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HVAC Problems Common in Historic Homes in New Bern, NC

Many older homes possess an exquisite aesthetic charm. Unfortunately, they can also present some unusual challenges if you happen to live in one of them. If you’ve moved into a historic home in New Bern, NC, you need to understand these four HVAC issues you’re likely to encounter.

Aging HVAC System

This is the most obvious and direct of all possible HVAC-related problems with historic properties. If a home is old, it stands to reason that its plumbing, wiring and other equipment — including its HVAC system — will likely be old as well. An HVAC system that’s more than 15 years old may not be able to function very well and will probably be due for replacement.

If you don’t know how old the home’s HVAC system is and don’t schedule a new installation when necessary, you could experience a lot of problems. These may include rock-bottom system efficiency, sky-high energy bills, leaks, foul odors, loud noises and persistent short cycling.

Poor Airflow and Discomfort

HVAC systems rely critically on smooth airflow, so if your home and its HVAC system are old, general airflow is also likely to be extremely poor. Your home may have clogged, filthy and poorly maintained ductwork, or the filters on your HVAC system may be ancient and far past their intended useful life. The most immediate solution to this problem is to replace all your old HVAC equipment.

Unhealthy Indoor Air Quality

Poor indoor air quality is a frequent consequence of the two issues discussed above. If your old home has an old HVAC system, the indoor air will probably not be healthy to breathe. Microorganisms like bacteria and viruses could proliferate in the ventilation ducts or plumbing, finding their way into the surrounding air and decreasing IAQ even further. Depending on how old the house is, it may have issues with insects, rodents and other undesirable critters, which may have left their droppings behind and further adversely affected the quality of the air.

Resolving these issues will require a comprehensive approach that uses all kinds of indoor air quality services. You may have to install air purifiers with HEPA filters in your home. Additionally, you’ll need to replace old HVAC filters and always remember to schedule professional HVAC maintenance at least once a year.

Old HVAC Thermostat

Unless old homes have experienced at least a reasonable amount of renovation, they probably still have manual thermostats. Compared to modern digital and programmable thermostats, these are extremely inefficient because they aren’t able to calibrate temperatures with anywhere close to as much precision. If you don’t replace these old devices with newer ones, you’re likely to be dealing with energy waste, unnecessarily high energy bills and uneven heating or cooling.

Another result will be significantly diminished indoor comfort. Programmable thermostats give you the power to both set temperatures precisely and activate your HVAC system at specific times, such as when you wake up or when you return home from work. The very latest thermostats have a recovery mode feature that quietly manipulates temperatures so that they already get to where you want them to be at a specified time.

Programmable thermostats also have zoning features. Thanks to these, you can install multiple thermostats in your home, divide them into different comfort zones and apply separate climate configurations for each zone. With a manual thermostat, you can’t enjoy any of these advantages.

The challenges described above shouldn’t discourage you from purchasing or holding onto your historic home in New Bern, NC. With the right professional help, you can overcome all of them. To get started, call us at J & J Mechanical, Inc. to ask for our residential HVAC services.

Image provided by iStock

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