There’s no place like home, especially when that home is a comfortable and safe haven. One of the ways residents find comfort in their homes is by maintaining the right indoor temperatures, which fluctuate along with the seasons. While there is much to be said about opening windows and doors to let Mother Nature do her thing, indoor comfort is often maintained with an HVAC system.
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. It can include heat pumps, furnaces and air conditioning units. It is an automated system that works by adjusting a thermostat to regulate air temperature, and sometimes humidity, in the home. According to Enviguard, a commercial contracting provider, HVAC systems also may be used to improve indoor air quality through filtration and oxygen replacement.
As with any mechanical device, an HVAC system has a life span that must be considered. Should any of the following conditions be present, it is likely time to consult with an HVAC technician to see if repairs or replacement of the entire system is warranted.
- Age: If the HVAC system is more than 10 years old, it could be time to begin budgeting for a new unit. Many modern, efficient systems may last 12 to 14 years with routine maintenance, but it’s good to keep an HVAC system’s age in mind so people can readily recognize when it might start to fail.
- Longer or constant running times: An efficient, properly working system will quickly heat or cool the home and then turn off. A system that is turning on repeatedly or having to run for a while before the set temperature is reached could be nearing the end of its utility.
- Strange noises: Groaning, banging or loud humming noises should be addressed. While these noises may indicate that certain components need maintenance or replacement, they also could be symptoms of age and a system nearing failure.
- Frequent repair visits: Knowing the HVAC company’s repair person by name is a sign the system has required too much work in recent months. Repeated issues and repairs are probably signs that it’s time to consider a system replacement.
- Higher bills: Sticker shock when receiving electricity or gas bills likely mean the HVAC system isn’t working efficiently and might need to be replaced.
- Poor indoor air quality: If the home is dusty or humid or even if allergies seem to have cropped up out of nowhere, this could indicate a poorly functioning HVAC system.