HVAC systems in Birmingham, Alabama, are prone to many technical problems, but one of the issues rarely discussed is outdated technology. An out-of-date thermostat or an undersized air conditioner can lead to extra energy consumption.

The U.S. Department of Energy has clear standards for HVAC systems that are implemented to save consumers money and to reduce the overall energy consumption per household. HVAC systems need to meet the required standards for up-to-date use, which are measured by the energy efficiency ratio (EER). To create the best possible efficiency standards, the states are divided into northern and southern groups. With hot-dry and hot-humid regions, you can find the ideal HVAC unit for your region to maximize efficiency. If you already have an HVAC system, you can still look for the early signs of outdated technology.

Outdated Thermostat

One of the biggest sources of concern with an outdated HVAC system is the thermostat. Programmable thermostats have been around for years, but the technology is different today. With various smartphone integration programs, we now see modern thermostats that know when you’re home and can adjust accordingly. These thermostats use geo-location to achieve optimal temperatures when you get home. In terms of savings, the technology proves to be a recommended choice for your monthly energy bills, saving you up to 10 percent on every bill.

At the same time, thermostats can become less accurate over the years; even a 10-year-old thermostat can have inaccuracies. For example, it can show temperatures as being higher or lower than they really are by up to 10 degrees at a time.

An up-to-date thermostat plays a positive role in the overall energy consumption of the home and its impact on the environment. For example, 2016 saw new regulations on the standards for air conditioners. An updated air conditioner abiding by these standards helps to reduce CO2 emissions significantly.

Undersized Air Conditioner

If you are unsure about your air conditioner’s capacity, you can follow a few clues to get an answer. If your AC is running continuously, it can be a sign that the system is undersized. This is why it’s recommended that a load calculation be performed by an HVAC technician when purchasing a new system.

Just as continuous running can be a sign of under-sizing, the problem can also be seen in your monthly energy bills. If you pay more than others who have the same system in their homes, it may be a sign that you need an HVAC professional to check the energy consumption of your HVAC system.

An outdated HVAC system can also be diagnosed visually and by sound and touch. One simple way to do this is to check the airflow. In many cases, reduced airflow can be a sign that you need to clean the filters of your HVAC system, but at the same time, it can be a sign that you need to check for outdated performance.

Different Temperatures Around the Home

Another way to diagnose an outdated HVAC system is to check the temperatures within your home. If the temperature is different from room to room, it may be a sign that your HVAC system is outdated. The ability to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the house is an indication of a system that is working within normal parameters. Unless you have a zoned system that lets you set different temperatures for individual rooms, varying temperatures are a sign it’s time for an HVAC checkup.

Unwanted Noises

With reduced performance in some rooms around the house, an outdated HVAC system can be extra-noisy. Rattling sounds can come from unsecured pipes or ducts, while popping sounds can happen when there is a temperature change in the furnace. The HVAC unit’s fan can also make a variety of sounds that may indicate the need to upgrade. Squealing noises can be an indication that the inducer motor needs to be serviced by an HVAC professional. In general, if you hear unusual noises from your HVAC system, get it checked out by a professional.

In the long run, having an up-to-date HVAC system means that you won’t lose money on technical issues and higher utility bills. Call us at (205) 289-3413 to have your HVAC system checked by a professional at Skelton Heating, Cooling & Refrigeration.

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