5 Telltale Signs of an Inefficient HVAC

Charleston, South Carolina, has a subtropical climate characterized by mild winters and hot summers, with plenty of rainfall throughout the year. Although temperatures remain fairly pleasant most of the year, a good HVAC system is needed to stay comfortable especially during the summer.

Unfortunately, even the best HVAC systems are prone to problems and breakdowns on occasion. And in some instances, heating or air conditioning units don’t perform at their optimal level. Here are five warning signs that you have an inefficient HVAC system.

Insufficient HVAC Cooling

One of the most apparent signs of an inefficient air conditioning unit is inadequate cooling. This is often caused by low levels of refrigerant, which can prevent your system from cooling your home’s interior sufficiently. The problem can occur any time of the year, although it is more noticeable during the summer when you’re using your air conditioning more frequently.

If your air conditioner isn’t cooling your home sufficiently, you will have to run it for longer periods than normal to keep you comfortable. This will increase your electricity costs, and you still might not get the cooling benefits you want. To solve this problem, have a professional HVAC technician check your unit for leaks. After the technician has plugged any leaks, he or she will then replenish the coolant in your AC unit.

An Inaccurate Thermostat

Problems with your unit’s thermostat sensor could cause it to set the cooling or heating incorrectly. When this happens, you might not be getting the temperature range you expect from your normal settings.

HVAC specialists will check your thermostat to see that it is maintaining the proper temperature. If they detect a problem with the sensor or the thermostat mechanism, they can easily repair or replace the malfunctioning component. You might also opt to have your HVAC technician install a programmable thermostat, which could help reduce your energy costs.

Drainage Problems

Leaks or water buildup are other common signs of an inefficient HVAC system. The most frequent cause is a blocked condensation line, which prevents condensed water from draining properly. Over time, this could result in biological growth in the moist areas of the system, which can lead to respiratory health issues.

Bring drainage-related problems to the attention of a qualified HVAC professional as soon as possible. Quick action will prevent damage to the HVAC system and water damage to the nearby areas of your home.

Clogged or Dirty HVAC Filters

HVAC systems have air filters that ensure the steady flow of clean air and prevent dust and other debris from clogging up the mechanism. But these filters can themselves become clogged and dirty over time. If your HVAC system is performing at less-than-optimal efficiency, there is a good chance you need to clean or replace your air filters.

Dirty air filters can result in dirt and debris buildup on your HVAC unit’s coils, as well. If the filter can’t perform its job efficiently, the dust and dirt particles it would otherwise filter out can coat the coils. This could cause your air conditioner to stop working entirely. In this scenario, repairing the problem could be much more expensive than if you cleaned or replaced your filter in the first place.

Unusually High Electric Bills

A sudden spike in your electric bill is almost always a sign that your HVAC is performing at less-than-peak efficiency. In some cases, your electrical costs might creep up slowly over several months, indicating a gradual reduction in your HVAC unit’s efficiency. Any of the problems we’ve described could result in a higher electrical bill than usual. Even if you haven’t noticed any of the issues mentioned, an increase in your electric bill is a sign that you should have a qualified technician out to check your system.

Keeping your HVAC unit in optimum condition will help ensure your comfort and well-being, prolong the usable life of your system, and save on expensive repair and replacement costs. AC Heating and Air Conditioning Services can help you keep your HVAC system running efficiently. Feel free to call us at (843) 277-9928 to learn more.

Image provided by iStock

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