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6 HVAC Issues You Should Look Out for in Older Homes

Many Maumelle, AR residents who live in older houses have problems with their HVAC systems at some point. While they may appear to be harmless, worn-out HVAC systems in older houses can lead to much more serious problems if not addressed quickly. The most prevalent HVAC problems in older homes include the following.

1. Wear and Tear

Your air conditioner, like other equipment, will degrade with age. Though you can’t avoid this form of damage altogether, you can slow it down with regular maintenance to catch issues before they get out of control.

2. Decreased Efficiency

Whether you use an electric system or a gas one, your HVAC system contributes to your utility bill, which is a big reason to keep an eye on it. If you see a sudden increase in your utility costs despite the seasons and/or your HVAC habits not changing, your HVAC system might be the culprit.

Over time, the typical wear and tear we mentioned above will cause your air conditioner to strain to function normally. This reduction in efficiency usually shows up in longer cycles and larger utility bills.

An issue like this may occasionally be fixed with careful maintenance, but if your energy expenditures keep rising, consider installing a new HVAC system altogether. Modern units use less energy than their older kin and can often help you save money in the long term, even if the up-front price seems larger than you expect.

3. Absence of HVAC Zoning

Most old homes in Maumelle, AR feature central HVAC systems that usually heat or cool the entire house at the same time. Even with central systems, however, you can make modifications to zone your home.

A zoning system lets you heat or cool an area of your house independently without affecting the temperature in other areas. Usually, to implement a zoning system, you install dampers within the ductwork that open or close according to the zone that is being conditioned. A contemporary HVAC design that incorporates zoning will let you warm or cool areas in your home separately so you can save on energy usage.

4. Duct System Leaks

The duct system is crucial to the cooling process. This component distributes cool air from your HVAC system to each room in your home. When ducts age, fractures emerge that can let cold air escape into the attic, ceiling or behind walls.

When this happens, your HVAC unit wastes energy, creating cold air that does not increase interior comfort. You also spend money on monthly energy costs with little return on investment.

5. Inadequate Airflow

If your system can’t circulate as much air as it needs to function properly, that causes issues that can accelerate wear and tear, decrease efficiency and even result in a need for major repairs. Leaky ductwork can play a role in this—air needs to go somewhere, after all—but so can the buildup of dust, dirt and other particulates that can go unnoticed over the home’s lifespan.

Besides making sure your ductwork is in good condition, investing in duct cleaning can also help. Changing your HVAC filter regularly will also help keep air flowing freely through your home.

6. Problems With the Fans

Your air conditioner has two fans: one that drives air from within your home over the evaporator coils to chill the air and another that blows air over the condenser on the outside unit, which releases the absorbed heat outside your home. Various factors, such as worn belts, broken motors, a lack of a lubricant or excess dirt and debris, can cause either fan to stop functioning correctly.

Regardless of the cause, the effect might reduce airflow, which, if neglected, could lead to AC compressor failure. If the compressor breaks, you’ll likely need to replace the air conditioner altogether.

Contact us at Freyaldenhoven Heating and Cooling specialists whenever you need HVAC maintenance, repair or installation. We’ll do our best to maintain your HVAC.

Image provided by iStock

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