Have you noticed a sudden or dramatic increase in the heating bill for your home in Port Neches-Groves, Texas? Although finding out what’s behind a higher-than-average energy bill seems easy enough, several different issues could cause such an increase. Some you can solve yourself, while others require the attention of an HVAC professional.
Dirty Air Filters
One common cause of HVAC-related problems is a dirty air filter. HVAC filters need to be replaced regularly, so if you can’t remember the last time you changed yours, that could be what’s costing you money. Your HVAC system can pull air through a clean filter much more easily than through a dirty one, and that efficiency — or lack thereof — will be reflected on your energy bill.
Closed or Blocked Air Registers
Next, check the air registers in your home. In order for warm air to circulate properly throughout a room, all of the registers need to be open and free from obstructions. If any registers are closed or blocked by furniture, your HVAC system will struggle to heat your home evenly and efficiently.
It's also possible that your home is poorly insulated. This means that it can't retain warm air, even if your HVAC system is working properly. Scour your home for any problems with its thermal envelope, from poorly insulated walls to cracks around your windows and doors.
Plug any gaps in exterior walls — such as those around cables, pipes, windows, and doors — with caulk or weatherstripping to ensure that windows are locked for a tighter seal. Add more insulation as necessary to your attic, walls, and basement. If you notice drafts around your electrical boxes, install acrylic latex caulk, foam sealant, and foam gaskets before replacing the outlet cover.
Dirty or Leaky Ductwork
Conditioned air could also be escaping through leaks in your ductwork, never arriving at its intended destination. In that case, you may need a professional to find and seal any cracks, holes, or gaps. While you’re at it, consider investing in duct cleaning. Just as air moves more easily through a clean air filter, clean ducts will help your HVAC system work more effectively.
Broken or Malfunctioning Components
Your ducts aren’t the only component that could be causing problems. Your system could be running in AC mode, or the outdoor unit could be down, forcing your system to rely on a less-efficient backup source of heat. As you might expect, any broken or malfunctioning components can make your system less effective, which in turn costs you more money on your monthly energy bill. Even a faulty thermostat could be to blame.
Even if nothing is broken, scheduling a maintenance visit is a good idea. During a tune-up, your technician will complete a few basic tasks that are vital to the health and efficiency of your HVAC system. In fact, even if your system seems to be working fine, you should still factor a yearly or twice-yearly tune-up into your budget.
To make regular maintenance even easier, we offer membership to Thermacon’s Energy Savings Club. Membership benefits include both a spring and fall tune-up, priority service, a one-year warranty on parts and labor, and more.
Undersized or Outdated HVAC System
There are a few situations in which replacing your HVAC system is the only way to lower your energy bill. Most units have a lifespan of 15 to 25 years, so if your system is nearing that range, it may simply be on its last leg. Even a relatively new HVAC system will be inefficient if it’s too large or too small for your home. In either case, the only solution is to install a new heating unit.
If you’ve eliminated the easy-to-fix problems, such as a dirty air filter or blocked registers, and your heating bill hasn’t budged, it’s time to call in reinforcements. Dial 866-797-1535 to schedule an HVAC maintenance appointment with Thermacon Service Company. We’ll send a trained technician to find the energy-draining culprit and ensure your system is working at peak efficiency.
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