Summer and winter energy costs can put a strain on your monthly income, but did you know that properly maintaining your HVAC will not only keep you comfortable in extreme weather but save you money every month? Here’s a look at the most common signs of heating and air system failure and how you can avoid it.
Slow Response to Change
A little lag time between your requested temperature adjustment and the HVAC response is to be expected, but if it takes longer than a couple of minutes, your system could be in distress. Also, a system that turns on and off frequently wears out sooner, so a good way to minimize impact is to maintain a small temperature range.
Trouble Staying at the Set Temperature
With time and use, every system will start working harder to sustain the same settings. If your HVAC runs constantly but seems to struggle reaching the points you’ve set, it likely indicates an old or worn out system and repair or replacement should happen sooner rather than later.
High Energy Bills
A well-functioning HVAC should keep energy bills manageable, so if you notice an unwelcome shift (when usage stays relatively normal), something is wrong. Consider tracking your rates and usage to have an idea about each month’s average cost, and it won’t be difficult to spot abnormality.
It’s never a good idea to ignore an HVAC system that smells funny. Not only could a strong odor indicate a malfunction, it could threaten your safety, as well. In fact, any smell that lasts longer than about 15 or 20 minutes should be handled quickly by a professional HVAC technician.
If you notice not all rooms receive proper ventilation, it could mean your HVAC no longer operates at top efficiency. Check all vents for buildup, but if they appear clean, air is likely not moving through the ducts as well as it used to. Though it could point to faulty ducts, it could also be the HVAC. Either way, a licensed HVAC professional can diagnose and repair the issue.
Semi- annual checkups (during off seasons) are the best way to keep your HVAC in good shape. Though these will run you a fee, they will more than make up for the savings of having your system fail in freezing or sweltering weather. And peace of mind is invaluable.