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Keeping your Kinston, North Carolina, home operating efficiently involves monitoring multiple systems. The plumbing, structural, electrical and HVAC systems in your home require regular monitoring to catch problems before they become catastrophic. And nowhere is this more true than with your HVAC equipment. Even with careful routine maintenance, the time eventually comes when you need to replace your HVAC system. To prepare for that day, keep track of the age of the unit, the sounds it makes, and the humidity in your home.

The Age of Your HVAC System

If your HVAC unit is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it rather than making expensive repairs. Even if you choose to fix the mechanical issues, it’s almost impossible to bring an aging unit back to peak efficiency. The equipment has to work harder, so it breaks down more often, and you fall into a vicious and costly cycle.

You also want to evaluate the impact of an old system on your utility bills. Over time, the technology that goes into HVAC systems evolves. Most of the advances focus on improving efficiency, saving money on utilities and providing customizable solutions.

Although it’s a significant expense for most families, replacing your outdated HVAC system may lead to significant savings over the long term. Upgrading to a unit that has an Energy Star label can save you up to 20 percent on your heating and cooling costs. To further evaluate your home, take the Home Energy Yardstick test. If you score below five, it’s probably time for an HVAC upgrade.

The Sounds Your HVAC System Makes

While observant homeowners may notice the hum of the air conditioner when it’s running, it should never sound so loud that it interrupts your day-to-day peace and quiet. If you can’t hear the television over the HVAC, it’s time to call in a professional.

You may hear a variety of sounds when your HVAC system gets older. Some of them are normal. But others can indicate a problem.

Noisy operation that intrudes on your enjoyment of your home can indicate a problem with the indoor coil. Hissing sounds are another common occurrence. They can signal a leak somewhere in the system, which wastes energy and allows excess dust to accumulate in your home. Another noise you may hear is clanking. It usually means internal parts, like blades or motor components, are loose or worn out and rubbing together.

How Well Your HVAC Controls Humidity

North Carolinians know what it’s like to live through a hot, humid summer. One of the functions of your HVAC system is to control the humidity level in your home. If your HVAC system is losing that ability, you’ll feel it in the comfort level of your living space.

However, you may not know that high humidity in your home can have even more serious consequences. A warm, moist environment encourages the growth of biological contaminants that can aggravate allergies and respiratory problems. High humidity can also accelerate the breakdown of wooden floors and framing, compromising the structure of your home.

How Can a Professional Help?

Most homeowners will spend thousands of dollars when it’s time to install a new HVAC unit. It’s critically important to get a properly sized unit with the right features for your home. An improperly sized system can cause poor indoor air quality, start a fire, or lead to the growth of contaminants. A professional can help you make the right choice with confidence.

A competent professional can also help you with an energy audit of your home using specialized tools, like a blower-door test to detect leaks. You’ll want to have any leaks repaired before you install your new system. In fact, once you’ve repaired any leaks, you may find it’s not necessary to replace the unit right away.

No one looks forward to spending hard-earned money on a new HVAC system for the home. But if you live in your house long enough, you’ll most likely have to make that purchase. Call J & J Mechanical, Inc. at 855-800-1341 if you think your home may be nearing that point. Our trained professionals will walk you through every step of the process.

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