HVAC System & High Electric Bills

HVAC System & High Electric Bills

Receiving an unusually high electric bill one month may be easy to ignore. But continuous high bills may seem alarming and make you wonder what is causing them. The first thing to consider is the HVAC system. Central HVAC systems account for almost half of home electricity bills on average. So, if your electric bills are suddenly high it may be attributed to your HVAC system in various ways. In this article we discuss your HVAC system & high electric bills.

Duct Leaks

Your ducting system is probably the last thing you think to check when considering a high electrical bill, but it could be the cause for high electric bills. Your ducts are responsible for delivering conditioned air throughout your home. Ducts play a major role in the overall efficiency of your system. Ducts wear over time and can pull away at connections or develop tears. As a result, a large amount of your heated and cooled air is lost to the attic space or in the space your ductwork is located. Any duct leaks that may be present will put an extra strain on the system to keep up with the thermostat settings leading to high electric bills. Duct leaks can lead up to a 30% energy loss in your home. Contact a professional to seal any leaks present or if beyond repair get your ductwork replaced. Speaking of lost conditioned air, another way you may be losing it is through non-insulated attic spaces and/or non-sealed cracks in your home. Take a good look at your insulation and sealing in your home. Many utility companies provide rebates and programs to assist customers with this.

Dirty Air Filters

A filter that is not routinely replaced will accumulate a build up of debris so much so that it can restrict airflow. This will cause your HVAC system to work longer and harder to reach the set temperature on the thermostat. Longer HVAC system run times will cause an increase in your electric bills. The easiest step you can take is to replace your air filter at least every 1 -3 months and perform routine maintenance of both your furnace and air conditioner.

Failing HVAC System Components

HVAC system components such as motors, capacitors and the compressor all play a major important role in the proper functioning of your system. Any failing part will cause a reduction in the efficiency of the system leading to high electric bills. Regularly scheduled HVAC maintenance can reduce costly repairs and ensure all components are running in tip top shape.

Low Refrigerant

During the hot summer months air conditioners and heat pumps use refrigerant to transfer and remove heat from your home. If your system does not have a proper amount of refrigerant then it will not remove heat efficiently. Low refrigerant will put an extra strain on your system to properly cool your home which you will notice in longer run periods and higher electric bills.

Peak Hours

The time of day you run your system makes a large difference in how much you pay for electricity. Peak hours are the hours of the day that the utility companies charge a higher rate for usage. During this time period, depending on the time of year and city you are in, the utilities may charge a noticeable amount more than off-peak hours. It is always a good idea to check with your cities utility company to see what your local peak hours are and if possible coordinate usage around that time.

Lack of Maintenance

As the summers seem to get hotter ever year it may seem impossible to restrict usage to peak hours in the summer. Still, running your system during peak hours is not the only concern. A common issue that many homeowners have is an inefficient HVAC system. Many inefficient systems do not present with alarming or obvious symptoms that will cause a homeowner to investigate. They may present with small issues like lower airflow, less than average heating or cooling, longer run times due to poor heating and cooling, or short cycling. Many may chalk these issues up to the extreme temperatures outside or long periods of usage. However, many times system inefficiency is a result of lack of maintenance. Regular HVAC maintenance not only helps with the longevity of your system but also ensures that it is running at the efficiency level it was intended to. There is no use in buying a high efficiency system if it never runs that way because it does not receive regular maintenance. Systems may also run inefficiently because they are old, and it is time to replace them.  If your system is15 years or older it may be time to look into replacement.

If you consistently have high electric bills it would be a great idea to contact an HVAC professional to help you figure out if your system is the issue. Give LA Construction, Heating and Air a call today at 818-341-3406 to schedule maintenance or  schedule a free estimate for replacement we are here to help! 

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