When your home is cool in the summer and warm in the winter, you and your family can enjoy living in it comfortably. You can thank your heating and air conditioning systems for maintaining that comfortable indoor climate. If, on the other hand, some of the rooms in your home stay too cold or too hot, or humidity is a problem in your house, or you notice excessive amounts of dust collecting on the furniture, one or both of your systems may have a problem.You may need to replace heating and cooling equipment in your home.
There are warning signs of which every homeowner should be aware that may mean an update of your heating and/or air conditioning equipment is due. In addition to the previous mentioned conditions, other signals of heating/air conditioning units in distress are:
- You are receiving higher energy bills.
- Humidity accumulation is a problem in your home.
- Your heating or cooling system is noisy.
- Your equipment begins to need frequent repairs.
- Your system(s) is over ten years old.
- Your score on the Home Energy Yardstick is below five. (Check your home’s score on www.energystar.gov/index.cfmc=heat_cool.pr_checklist_consumers)
When your HVAC system becomes old and inefficient or actually breaks down, you have the choice to either repair it or replace the system with new, high-efficiency units. To try some simple repairs and energy efficient changes first (especially if the systems are only a few years old) consider these modifications. To conserve energy and lower costs, install a programmable thermostat if you are not home during most of the day. When you are sleeping or away, program it to cut the temperature back, then raise it (winter) or lower it (summer) just before you are due home to keep the house comfortable without wasting energy. Excessive dust may be from leaky duct work. Sealing your ducts may prevent this problem. If your system is noisy, the cooling system’s indoor coil may have a problem that needs to be checked.
When problems remain, you need a professional contractor to evaluate your system. Central air conditioning units and central heating are two of the three top energy using systems in a home. (A water heater is the other.) Consider replacing the air conditioner or furnace with one that has earned the ENERGY STAR label. These high-efficiency units can save you up to 20 percent in air conditioning costs. The ENERGY STAR furnace is 15 percent more efficient than a conventional one and the boiler five percent more efficient than a new standard model. Only a licensed and certified professional heating and air conditioning contractor can measure the efficiency of your home in terms of insulation, home style, climate, condition of duct work, weather stripping, amount of yard shade, the quality of electric power distribution in your region and all the various factors that must be considered when deciding on the size of the unit you will need to effectively heat or cool your home. (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_checklist_consumers)