peak efficiency.
By installing a smart thermostat, you can more effectively maintain a consistent temperature during peak times. You can also turn down the temperature when you’re at work.
I some cases, smart thermostats can be controlled remotely, giving you the option to adjust the temperature of your home whether you’re just down the street or in another country.
Use Your Ceiling Fans
Did you know you can help your heating system even in the winter with your fans?
Seriously. As counter-intuitive as this may sound, you can actually boost heating and cooling efficiency in all seasons is to use your ceiling fans.
Whether your fans have a cooling or warming effect depends on the direction in which they turn. In the summer, you want your fans turning counter-clockwise to disperse cool air better from your AC unit. In winter, your fans turning clockwise will help disperse warm air trapped near the ceiling by pushing it back down into your rooms.
If you’re interested in exploring the option of smart thermostats, schedule an appointment or give us a call at (303) 564-0986