The plumbing, structural, electrical and HVAC systems in your home require regular monitoring in order to catch problems before they become catastrophic. Nowhere is this more true than with your HVAC equipment. Even with careful routine maintenance, the time eventually comes when you will need to replace your heating, cooling and water heating systems. An old or damaged HVAC system can result in issues such as growing energy bills, uneven temperatures in your home and poor indoor air quality. To prepare for that day, keep track of the age of the unit, the sounds it makes, how it looks, the humidity in your home and most importantly get a Home Energy Assessment.
Here are some of the signs that it is time to get that Home Energy Assessment
1. Your HVAC system is more than 10 years old.
Do you know when your HVAC system was installed? Does your system go on and off more often than it used to? The Department of Energy recommends homeowners should replace their HVAC system every 10 to 15 years. Most new furnaces, air conditioners and water heating systems are Energy Star ® rated or energy-efficient with programmable thermostats. If you are not running one of these systems, it means your system’s performance is nowhere near-optimal. You could save up to 40% on your energy cost by upgrading to a newer energy-efficient unit. Your newer unit will also help reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Mark A. a certified building analyst at Allied Experts says “Most of the homes we visit have older equipment. Once the HVAC system is over 15 years old, they tend to start acting up especially if the unit has not been maintained every year. Homeowners should treat their HVAC units like cars and have preventative maintenance done at least once a year”.
2. Repair parts are expensive!
Even if you choose to fix the mechanical issues, it’s almost impossible to bring an aging unit back to peak efficiency. The equipment has to work harder, so it breaks down more often, and you fall into a vicious and costly cycle.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to repair or replace your current system and it’s more than a decade old, purchasing a new system will be a better investment. All furnaces, air conditioners and water heaters will require repair from time to time, but if any of these appliances are in need of a repair that is expensive, it is smarter to invest in a new one. Your new system will save you money on future repairs as well as on your energy bills.
Simply put, replacing the entire system is more beneficial to your overall investment than simply repairing it and will save you money in the long run. Plus right now many states including New Jersey will offset the cost with rebates, incentives and low to zero interest rate financing.
3. The Sounds your HVAC system makes…
While an observant homeowner may notice the hum of their heating and cooling systems when it’s running, it should never sound so loud that it interrupts your day-to-day peace and quiet. A furnace or air conditioner that makes loud, aggressive sounds can be an indication of a serious malfunction. You may hear a variety of sounds when your HVAC system gets older. Some of them are normal, but others can indicate a problem.
The noisy operation that intrudes on your enjoyment of your home can indicate a problem with the indoor coil. Hissing sounds are another common occurrence. They can signal a leak somewhere in the system, which wastes energy and allows excess dust to accumulate in your home. Another noise you may hear is clanking. It usually means internal parts, like blades or motor components, are loose or worn out and rubbing together.
Mark A. also says “Short cycling can also be a sign that the unit needs to be replaced. If the unit turns off before it reaches the set temperature or turns on and off repeatedly, throughout the day then the unit may be short cycling.
4. The look of your HVAC system…
You can tell a lot about your HVAC system by the way it appears. Let’s face it, it’s not like your shiny new car, it’s more of an out of sight out of mind situation. Nonetheless, it is important to regularly check your equipment for signs of wear and tear. Mark A. also states “Rust is a big sign that water is leaking somewhere. Water and metal do not get along well. If you see rust at the top of your furnace cabinet, you can almost guarantee that it’s coming from the air conditioner cooling coil which lives above the furnace in most cases. As the air conditioner is running in the summer to cool the house, it also acts as a dehumidifier. The air conditioner’s job is to blow cold air and remove humidity. That humidity needs to drain out of the house. It is very common for a leak to occur where the black line set comes out of the cooling coil. The rust on the top of the furnace usually ends up making its way into the furnace burner cabinet causing damage in very important areas. The longer the coil leaks, the more damage it can cause. In some cases, the moisture can rot out the structural integrity of the furnace cabinet.”
5. Your Energy Bills Keep Increasing
While there will be seasonal changes to your energy costs, bills in the same month of different years should be relatively similar. High energy bills are another common sign that you should replace your HVAC system. As heating and cooling systems age, their efficiency tends to decline. An older system usually operates at about 70% efficiency and a new unit will operate at 95% efficiency according to Mark A. at Allied Experts. As reported by energy.gov, your HVAC system is the highest energy consumption appliance in your home and your water heater is the second. By replacing these systems you can save 20-40 percent on your energy bills.
6. You Can’t Keep Your Home at a Comfortable Temperature
An aging furnace, air conditioner or water heater will often struggle to keep your home at a consistent temperature. This could be the result of a variety of issues such as a damaged or inaccurate thermostat, low fluid levels, clogged filters, cracked ducts, or serious damage to the motors.
Temperature inconsistencies typically mean that your HVAC system is not working efficiently throughout your home. According to energy.gov many HVAC systems are the wrong size or are improperly installed. In either case, opting to keep your current HVAC system will result in an uncomfortable home environment and increased energy bills. With homes varying in size, layout, location and more, every home will have unique needs when it comes to heating and cooling options. Your HVAC system is not one size fits all.
7. You Have Poor Indoor Air Quality
During the summer, an air conditioner is most likely the single biggest factor when it comes to poor indoor air quality and during the winter your furnace may be the culprit. Families that notice mold, mildew, dust or unusual humidity levels might be dealing with a damaged HVAC system that should be replaced.
Besides delivering cooled and heated air throughout your home, your HVAC system is responsible for providing proper ventilation. When working efficiently, your system should improve the quality of the air inside of your home via removing dust, dander, dirt and other debris and keeping humidity under control. If you’ve noticed an increased amount of dust in your home, it could be a sign that your air conditioning system is no longer efficient enough to remove it. Older systems that do not work properly can introduce dust, excessive humidity, allergens, bacteria, viruses and mold into your home.
New Jersey residents know what it’s like to live through a hot, humid summer. One of the functions of your HVAC system is to control the humidity level in your home. If your HVAC system is losing the ability to do that, you will feel it in the comfort level of your living space.
However, you may not know that high humidity in your home can have even more serious consequences. A warm, moist environment encourages the growth of biological contaminants that can aggravate allergies and respiratory problems. High humidity can also accelerate the breakdown of wooden floors and framing, compromising the structure of your home.
If you experience any of these, it is time to have your system inspected by a professional to see how these issues can be resolved. If it’s mold…don’t wait any longer.
If you have recently noticed any of these signs with your HVAC system, contact Allied Experts today. Our team of experienced technicians will explain our process and help guide you to the perfect HVAC system for your home and budget.
At Allied Experts we provide quality HVAC replacement services at economical prices. We also understand that your home, lifestyle, health, future plans, and financial goals are all factors that determine the best system for you. That’s why we provide free Home Energy Assessments with a certified building analyst who will assist you in determining the best comfort solution for your home.
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