How to Know Your HVAC is Becoming Less Efficient?

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Updated on Oct 23, 2023
5 min read
How to Know Your HVAC is Becoming Less Efficient?

Do you find that your recent monthly Bay Area electricity bills are higher than usual? If your monthly consumption has remained consistent, it’s vital to look at the potential reasons why the electricity bills are going up. One of the reasons for this situation could be that your HVAC unit is not running efficiently.

What is an HVAC unit?

HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) refers to systems that control the air inside your homes. HVAC units consume a lot of energy, and energy bills can be the highest monthly expense. Even so, a spike in your energy bill can be cause for concern. It is time to find out what caused it.

The first thing you do is to check the HVAC unit as it is the one that consumes the most electricity. You are likely to recognize other signs of an inefficient HVAC, such as warm air coming in from the vents, frost or ice on the unit, foul smell from flowing indoors, and grinding sounds coming from the unit.

Signs that your HVAC is not running efficiently

Spike in electricity bills

If your HVAC unit has to work harder to provide the necessary cool air or heating, it is likely to consume far more energy. This is expected in extreme weather conditions. However, even in this scenario, an unusual spike in bills can occur, and a failing HVAC unit causes that. The cause could be related to its age or a breakdown. Over the years, there will be general wear and tear of any appliance.

Warm airflow

The air conditioner is expected to blow in cool air as specified in the thermostat to make you comfortable at home. But, if you feel warm air flowing instead, and you have checked the thermostat to make sure the reading is as set previously, then your HVAC is not doing a good job.

Frost/ ice on the HVAC

Signs of ice or frost anywhere on the unit indicate that the refrigerant level has dipped low and is causing the temperature to drop below normal. It will also have an impact on HVAC efficiency. This may not happen too much in the Bay Area but it can happen. You cannot predict the weather – climate change has always been a factor and always will be. The climate is not constant.

Foul odor

If something is wrong with the HVAC, you would probably smell it first! You may have noticed it before but ignored it, until it gradually worsens, wafting in either a musty or a burnt odor. While musty odors can come from mold, burnt odor could be from the wiring. Whatever the cause, it is time to check the HVAC system.

Grinding sounds

There can be little doubt that your HVAC is in trouble when it makes rattling or grinding noises. It could mean that some part has become loosened or that the unit itself is breaking down. If you are lucky, it will only squeak because it needs oiling.

Any one of the above reasons would bring down the efficiency levels of your HVAC. Therefore, it makes sense to reach out to the HVAC service professionals as soon as you see the signs; especially, if you want to enjoy the comfort of an efficient HVAC and keep your energy bills under control. 

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