12 November 2021

Common HVAC Issues That Are More Prevalent in Older Homes

Older homes can come with unique charm and character that can make them very attractive to home buyers. From architecture to history, older homes can contribute to the beauty and style of the neighborhood. As with most things, however, age can take a toll on the structures and systems of a house. Older roofs, plumbing, flooring, and wiring could all require additional work and attention. HVAC issues are another common problem found in older homes.

In general, the average HVAC system should last around 20 years, according to many experts. As the equipment ages, it becomes less energy-efficient and will lose the power to circulate air properly. While some of the issues involved with older homes add to the character and charm of the house, HVAC problems can be a headache.

From poor air quality and airflow to outdated equipment, several areas of an older home's HVAC system may require attention. As a result, there are several common HVAC issues that are more prevalent in older homes. Let's take a closer look at some of the HVAC problems that can come with older houses.

1. Lack of Airflow

No matter if you have lived in the home for a month or 20 years, most homeowners never think about their ductwork. The duct system in your home plays a critical role in heating and cooling your home as it is the vehicle for moving the air. Ductwork that is in good working order allows your home to be heated and cooled consistently. Like HVAC systems, however, ductwork has a lifespan and will begin to age and degrade after about 15 years. With proper maintenance and cleaning, air ducts can last a while but will develop cracks and leaks over time.

Depending on the age and condition of the ductwork, older homes could experience poor airflow due to aging materials. Clogs, leaks, and cracks could all interfere with the airflow from the HVAC system and lead to heating and cooling issues throughout the home. Homeowners living in older homes with airflow issues should have technicians inspect the ductwork to check for issues causing inefficiencies and lack of airflow.

2. Poor Indoor Air Quality

Construction and efficiency standards have evolved since the time that many older homes were built. This means that newer technologies and innovations in new homes today have much cleaner air and better airflow. Modern air conditioners help reduce humidity and allergens in the air by condensing and conditioning the air coming into the house. Many older systems just blow cool air and don't have the capabilities that the systems today have. As a result, many older homes have poor air quality.

Older systems allow more unfiltered outdoor air inside and circulate more pollen, dust, and other pollutants throughout the home. In addition, older ductwork can also harbor dust, dirt, allergens, and micro-organisms that spread through the home each time the air comes on. It will be important to check and change the air filters regularly in your older home to help mitigate some of these issues. A professional HVAC technician can also check the air quality in your older home and help you find solutions for any problems.

3. Outdated Thermostats

Another problem that older homes usually have is an outdated thermostat. Typically older thermostats have basic controls for heat, air, on, and off. These thermostats can contribute to frequent cycling, inefficient operation, and wear and tear on the HVAC system. Modern technology in programmable and smart thermostats allows for better control of settings and more reliable system performance. Newer thermostats can maximize energy efficiency.

Older houses can come with charm and history that many newer homes don't have. Along with the cool features and antique architecture, however, HVAC issues can often plague older houses. With some help from HVAC professionals, you can ensure that your home has clean, comfortable air year-round.

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