5 HVAC Issues in Older Homes in Lenoir City, TN

Your older home in Lenoir City, TN has character and history, but it also presents its challenges. Consider these five issues your HVAC system may face in your older home.

1. Poor Air Quality

Air quality refers to the quantity of contaminants floating around in your air. Poor air quality simply means there are countless contaminants that can affect your home and your health.

Older homes tend to have several sources of air quality issues. First, the older construction materials break down, releasing contaminants like dust into the air.

Next, older homes tend to have older HVAC systems, usually containing a buildup of contaminants. They tend to collect both in the system itself, like at the circulating fan but also in the air ducts.

Finally, older homes aren’t often as well sealed as newer homes, allowing more outdoor air to enter in uncontrolled ways. While drawing in outdoor air is necessary, drawing it in through leaks also brings in various contaminants from outside.

2. Low Energy Efficiency

Your system’s efficiency determines both how much you spend to heat and cool your home and the wear it experiences. The lower the efficiency, the more you pay for your heating and cooling, and the quicker system components wear out.

Older homes tend to have older systems, sometimes well beyond the normal service life. This means that while you may have heat and AC, it may cost much more than necessary.

3. Restricted Airflow

Any forced air HVAC system depends on its ability to circulate air. Many older homes face issues with enough airflow to evenly heat or cool the space.

First, older homes often have poorly designed duct systems. This creates a situation where there’s not enough supply or return vents to create adequate air circulation.

Further, the poor air quality that comes with older systems commonly causes clogged or leaky air ducts. Both cases result in the conditioned air failing to arrive at its intended destinations around your home. This increases your utility costs and also makes your system work harder, leading to additional heating and AC repairs.

4. Outdated Technology

HVAC equipment doesn’t last forever, and older homes tend to have outdated technology. A furnace has an expected service life of about 15 to 20 years, and an AC 10 to 15 years. Likewise, even the thermostat has a useful life of 10 to 15 years before it stops registering the temperature accurately.

Outdated technology poses a problem in that it’s commonly less efficient than modern options. This leads to increased utility bills, and it leaves your home less comfortable most of the time.

If you’re not sure about the age of your technology, there are a few ways to find it. For your thermostat, check to make sure that it’s a digital model with programming capabilities. Next, get an independent thermometer and check its reading against your thermostat.

For a furnace, find the serial number, which you’ll usually find on the manufacturer’s label inside the access panel. The first two numbers indicate its production week of the year, with each year having 52 weeks. The third and fourth numbers signify the year of its manufacture.

An air conditioning unit is a little easier as the manufacturing date is commonly stamped on the metal nameplate. You’ll typically find this on the back of the outside condensing unit.

5. Leaking Air Ducts

Ductwork also has a useful life of about 10 to 15 years. Beyond this time frame, you’re likely to run into problems with the metal corroding and causing leaks in the system.

Beyond corrosion, ducts experience some movement over time. Some of this comes from the vibration of the air moving through the system. However, it also happens as your home settles, warping the ducts and causing some leaks.

Don’t settle for uncomfortable air in your home just because it’s old. Call us at Cooks Comfort Systems, Inc. to schedule your heating or AC installation consultation with one of our experts today.

Image provided by iStock

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