Wouldn’t it be great to avoid unexpected problems, especially when it comes to systems in your home like your heater and air conditioner? The cost and logistics of repairing or replacing equipment quickly in an emergency can be challenging when surprise breakdowns occur. We have found a few common problems with heating and cooling systems roughly 10 years and older that most homeowners are not aware of. Luckily they are easy to assess at a planned maintenance visit!
Common Unexpected Problems of Aging Systems
Potential Cracked Heat Exchangers
As furnaces age, dirt and buildup can accumulate – blocking filters, clogging blowers, and reducing airflow. A lack of airflow across the heat exchanger starts to take a toll; causing potential cracks and splinters that can lead to harmful carbon monoxide emissions. Some possible signs of carbon monoxide are:
- Streaks of soot around the furnace
- Rust on portions of visible vent piping
- Excessive rusting on flue pipes, and other pipe connections
- Excess moisture on windows, walls or other cold surfaces
According to the CDC, unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is responsible for hundreds of deaths each year and 34% of these are directly associated with heating system malfunctions. Since CO is a colorless, odorless gas, it’s difficult to detect before it starts to affect your safety and health. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your heating system is operating correctly and that you invest in the best low level Carbon Monoxide monitors available. Be aware of these warning signs and if you have any concerns our experienced technicians can perform a maintenance to make sure everything is running properly. It is good to develop a plan to replace your system before it becomes an emergency.
Loss of Efficiency
According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling accounts for about 48% of the energy use in a typical US home, making it the largest energy expense for most homes. As systems age, they become less efficient at converting energy into heat, thus driving up the cost to maintain a comfortable living environment. If you see energy costs rising and your comfort level falling, now may be the time to consider replacing your system before the cost to maintain far outweighs the cost to replace with a more efficient system.
R22 (Freon) Phaseout
In an effort to reduce ozone depletion, the EPA is phasing out the production and import of R-22 refrigerant by 2020. This action will limit availability while driving up the cost per pound. What does this mean for you? The majority of heating and cooling systems manufactured before 2010 use R-22 refrigerant in their cooling or, in the case of heat pumps, heating process. When these aging systems have a repairable failure associated with the refrigerant part of the system, the cost of the repair will be significantly higher than in the past. In some cases, repair may be impossible. Just another reason to consider where you are in the life cycle of your heating and cooling system and plan accordingly to avoid expensive unexpected repair and replacement costs.
Avoid the Unexpected
Planned & Smart Maintenance Programs
Just like your car, your home’s mechanical systems need regular service, maintenance, and inspection to ensure that they operate at peak efficiency. Many times our technicians get called to emergency repair situations that could have been easily prevented with regular planned maintenance. We also now offer Smart Maintenance plans using state of the art technology, Sensi Predict, to monitor your system 24/7. The Sensi Predict hub can detect up to 80% of failures before they occur, keeping you ahead of problems and eliminating unexpected inconveniences.
FREE In-Home Consultations
If you are in need of a replacement system, one of our experienced HVAC Design & Sales team members can visit you same-day to review your needs and your home’s specifications. Based on the results, we will recommend the best solutions for your consideration. We can even install the system within 24 hours*!
* Scheduling is subject to change.