Is your HVAC unit as efficient as it can be? The NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) completed a study that concluded that an inefficient HVAC unit can cost you 30% more if it is improperly installed. This is of course something you want to avoid, and we are going to cover a couple different ways to help you do that.
7 HVAC Red-Flags
Simple installation mistakes can wreak havoc on your HVAC system. The energy ratings on these units can be dramatically decreased, and the unit can even malfunction if preventative measures haven’t been taken. Avoiding the following mistakes will save you $$$ in the long run!
- Incorrect Airflow: This can come from blockages or leaking ducts in the HVAC system. Reduced airflow will keep the hot and cool air from getting to the areas that need it, which means the system will run longer than necessary to complete these tasks.
- Refrigerant Undercharge: If the level of refrigerant isn’t as high as it needs to be, the air won’t cool as quickly. This can lead to you never achieving the ideal temperature in your home, as well as the system running longer than necessary.
- Refrigerant Overcharge: Just as the system can have too little refrigerant, it can also have too much. This can lead to lines freezing and undue stress put on your HVAC unit.
- Improper Liquid Line Refrigerant Subcooling: This indicates the charging was not completed correctly. If this becomes a common occurrence, the longevity of your system could be affected.
- Non-condensible Gases: This happens if the pressure in your lines is incorrect. This can ultimately causes the lines to blow-out.
- Wrong Voltage: If there isn’t enough voltage, your system will not perform as it should. On the other hand, if it gets too much voltage, it could cause the HVAC system to short out.
- Incorrect Size: If the unit is too small for the space, it will cause the system to be inefficient and work too hard.
The most common of all of these concerns is leaking ducts. This was proven to increase the energy consumption of the HVAC systems.
How to Fix It
Now you know what causes the system to be inefficient, but how do you fix it? Ideally, the system would be installed correctly the first time. The study made some suggestions which include:
- Follow the industry guidelines when purchasing a unit. Buying a bigger unit doesn’t mean it will be more efficient. But buying too small of a unit will only save you money on the upfront cost, but cost you more in operating costs in the long run.
- Always use a licensed HVAC company to install your system. You will always want to use a licensed professional for service and maintenance as well.
- Don’t ignore regular maintenance. Doing this regularly ensures that your system will be efficient now and in the future. No matter how great the installation job, normal wear-and-tear still occurs, and the elements can also effect the system. Proactively preventing malfunctions will help avoid your system being down, as well as save you money!
A clean, well-maintained, properly installed HVAC system is what we always recommend. G&L Services is proud to be Chattanooga’s heating and air company!