4 Ways Your HVAC Might Be Failing

According to Energy.gov, three million heating and cooling systems are replaced, and $14 billion is spent annually on HVAC services and repairs in the US. Considering heating and cooling account for half of a typical home’s energy usage, it makes sense to improve the performance of your HVAC. 

Yet in the past, homeowners haven’t spent a lot of time considering what that means. When you upgrade equipment every 15 to 20 years, in most cases, your HVAC system is “out of sight, out of mind.”

Statistics show that around 75 percent of heating and cooling is actually delivered to each room in your home efficiently. You can improve delivery and have a more comfortable, more efficient home in four areas. 

Energy lost to improper air flow

Improper air flow is a critical factor that can lead to energy loss in an HVAC system.

Airflow is essential in HVAC systems as it determines how efficiently air moves through the ductwork and into the indoor spaces. Inefficient airflow can lead to reduced system performance, increased energy consumption, and, ultimately, higher utility bills.

Blue flames of natural gas burnning inside of a boiler furnace – fossil fuel use concept

Improper airflow can result from various factors, including dirty air filters, blocked ducts, improperly sized equipment, or inadequate ventilation. When air filters become clogged, the system has to work harder to draw in air, leading to increased energy consumption. Blocked ducts also restrict airflow, leading to decreased efficiency and performance. 

Energy lost to improper equipment size

When it comes to HVAC equipment sizing, bigger is not always better. Oversized equipment can lead to increased energy consumption, shorter lifespan, and reduced system efficiency. Undersized equipment may not adequately heat or cool the indoor space, leading to frequent system cycling and wasted energy.

It is crucial to ensure that HVAC equipment is correctly sized during installation to prevent energy loss due to improper equipment sizing. This requires a thorough assessment of the indoor space, considering factors such as the size of the area, insulation levels, and the number of occupants. This assessment can help determine the appropriate equipment size and type required for optimal indoor comfort and efficiency.

Energy lost to duct leakage

Duct leakage occurs when air escapes through gaps or cracks in the ductwork, reducing airflow and decreasing system efficiency. This can lead to uneven heating or cooling throughout the indoor space, hot and cold spots, and poor indoor air quality. Duct leakage can also cause increased wear and tear on the system, leading to more frequent breakdowns and repairs.

The amount of energy lost due to duct leakage depends on the leaks’ size and location, the airflow, and the type of duct material. Studies show that duct leakage can account for up to 30 percent of energy loss in HVAC systems, leading to significant increases in energy bills.

To prevent energy loss due to duct leakage, it is essential to conduct regular inspections and maintenance of the ductwork. This includes sealing gaps and cracks in the ductwork, repairing or replacing damaged sections, and ensuring that ducts are correctly insulated. Proper insulation can help prevent air from escaping through the ducts, leading to increased system efficiency and reduced energy consumption.

Energy lost to improper refrigerant levels

Refrigerant is a critical component of HVAC systems, transferring heat from inside a building to the outdoor environment. The proper amount of refrigerant is essential for the efficient operation of an HVAC system, and improper refrigerant levels can lead to energy loss and increased utility bills.

Low refrigerant levels in an HVAC system can reduce system efficiency, as the system works harder to maintain the desired indoor temperature. This can result in increased energy consumption and higher utility bills. Low refrigerant levels can also cause the system to cycle more frequently, leading to increased wear and tear and the need for more frequent repairs.

High refrigerant levels in an HVAC system can also lead to energy loss, as the system struggles to remove excess heat from the indoor environment. This can lead to decreased system efficiency, increased energy consumption, and higher utility bills. High refrigerant levels can also cause damage to the compressor, leading to more frequent breakdowns and repairs.

To prevent energy loss due to improper refrigerant levels, it is essential to conduct regular HVAC maintenance and inspections. This includes checking refrigerant levels and ensuring the refrigerant is at the appropriate level for the system’s optimal operation. It is also essential to address any refrigerant leaks promptly, as leaks can lead to low refrigerant levels and decreased system efficiency.

Is your HVAC failing?

If you see any of the above in your own HVAC equipment, it’s time for an inspection. We’ll inspect every aspect of your heating, cooling, and ventilation system and make corrections as necessary. 

It’s the best way to ensure your home stays comfortable all year. 

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