If you are like the millions of Americans still using traditional HVAC units, chances are you’ve experienced a myriad of problems with the unit over the years. While these units have been the norm for decades, they still retain many of the same problems that have always plagued the industry, as well as the consumers. While alternatives such as hydronic heating, geothermal heating and cooling, and others have risen around it, HVAC systems continue to dominate the heating and cooling needs of the average American household. Here are a few reasons you might want to consider looking elsewhere.
1. Uneven temperatures throughout home
“It’s the hottest room in the house.” If you have an HVAC system in your home, you’ve said this sentence. At some point in the last 50 years, we as consumers have become alright with the fact that our homes are not evenly warmed and cooled. Whether it’s an issue with insulation, circulation, or the HVAC itself, having an even home-wide temperature is a pipe dream for traditional HVAC owners.
2. Temperature wavering
A standard HVAC unit allows temperatures to rise and fall continuously, resulting in a temperature swing of five to six degrees in some cases. The unit allows the indoor temperature to normalize toward the outside temperature until it reaches a threshold, then it heats or cools that temperature to slightly past the designated level, so as to allow more time before being forced to activate once again. This isn’t an efficient system, nor is it overly comfortable.
3. Dependent on other factors
Namely, insulation and circulation. If your home lacks proper insulation or circulation, you’ll see the cost reflected directly in your monthly energy bill. Fixing circulation, in particular, means duct work that could be extremely costly and inconvenient. In extreme cases, it could lead to asbestos being exposed to the inside of your home, which creates another massive cost for you. Unfortunately, the alternative to fixing these problems is an over-active HVAC unit.
4. Susceptible to outside elements
Whether it be snow, sleet, rain, or hail, your HVAC unit can take a beating from nature. Unlike alternative options, these are almost always located on the roof of your home. Damage can be severe and lead to costly repairs in a hurry. Depending on where you live, animals can be another source of aggravating damage to this expensive unit.
Certainly this isn’t a problem for every person or every unit, but many HVAC systems make more than their fair share of noise while in use. I’ve personally known people who would be woken up from sleep a couple times per night by their HVAC coming on. If you’re a light sleeper, or a person easily frustrated by excess noise, this could be a real problem for you.
6. Use a great deal of electricity
Did you realize that your HVAC unit is responsible for up to 70% of your monthly energy costs? They use a massive amount of electricity in order to do the job. Because most electricity is produced using fossils fuels, this results in a large carbon footprint on the environment. By switching to a more energy-efficient system, you can do a huge favor to the environment and save some money at the same time.
Matt Madsen writes about home improvement for ClimateMaster. For more information, visit ClimateMaster.