Folksy advice suggests "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Although this might be sound guidance in most instances, it doesn't ring true when talking about HVAC equipment. Leaving well enough alone when it comes to a functioning, but outdated furnace, boiler, or air conditioner can cause your home's energy consumption to increase, your comfort level to decrease, and harm the environment.
By Kelly Wingard
December 31, 1969
HVAC Equipment Ages Quickly
Even if your house is fairly new, you may want to take stock of your home's HVAC efficiency. ENERGY STAR, a joint program of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, advises replacing heat pumps or air conditioners that are more than 12 years old with newer, more efficient equipment. You should re-evaluate the energy efficiency of your furnace or boiler after 15 years.
Other Signs That Indicate Replacement
ENERGY STAR also suggests the following tell-tale signs that indicate it's time to invest in new HVAC equipment or take other energy-efficient measures:
- Uneven heating and cooling--improperly sealed homes, inadequate insulation, or duct problems contribute to irregular heat and air conditioning distribution
- Excessive humidity or dust--poorly maintained furnace or air conditioner filters, leaky ductwork, or improperly sized HVAC equipment may be to blame
- Noisy air conditioner--a malfunctioning indoor coil or improperly sized ductwork may cause cooling systems to clang
Inefficient HVAC Equipment Harms Environment
A typical home's energy consumption can cause twice the greenhouse gas emissions as the average car. Inefficient HVAC equipment contributes to this problem, causing fossil-fuel burning power plants to produce more harmful gas emissions. Greenhouse gases contribute to global warming by trapping heat in the atmosphere, causing your home's air conditioner to work even harder.
SourcesEnergy Star: A Guide to Energy Efficient Cooling and Heating
About the Author
Kelly Wingard is a homeowner with 30 years of budget-minded decorating and remodeling experience.
*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.