The brutal heatwave that hit much of the United States this past summer is over, but there are still warm days that may necessitate that homeowners in Opelika, AL run their central air or conversely turn on their heat. To avoid unnecessarily high electric bills, you need to know how to tell if your HVAC system is working as it should. Here are five common signs that your heat pump isn’t cooling or heating your home efficiently.
1. Air Filters Are Dirty
If your HVAC filter is dirty, all that dust is restricting the amount of air that can flow through it. That means your heat pump has to work extra hard to push enough air through your home to maintain your desired temperature.
When your heat pump isn’t working efficiently, it puts more wear and tear on the whole system and can cause it to break down sooner. Regularly replacing the filter can boost heat pump efficiency and extend the life of your whole HVAC system.
2. AC or Heater Runs All the Time
Another sign that your heat pump isn’t efficient is that it seems to run all the time to keep your home warm or cool, depending on the season. Or if it does reach your desired temperature and shuts off, it turns itself back on very quickly. We call this short cycling, and it indicates that your HVAC system is straining to do its job.
Since your heat pump has to work all year long to heat and cool your home, it’s important to keep it running as efficiently as possible to prevent it from burning out too soon. Short cycling at any time of year is a bad sign, so if this happens with your heat pump, you need to have your system checked out to see what’s going on.
3. Utility Bills Are Unusually High
When your heat pump is inefficient and short cycling on a regular basis, it’s using a lot of energy to run so frequently. If your utility bills seem higher than they were at this time last year, it’s a hint that your system isn’t running efficiently.
Sometimes, an inefficient heat pump has one or more components that need repair or replacement, but that isn’t always the case. A lot of the time, all you really need is a maintenance tune-up to get your heat pump running efficiently and saving you money.
While annual maintenance visits do have a cost, keeping your system smoothly running can also lower your utility bills. Since that reduces strain on your HVAC components, it can also push back your repair schedule and save you some money on repairs. Our Comfort Care members also get discounts on repairs when the time comes.
4. Evaporator Coil Is Wet or Frozen
Have you ever noticed wet spots beneath your HVAC system? This could mean your evaporator coil has ice forming on it. When the unit shuts off and temperatures warm up a little, the ice melts and causes these small water leaks.
Ice on your evaporator coil signals that your system isn’t cooling your home efficiently. It likely means that your refrigerant levels are low. Since there isn’t enough refrigerant pumping through the system, it has to work harder to cool your home.
5. HVAC System Is Old
Finally, if your heat pump isn’t efficient, the cause could simply be the age of the system. Most heat pumps last 10 to 15 years if appropriately maintained. So, if your HVAC system is that old, it wouldn’t be surprising that it is on its last legs and struggling to maintain proper temperatures.
Today’s HVAC technologies are more advanced and efficient than any of the older tech. So, when it comes time to install a new system, you can rest assured that your new heat pump will be more efficient and cost-effective than your previous models.
If you notice any of these five signs of an inefficient heat pump, contact us at Sensigreen Heating & Air for residential HVAC repairs. We can fix that heat pump to keep it running efficiently or replace it if need be.
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