Your HVAC is usually the single most important system in your home or building. It can have far reaching effects on your energy consumption, costs, and the comfort, health, and productivity of all people inside. Too often, however, we have seen homes and offices sticking far too long with neglected, antiquated systems to the point that they’re burning money on energy bills and actually experiencing health issues.
When to Replace
First of all, energy guzzling models of the past need to be replaced. It’s usually easy enough to tell when a unit is too old and inefficient. Most obvious is when it’s struggling to do its duty and needs to be constantly set on full power. On the other hand, there are those that seem to have no setting between “full” and “off,” and provide too much heat or cooling depending on its purpose. Another sign is excessive noise. As a general rule of thumb, it’s about 10 years for air conditioning systems and 15 years for furnaces or boilers.
Specifically, furnaces and boilers need to be replaced if their heat exchangers develop any cracks or holes. Signs of rust should be checked by professionals. Furnaces could start pumping exhaust fumes through your house or set off C02 detectors, at which point they may become life-threatening. In boilers, tell-tale signs are usually leaked water under the boiler, and again, rust. Specialists should be called who know their way around boilers and furnaces to make sure it’s operating safely and efficiently.
AC systems usually have shorter lifespans, especially the parts that need to be placed outdoors or are otherwise exposed to the elements. More frequent repairs, excessive noise and noticeable spikes in your electricity bill can indicate problems.
Your HVAC should be subjected to comprehensive check-up and maintenance at least twice a year – in the spring for cooling systems and in the fall for heating systems. Many recommend these at least every season, with a monthly check-up being ideal.
Filters for example should be replaced monthly, and blowers and ducts checked regularly to keep things from getting choked up, which will of course affect efficiency and could eventually even damage your systems. Moving parts should stay lubricated. Drains, coils and evaporators should be cleaned out. Your AC may also need an adjustment in the refrigerant level.
Linking your HVAC to a building automation system can further control the system to ensure maximum efficiency and smart utilization. This can also give you hourly information on metrics like temperature, humidity and energy use. This will tell you when something isn’t working at 100%.
Your HVAC system can have diverse effects on your home or office. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the HVAC and lighting make up about 60-70% of a building’s energy consumption. Research shows that regular maintenance can reduce your energy consumption by up to 30%. Costly breakdowns can be reduced by as much as 75%. Downtime can be reduced up to 35% and overall repair and maintenance costs by up to 20%.
All this reduced energy consumption and repair needs also translate to a lower carbon footprint. A properly functioning HVAC will also keep employees safe, comfortable and healthy, leading to an optimal setting for the highest productivity.
Leave it to the Experts
HVAC and building automation systems can be quite complex and extensive. To make sure everything is designed and installed properly, they should be handled by seasoned professionals. Level One HVAC has over 15 years of experience in designing, installing and maintaining HVAC and building automation systems. We have earned all the pertinent industry certifications and conduct continuous training to our team of HVAC professionals. We are based in New Hudson, MI and serve the states of Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Call us today at 248-486-6500 or click the contact button on the right for more information!