There’s something about preserving history through older homes. However, heating and cooling them can present a challenge and make it feel more like a money pit. Discover six HVAC issues you may see in historic homes in Valdosta, GA.
Ancient HVAC System
An HVAC system has a finite service life, and they stop working effectively toward the end of it. A furnace will typically last 15 to 20 years, and an air conditioner 10 to 15 years when properly maintained. However, many historic homes have systems that are older than this that may continue hobbling along.
HVAC technology continues progressing, in part because of continually improving efficiency standards. That means that units purchased now will offer a higher minimum efficiency than those purchased 10 to 20 years ago. Older systems also tend to need more repairs than newer systems.
Your ductwork is incredibly important for transporting conditioned air around your home. However, historic homes have ducting that is also older, which reduces its ability to reliably deliver conditioned air.
The first thing that older homes experience is leaky ductwork. Your ductwork can wear through where mounting straps hold it in place. Additionally, it will develop leaks at any of the joints where it changes directions or where two pieces come together.
The other part of inefficiency is heat transfer to and from the conditioned air. Without proper duct insulation, your air won’t arrive as warm or cool as it should, decreasing the system’s efficiency.
Airflow is one of the most important aspects of your home’s HVAC system. It has to draw air in, heat or cool it, then push it back out. Additionally, your system depends on airflow to circulate the heated and cooled air around your home.
The way the air flows from and into the vents causes circulation, which distributes conditioned air. High air pressure from your supply vents and low pressure at the return vents causes this circulation.
Historic homes commonly have poorly designed ductwork, which leads to insufficient airflow to create circulation. This leaves your home unevenly heated and cooled, with hot and cold areas even as your system runs.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
Air quality is important for everything from your health to how effectively your HVAC system runs. It’s defined by how many particles are floating in the air, including particulate matter, gases and even moisture. Air quality is also affected by proper ventilation, which includes how well controlled your home exchanges air with what’s outside.
Older homes tend to have notoriously poor air quality. First, they are often poorly sealed, which allows for uncontrolled air exchange. These areas are commonly windows and doors but can also be walls, ceilings and foundation joints.
They also tend to have a lot more particulate matter floating through the air. This often comes from building materials like wood, plaster and drywall that are breaking down. The solution is finding the proper indoor air quality solutions, which may include ventilation, air filtering and scrubbing.
Most homes, especially historical ones, have a single HVAC zone. This means you have a single thermostat. When your system runs, it’s conditioning your entire home.
Modern HVAC systems can use multiple zones to properly regulate the temperature in different areas of your home. Each zone has a thermostat to register the temperature and control the system. The system has dampers in the ducts to direct conditioned air to the area calling for it.
Finally, historic homes often have outdated thermostats, which may include older mercury-regulated models. Thermostats also have a limited service life, usually in the 10- to 15-year range.
Outdated thermostats often register temperatures inaccurately due to their natural degradation. If you’re running on the old analog mercury model, you also don’t have programs to effectively manage your temperature. Further, you’re missing out on the control offered with a newer smart thermostat.
Don’t let outdated technology drain your wallet from inefficient operation and extra repairs. Call Waller Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule your consultation and find the best thermostats to improve your older home’s HVAC efficiency.
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