Homeowners may overlook certain parts of their home, from the interior paint to draining the hot water heater. The HVAC or heating-and-cooling equipment in the home can become a fixed entity in residents’ minds too. Neglecting this system can lead to serious problems with the household’s comfort and more. Explore the real cost of not maintaining the heating-and-cooling equipment in the home. There are real consequences to inactivity.
1. Breathing in Particles
A subtle cost to neglecting the HVAC system is poor air quality. These systems move the air through the home. The entire air mass within the home slowly transfers through the HVAC’s filter in order to be warmed or cooled. This filter traps particles that would otherwise be breathed in by the residents.
These particulates can include:
- Pet dander
A well-maintained system captures the particles with ease. In fact, some components might have HEPA filters that trap almost every particulate that moves through an everyday structure.
Neglected systems have clogged filters. Some residents might remove the filter altogether and not replace it. The result is particles floating through the air, which leads to reduced air quality and possible allergic reactions.
2. Increasing Energy Costs
Residents aren’t putting any money into the HVAC system in the form of annual repairs, but the neglect is costing them in other ways. The electrical bill will slowly grow in size as the HVAC components struggle through their cycles.
These issues create strain on the parts, including:
- Dusty surfaces
- Clogged drains
- Greasy residues
Without cleaning and adjusting the parts, they work hard to perform their basic functions. As a result, they draw more current from the home’s electrical system than normal. The increase may be subtle at first, but it adds up over the months and years. Electricity tends to be more expensive than other energy sources, so most households like to keep a strict eye on conserving this resource.
3. Exuding Toxic Fumes
A serious cost of not maintaining the HVAC equipment is fumes. When a furnace activates, it often uses natural gas and a flame in order to warm the air and surrounding rooms. If the gas doesn’t ignite as designed, it might leak into the home.
Carbon monoxide can be deadly, so it’s imperative to maintain the system so that these fumes are never a concern. A rotten-egg scent might accompany this type of fume leak. Immediately stop the furnace, and seek professional help in this case.
Other fumes might permeate the interior air, including:
- Musty scent
- Burnt odor
- Metallic smell
No HVAC system should give off these scents, which means that maintenance is necessary at this point.
4. Leaking Fluids
Although the HVAC system blows cool and hot air into the home, this fact doesn’t mean that fluids aren’t involved with its functions. In fact, there are several fluids that move through the system, such as condensate water or refrigerant.
These fluids remain trapped within the closed system, but they can leak out when maintenance isn’t a regular occurrence.
The refrigerant might leak near the outside unit where the hoses are exposed to the elements. These leaks go largely unnoticed, which leads to poor operation and expensive repairs.
A yearly tune-up gives technicians a chance to catch small leaks that are easily repaired. Replacing multiple hoses and recharging a poorly maintained system is a big job. Avoid the serious costs of HVAC repairs with minor fixes over the years.
5. Damaging Structural Elements
Within the interior unit is a condensate drain. Water built up within the system will condense into a trap and connected drain so that it can be carefully removed from the structure. Without regular maintenance, this drain can become clogged.
Water might back up into the system where it leaks into any crevice. Residents may not notice a leak for weeks or even months. These slow leaks can eventually damage structural elements.
Residents might see these issues occurring around the interior unit, such as:
- Mold growth
- Yellowing drywall
- Mysterious puddles
Maintaining the system reduces the chances of any leaks, which protects the drywall and surrounding materials.
6. Fluctuating Electrical Issues
Furnaces and central air conditioners pull a lot of energy from the home’s electrical system when they’re well-maintained systems. Residents might notice a slight dimming of the lights when the system activates, for instance. This occurrence is simply a temporary current draw on the wiring under normal circumstances.
Neglected HVAC systems, however, might cause noticeable changes in the home’s electricity. Issues that arise might include tripped circuit breakers or lights flickering off and on.
If the household notices any electrical issues that are becoming progressively worse, contacting technicians for an immediate appointment is critical. There may be considerable damage to the HVAC and electrical systems when fluctuations are present. Both systems should work seamlessly for overall safety.
7. Creating an Expensive Bill
It’s deceptive to think that an HVAC system doesn’t have a real cost to its maintenance. Residents may not be putting any money toward yearly checkups, for example. The components just keep on running.
Those parts, however, are slowly declining. Instead of paying for low-cost checkups, an expensive bill may be on the horizon. When the system finally breaks down, multiple components may require replacement. Adjustments or repairs that are much more affordable aren’t possible anymore because of neglect.
Keep in mind that it’s always less expensive to repair minor issues with each yearly tuneup than paying for an entirely new HVAC system. It’s possible to prolong a system’s life for many years with consistent care.
8. Feeling Uncomfortable
A tangible cost to not maintaining an HVAC system is discomfort. The home cannot be efficiently heated or cooled with neglected components. These characteristics might be common in the household right now, such as:
- Motors with diminished power
- Fans with lackluster energy
- Hot or cold spots throughout the interior
Because the residents feel uncomfortable, they’ll adjust the thermostat on a frequent basis. Turning the temperature to extreme highs and lows to simply make the interior feel comfortable will put extra strain on the components. They respond by working harder than normal, which leads to premature breakdowns.
If a household has a vulnerable resident, such as an ailing senior citizen, temperature discomfort can lead to serious health problems. Caring for the HVAC parts will solve multiple problems around the home.
Work with a reputable HVAC technician over the years in order to maintain a healthy system. These professionals can ensure comfort and functionality across the entire household. Residents end up saving money and prolonging the system’s lifespan as a result of professional care.