Is Your HVAC System Energy Efficient?
The HVAC system is the biggest source of energy consumption in your home. It is a vital component of your home and it is important to know the status of your HVAC’s efficiency. Even if your system is operational, it does not mean that it is running efficiently. There are a few key HVAC basic metrics that can help you determine if your HVAC unit is energy efficient. Owning an energy efficient HVAC system is important for several reasons, the biggest perk being the savings you can get on your utility bills. Furthermore, an energy efficient system is better for the environment, has a longer lifespan and makes your home more comfortable. But is your HVAC system energy efficient? In this article we discuss what to look for to know.
HVAC System Age
If you have owned your HVAC system for more than 10 years, it is most likely not as efficient as it once was. Even if you have taken care of your system over the years, certain components can begin failing overtime and with regular usage. Energy efficiency has greatly improved with modern models and technology, so you may benefit from HVAC replacement. If your ductwork is older as well, then most likely they are leaking air. Air leaks should be sealed promptly or consider ductwork replacement.
Monthly Energy Costs
Energy costs will vary from season to season, but a steady incline in your energy costs means your unit is wasting energy. Keep in mind there are other contributing factors that could lead to higher energy costs such as weather changes, poor HVAC maintenance, or lack of other home improvements. Keep an eye on your costs and make a note if you think they are higher than they should be.
One of the easiest ways to check your AC or HP system’s energy efficiency is to check the SEER rating. SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. The SEER rating is used to measure the energy efficiency of your air conditioner. It is the ratio of your AC’s cooling output over a season divided by the amount of energy it uses in watt-hours. In other words, it shows how much energy your unit uses to produce the correct temperature control versus how much energy is wasted. Typically, you can find the SEER rating on the unit itself or in the user manual. The higher the rating, the more efficient the system.
The easiest way to check the efficiency of your gas furnace is checking its AFUE. AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. It is the ratio of the furnace’s annual heat output as compared to the total annual fossil fuel energy burned. The higher the AFUE rating the more efficiently your furnace will burn its fuel. An AFUE of 90% means that 90% of the fuel is used to heat your home and the other 10% is consumed in the heating process. Check the furnace unit or the furnace manual to find your system’s AFUE rating.
Another item to check to determine system efficiency is your air filters. Clogged air filters restrict air flow and diminish your system’s efficiency. A system that works harder uses a lot more energy. Check and change your filters at least once every 3 months.
Another way you can tell if your HVAC unit is energy efficient is by judging system performance. If you notice your HVAC system struggling to keep up, short cycling there is a high chance it is working harder than it should. Furthermore, if you have to frequently get HVAC repairs, uneven temperatures, high humidity in the home most likely that your system is not as energy efficient as it once was.
If the system was not installed properly the energy efficiency of an HVAC system can be reduced by up to 30%. Quality installation by a licensed contractor is critical to maintain system efficiency. It includes installation of a properly sized system, ductwork assessment, ensuring adequate airflow and charging the system with the correct amount of refrigerant. If any of these are missed, then it will greatly affect the efficiency of your system while it also struggles to meet your needs.
You will not be able to check each component of your HVAC system on your own. It is always best to leave routine maintenance checks with a licensed HVAC professional. Duct leaks, clogged air filters, clogged drain line, defective thermostat, and failing components can affect your HVAC efficiency. Most of these can be resolved with routine maintenance checks to keep your system running properly and efficiently.
Contact LA Construction, Heating and Air
If you think you have an inefficient HVAC system and need professional advice, give LA Construction, Heating and Air a call or contact us online. We are a licensed contractor that offers HVAC replacement, new installation, repair, and maintenance services. If you are ready to upgrade to a new efficient HVAC system, we offer free estimate consultations. Contact us today, we are here to help.
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