Major Consequences of HVAC Leaking Ducts

To most homeowners, little time, resources and energy are allocated to the ducts. The idea of duct maintenance is never a big deal as it is usually prone to disrepair.

This attitude towards the pipes hence impacts massive consequences on the health conditions and even the finances of my homeowners who happen to neglect the ducts.

Major Consequences of HVAC Leaking DuctsSome of the dangers posed by the poor maintenance and neglect include:

Financial Dangers

In the peak cooling seasons, averagely 25% of the bill on energy can be accounted for and associated with a running HVAC system. Bearing that in mind that there is another high possibility of realizing substantial financial measures should the system fail since it’s capable of significant costs realization in continuing to keep the family comfortable and happy should the mercury levels soar. To the surface, leaning ducts may not mean much, but financially, it poses dire consequences.

Once the air conditioner has conditioned and cooled the air, it then pushes it through the ducts and vents in the respective rooms within the house. A leaking tube thus provides a way for the paid air to escape to the ‘external’ environment and this amounts to less delivery if the conditioned air within the house. Consequently, the system is forced to work much harder and under more difficult states to cool sufficient air, allowing it through the ducts where once again it’s lost via the leaking pipes. With that, the cooling cost has to rise exponentially to be able to cool the home to the same initial temperatures it used to before the issue on leakage came into the picture.

Health Dangers

Just when the financial aspects of a leaking duct begin to take a toll on homeowners, matters associated with the health components of a leaking pipe come into the picture. The leaking tube allowing cold air into the much warmer and desired air of the attic or the warmer air of the attic finding its way into the cold air within the ducts, condensation occurs. Continuous condensation as a result of a mixture of the hot and fresh air breeds ground for mold formation. The infected and unrepaired leaking duct thus allows for mold spores to enter the canal freely and circulate through the entire house.

As if that’s not enough, the passage created by leaking ducts allowing moisture and mold circulation. Pollutants present within the attic freely finds its way into the HVAC system, the interference with the indoor air quality can pose significant health issues especially to family members known to suffer from asthma, respiratory illnesses, and even allergies. A lot of pollutants finds its way into the air we breathe during sleep by just a mere 5-7 times recirculation of the air within the home from a typical air conditioner.

System Dangers

The financial implications if a leaking duct in the HVAC systems is not limited to the utility bill on energy. The adverse working conditions to which the system is now subjected to bring desired results causes a faster rate in the wearing and tearing of the system components and parts. Based on the average functioning span of the system under sub-optimal operating conditions, there are high chances the system will need a total complete makeover sooner than it would have needed had the system been maintained and kept under proper working conditions.

Bearing in mind a complete system change out can be very costly, it’s in the best interest of homeowners to have qualified professionals to have a periodic regular check and maintenance of the HVAC system not forgetting a thorough check on the duct work.

Cost-Effective Thermostat Settings for Home Air Conditioning

Your home’s cooling and heating system should give comfort and convenience to your indoor environment. Currently, many homeowners are worried about controlling their budgets and usage, while retaining the comfort they desire in the home.

Cost-Effective Thermostat SettingsOne easy solution to managing your cooling and heating system is to control your thermostat settings, to suit your preferences and habits. Consider the temperature settings that provide personal comfort and cost efficiency at the same time. This article discusses recommended thermostat settings that offer sufficient comfort for many individuals and would surely save you money on your utility bills.

Recommended Thermostat Settings

During the hot weather, it is recommended that you set your home’s cooling unit to seventy-eight degrees Fahrenheit when indoors. If you are outdoors for four or more hours, raise the setting, so the cooling unit only switches on if the temperature hits 88 degrees Fahrenheit. For every degree you set above 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months, you could save six to eight percent of your home’s energy bill, per a single level. So, keep your home’s temperature a little higher and use the best settings for summer and spring to ultimately aid in saving you money.

During winter, you can keep your costs in check and conserve energy by maintaining your thermostat at sixty-eight degrees when at home. Energy.gov reported that turning your thermostat down by ten to fifteen degrees for eight hours a day brings about an energy usage reduction of five to fifteen percent on your bill per year.

Depending on your household’s personal comfort preferences, one idea to consider is reducing the thermostat at night when asleep. Many individuals find it comfortable to sleep in a cooler surrounding and use winter blankets to control warmth. It is crucial to note that indoor humidity plays a significant role in the comfort of the air in your house.

Solution: A Programmable Thermostat

Installing an automated thermostat in your home will let you run a scheduled cooling and heating program without the need to remember and manually change your settings at different times of the day. Many programmable thermostats can adjust the temperature in your home automatically up to six or more times in a single day. Additionally, you can manually override the automatic configurations if you need to without interrupting the daily or weekly settings.

An automated thermostat offers such ease of use that it is easy to configure your home’s temperature during the day when at work or night while asleep.  In the summer months, raising the cooling temperature to over seventy-eight degrees Fahrenheit in your home for eight hours a day can make a difference on your utility bills.

When setting up your thermostat, take into consideration your daily timetable. You can ask yourself whether you like sleeping in a cold house during winter. If you prefer your home cooler at night, configure your thermostat to a lower setting about one hour before going to sleep, so that the house begins to cool down. Before waking up, you may want to set the thermostat, so the heat turns on approximately two hours before you get up, so the house is warm and beautiful.

You should also consider switching the thermostat at any time when your home is vacant for four or more hours a day. Adjusting temperatures down five to eight degrees in winter, and up in summer can aid in saving energy when outside your home for many hours.

Here are some few tips and benefits of an automated thermostat from Energy Star:

  • Fix your thermostat at a distance from lighting, heating or cooling appliances, skylights, doorways, fireplaces, windows and drafts or areas that receive direct sunlight. Interior wall surfaces are best.
  • Maintain the thermostat set at energy-saving modes for longer periods when they are is no one at home to use them, such as during the day.
  • Configure the hold switch at a constant power-saving temperature when going away for a holiday or the weekend.
  • Change your batteries every year if your thermostat runs on them. Some units indicate when batteries need to be replaced.

Personal Home Comfort

The individuals living within the home determine the comfort level of a home. When assessing your configurations, you will want to consider what indoor temperature provides the personal comfort you are your family and cost efficient at the same time. Some individuals like a warm home and others prefer a cooler surrounding. If you have not been conscious about managing your temperature settings, you would be surprised that adjusting your settings just up or down a little, depending on the season, would provide you with a similar comfort to the one you have enjoyed previously in your home.

Regardless of what your preference is, adjusting your thermostat will ultimately help you save money.

Common HVAC Problems and How to Troubleshoot Them

To diagnose all the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning or HVAC problems, start repairing the visible items and then move onto the hidden components. The HVAC comprise of an air conditioner, a furnace, a ductwork and a fan attached to it. A thermostat controls them all by commanding them to switch on or off according to programmed settings. A filter resides inside the ventilation system which purifies the air before it blows throughout the house, whether warm or cold.

Common HVAC ProblemsIdentifying the Problem

Start the detection of the problem in your HVAC system by checking its power supply. Then find the service panel and verify the circuit breaker has not tripped. The air conditioner and the furnace both have their individual circuit breaker or commonly known as fuse. Turn off the circuit breaker if any unit is malfunctioning. Wait for at least ten seconds and then switch it on again. Detach and replace the burnt, blown or broken fuse. Now check the thermostat for the power. Thermostat receives power by either the batteries or the electrical system. If you are using the batteries for power, replace the batteries if the unit does not have any power.

Troubleshooting Furnace

Turn the thermostat to the mode indicating ‘heat’. Set the thermostat three to five degrees above the room temperature. Check for the heat at an open register after waiting for at least half a minute. If the heat is not coming out, turn the thermostat off. Be sure that the panel door on the furnace is closed. The panel door has a switch inside it which allows the fully engaged system to operate. If the system is not entirely engaged, then the heater will not start. Open the panel door and then turn off the gas by pushing the reset button to reset the furnace. Wait for five minutes and then on the gas. Refer to the unit’s manual for additional information.

Troubleshooting Air conditioner

Switch the thermostat to cool mode. Set the thermostat three to five degrees below the room temperature. Check for the cold air at an open register after waiting for at least half a minute. Reset the AC to the circuit breaker. Check the AC for water below the unit if the air conditioner is working but does not produce cold air. Dirty coils cause the coils to freeze if there is water below the unit. Switch off the AC at the circuit breaker and wait for at least 3 hours. Then clean the coil and start the unit.

Troubleshooting Ventilation

Check if the registers are open and the fan is on the thermostat. The latest thermostats come with two options i.e. on and auto. The fan uninterruptedly runs when it is set to ‘on’ mode. The fan starts with the heater at the ‘auto’ mode. Remove the filter from the cold air return. Check the filter for dirt. The cold air filters need to be clean for the system to work properly. Check out the manual if your filter is permanent. Locate the arrow pointing towards the direction of the air flow. After cleaning the filter put back the filter such that arrow is facing the ductwork side. If the filter is disposable, then replace it with a new one.