Let’s face it, heating your home isn’t cheap. Your HVAC equipment uses more energy than anything else in your home, and it does so by a considerable margin. Naturally, that means the majority of the money you’re spending on energy every year is going toward your comfort. So if you’re looking for a place to make changes that save you money, your HVAC equipment is a good place to start.
A heater that saves you money is one that runs efficiently, however many people don’t necessarily know what can make their system so inefficient. After all, heaters are largely self-contained and operate on their own, so what can the average person do to really help the matter? The answer may surprise you: plenty. Here are the top four most common reasons why your heating system may be inefficient and what you can do to resolve these problems.
Your System is Getting Old
Age affects us all, and it does the same to your heating system as well. Over time, heating solutions will become less and less efficient as more and more parts grow old, wear out, or simply don’t work as well as they used to. If your system is approaching the end of its useful lifespan, you’ll probably find that your heater takes longer, doesn’t produce as much warm air, and generally burns through a lot more energy than it did, while it was new.
How long should you expect your heater to last? This is a tricky question because every system is unique. On average, a heater will generally last around 10 to 15 years, but could last as much as 20 or more if you take good care of your system. Regular maintenance could be the single greatest thing you do for the lifespan of your heater, as it can help it run better and smoother year after year.
Your Air Filter is Dirty
It’s extremely hard to understate how important this is: every homeowner should be changing their air filter regularly. A dirty air filter can be blamed for everything from your heater being slow to frequent breakdowns and failures. If you struggle with poor indoor air quality, your air filter is probably at fault for that too. In fact, the overwhelming majority of air conditioning and heating problems can at least partially trace their cause back to a dirty air filter.
Every homeowner should be checking their air filter every month. Pick a day and set a reoccurring reminder on your phone, and always check it when it comes up. If your filter appears to be largely clean or mostly in good condition, you’re fine to leave it for another month. If your filter appears as though it’s turning a shade of gray and has a considerable amount of built-up dust trapped in it, then replace it. Have extras on hand to be ready to replace your filter the next time you check it.
You Have Air Duct Leaks
The ducts that carry conditioned air around your home are an extremely important part of your heating system. They need to be clean, clear, and completely sealed to deliver peak heating and cooling performance without any negative contribution to your indoor air quality. However, air leaks prevent this. Air leaks result in reduced air pressure, meaning weaker airflow the further away from your central blower fan you get. Air leaks also allow dust and debris to enter your HVAC system as well as allow conditioned air to escape.
If you want to increase energy efficiency, have your ductwork inspected by a professional. Your home has an extensive network of ducts, and most of them are hidden in places that are impossible to see without proper tools. A professional inspection can help you spot any problems and have them addressed.
Your Home Isn’t Sealed Against Air Leaks
Your air ducts aren’t the only areas where air can leak out—the air can leak out of your home itself as well. Believe it or not, air leaks are more than likely all around you: they’re in the recessed light fixtures in your ceiling, in the receptacle box holding your ceiling fan in place, and even around your doors and windows where rubber weather stripping has fallen apart over time.
Every fall, we recommend carefully inspecting your home to check for any of these air leaks around particularly common areas, including doors, windows, and attic floors. If you notice any areas where insulation appears to be worn or missing, replace it.
Tired of an inefficient heater? Have yours tuned up by the pros at H.L. Moe, Co. Dial (818) 396-8002 now to request your appointment.