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February 6, 2020
It’s chilly outside, and your furnace or boiler is running. You can even feel hot air coming out of your vents when you put your hand up against a vent. So why aren’t you warm? Are you wondering “Why can’t my heating system heat my home sufficiently?” Here are some of the solutions to this common home comfort problem.
1. You Have Ductwork Issues
While your heating and cooling system is undeniably a very important part of home comfort, many homeowners often forget about their ductwork system that delivers conditioned air to keep them cozy year-round in their home.
There are a few issues that you could be having with your ductwork that are creating inconsistent temperatures in your home, including:
Complicated or ineffective duct design
Leaking ductwork seals
According to the EPA, you could be losing 20–30% of your conditioned air due to ductwork issues, so while your home heating system could be working fine, you won’t see all the benefits until your ductwork is sealed, designed optimally and delivering air properly!
2. Your HVAC System Is Too Big or Too Small for Your Home
While it might come as a surprise to some homeowners, the size of your heating and cooling system needs to be closely tied to the size of your home in order for the system to properly run.
It’s easy to understand why a furnace that’s too small for your home wouldn’t be able to provide adequate heat, but did you stop to think that a recently built addition to your home or newly finished basement or garage could increase your home’s square footage and make your HVAC system too small?
On the other hand, a HVAC system that’s too large isn’t good for your home either. Oversized furnaces and air conditioners short cycle—that is, they turn on and off many times over the course of the day. This will lead to inconsistent heating, increased heating repair calls, as well as unnecessary wear and tear on your system that can shorten the heating system’s life expectancy.
At Ideal Energy, we conduct precise load calculations to ensure your HVAC system is perfectly sized to efficiently heat and cool your home.
3. You Need to Upgrade Your Home’s Insulation and Air Sealing
Even if your home’s entire HVAC system runs perfectly, and your ductwork is sealed and correctly delivering conditioned air to your home, a weak thermal building envelope can wreak havoc on your indoor comfort levels.
Old, damaged, improperly installed or insufficient insulation, combined with a lack of air sealing, can create cold or drafty rooms, and send your already high heating bills skyrocketing. A significant amount of the conditioned air from your furnace or heating system is able to escape outside if your home’s insulation is not adequate. Keep in mind, for our Phoenix Metro area Climate Zone (Climate Zone 2) the code is currently R-38 for ceilings and R-13 for walls, but the R-value is just a number if it’s not installed properly. Replacing your insulation and sealing up air leaks in your home keeps the hot air generated by your furnace inside where you want it.
4. You Need a Heating System Check Up
Your heater just might not be working properly and may be in need of a heating maintenance service check up to ensure it’s operating properly. There could be an issue with your thermostat’s wiring or your thermostat could possibly be programmed incorrectly for your specific heating system type. For example, if your thermostat is told that your system has heat strips when the weather gets really cold outside, it may turn off your heat pump and instead try to turn on your heat strips - which many systems in our area don’t (and shouldn’t) have! Or your heating system could have a refrigerant leak or be low on refrigerant, which can cause your heating system to heat inconsistently, raise your bills and eventually just completely fail.
Our experienced and NATE Certified technicians can help determine if your existing heating system is in need of a spruce up or if there is another cause for your uncomfortable home.
5. You Need to Replace Your HVAC System
If all else fails, your heating and cooling system itself could be to blame. HVAC systems don’t last forever, and if your furnace or heat pump is over 10 years old, it’s possible that it’s simply never going to be working efficiently enough to provide you with whole home comfort (or, the repair costs would be so expensive that it would be more affordable to simply replace the unit all together).
Today’s new HVAC units are much more efficient than older models, none more than heat pumps, which run entirely on electricity and offer both heating and cooling settings, making them an attractive replacement to your entire system.
Improve Your Home Comfort with Ideal Energy
Don’t settle for subpar comfort levels in your home, especially if you’re dealing with high heating bills. Reach out to Ideal Energy and have us diagnose your home’s specific problems and recommend a solution that will lower your energy bills and increase your home comfort.