If you’re like most homeowners, you constantly struggle with those two seemingly opposite forces — home comfort and utility costs – but you’re beginning to think the happy medium of “affordable home comfort” just doesn’t exist. So you’re faced with one of the most common missions among homeowners: look for ways to cut energy costs without sacrificing the comforts of your heating and air conditioning.
Well, today is your lucky day …
The On Time Experts Experts, led by a team of professional comfort consultants, would like to take you through a series of energy-saving solutions – all your answers to affordable home comfort summed up in eight simple steps (we like to call it our Home Comfort Checklist.)
Before we kick off with number one, let us ask you something: How old is your HVAC system? Would you still consider it efficient? It might not be your favorite energy-saving solution on this list, but, if your HVAC has passed a certain age, full unit replacement might be your first and best option for ultimate efficiency.
So, before we dive into the specifics of system maintenance, let’s try and check off the number one item on the Home Comfort Checklist: a quality HVAC unit.
How Old Is Too Old?
So your system isn’t really “old” – it’s been running fine for ten years, and all parts are still intact – but with all the advances in HVAC technology, “old” isn’t really what it used to be. Some systems of only eight years are now considered to be highly inefficient compared to current units on the market.
It’s our professional opinion that 12 to 15 years should be the max lifespan of an HVAC, but they do tend to reach their peak at eight. After eight years, your HVAC starts on a downward slope towards system inefficiency. You might not recognize it, and it might sound like it’s functioning just fine – but an aged (or aging) HVAC is a constantly increasing expense.
The Costs Behind an Aging HVAC
It’s sometimes difficult to pinpoint the specifics of a spiked utility bill, or the causes behind frequent repair (it usually just leads you to more repair.)
It might never have crossed your mind your high utility bills and recurrent repairs are due to the age of your HVAC system.
Older systems tend to deteriorate from the inside out, but they do so slowly and silently. Here’s how an aging HVAC system covertly costs you more money each month:
When your HVAC is old, it lacks the strength it once had – compressor, or the heart of the unit, isn’t as strong as it once was, or its connections may be loose. Whatever the reason, it’s struggling. And a struggling HVAC uses far more energy to fuel itself. You’re going to see this extra energy reflected in your utility bills. The trick is to notice recurring cost increases and link them back to your HVAC’s age before arranging any immediate repairs.
An older system is going to have more problems, as the aging process usually goes. If you find yourself continually facing repair problems with your HVAC unit, stop blindly pouring money into repair and ask yourself, “Would an entire replacement of the system cost me less?” Ninety percent of the time, the answer is yes.
So, what do you think? Have you seen any rising patterns in your utility bills? Is your system well over eight years old? Before diving any further into the home comfort checklist, you want to be sure you’re covered with item number one, “A Quality HVAC Unit.”
If your HVAC has passed its peak point of eight years, and you’re noticing slight cost increases here and there, then you probably haven’t got a quality, efficient system. If that’s the case, then replacement is going to be your best path to energy-savings.
Check back next week for the next item on The Ultimate Home Comfort Checklist!