One of most important components of any home is the heating, ventilation, air conditioning unit, known as HVAC. As the name represents, this piece of equipment is how your house stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer. In addition, it circulates the air to prevent mold and mildew.
The HVAC unit comprises a blower fan and a pilot light for gas heat. On the outside of your home is the AC unit, which helps keep the house cool through its fan and condenser unit. All of them work together to maintain comfort in every room.
However, there are moments when you’re not so comfortable. If they’re more frequent, it could be a sign that some or all of your HVAC unit needs to be replaced. To help determine this, here are signs that it may be time.
Higher Energy Bills
Electric and gas bills tend to be more during the summer and winter. However, the increase shouldn’t be astronomical. If either bill is higher than average for the season, this may represent a potential HVAC issue.
The increase can be related to the amount of time the blower fan runs. If it has a hard time reaching the desired thermostat temperature, then the unit won’t stop until it reaches its goal. These issues might not be noticeable in real time, so you won’t realize the problems until you see a bill.
Poor Air Quality
Poor air quality is something you may notice more in the summer than the winter. As the air conditioner runs, you might detect musty smells or notice small patches of mold in ventilation shafts. Also, the air itself could feel more humid.
This can be due to a dirty air filter. If the problems persist even when the filter is replaced, then there’s an issue with the air conditioner itself. If old enough, it may need to be replaced.
Your HVAC unit may need repairs from time to time during its life. Perhaps the replacement of a burnt-out coil or the thermostat. When these repairs begin to happen multiple times a year, then replacement needs to be considered.
Particularly if the unit is 10 years or older. At that point, the cost for fixes will probably outweigh the actual value of the HVAC equipment.
Unusual Sounds & Smells
Certain sounds and smells are common in HVAC units. For instance, you might detect an odor of burning dust the first time you turn on the heater for the season. Or, you may hear a click when the AC motor kicks off.
It’s when those smells continue or those sounds include squealing that there may be a problem. If repairs to correct them only help temporarily, then the HVAC unit could be at the point it needs to be replaced.
Uneven Comfort Levels
It’s not uncommon for some rooms to be a little cooler or warmer when the HVAC unit is properly tuned. The basement remains cooler due to its general location and its vicinity to the HVAC unit. Upper floor rooms might be warmer in the summer if the fan isn’t powerful enough to push the air to those vents.
The sign an HVAC unit might need to be replaced is when these levels become too uneven. Some areas might seem unusually hot in the winter and summer. Meanwhile, other rooms might feel freezing from the air conditioner. If thermostat changes don’t level these off, then something is wrong.
The best way to determine if your HVAC unit needs replacement is to contact your local repair shop. They’ll send out an expert who can diagnose the issues and determine if it merits a complete replacement. Though it will require downtime and a large payment to make it happen, the return on investment will be greater when lower bills and cleaner air start to filter in.