HVAC Problems Common in Older Boca Raton, FL Homes

Many homeowners in Boca Raton, FL are fortunate to live in the area’s beautiful, spacious vintage houses. But while purchasing a historic home has many advantages, there are some drawbacks as well. Here are four HVAC problems that are common in older homes.

1. Musty Air and Obnoxious Odors

The first problem you’re bound to notice when walking into an older house is that the indoor air quality (IAQ) is often not so great. In many old homes, the air feels stuffy, and a musty odor seems to linger.

Sometimes annoying odors simply result from lack of cleaning and years of accumulated smells absorbed into the drapes and furniture. However, your central air conditioning and heater might also be to blame.

Occupants of older homes often live there for decades, and if you’re a new owner, it may be that that was the case for the previous owners. If they were lax about preventive maintenance and air filter changes, then the filters, air ducts and other parts of the HVAC system could end up covered with years of accumulated dust, pet dander, cigarette smoke and other pollutants. Changing out those dirty old air filters can make a noticeable and immediate improvement in air quality.

2. Inaccurate or Inefficient Thermostats

Many older homes have HVAC systems that were state of the art back in their day, but those systems are generally outdated in light of modern HVAC technology. One small component that has a huge impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire central air system is the thermostat. Many old homes have old thermostats that are less accurate than today’s models and make it difficult to hit and maintain the desired temperature.

Today’s smart thermostats are more accurate and offer many advanced features to maximize your family’s comfort at home. You can easily connect to your phone or tablet and change thermostat settings with ease, even when away from home. You can set up various cooling or heating schedules and even let the device make automatic adjustments based on your family’s temperature preferences, sleep schedules and more.

3. No Zoning for Customized Temperature Control

Older homes usually have older HVAC systems with a single thermostat that isn’t designed with zoning features. You can set up newer systems with multiple zones, each with its own thermostat. This is perfect for two-story and larger homes where you can have one temperature setting for one part of the house and a different temperature setting for other areas.

4. Air Leaks and Dirty Ductwork

Many vintage homes have air ducts that haven’t been cleaned in decades. These older homes are also likely to have cracks and holes in the ductwork, either from decades of normal wear and tear or from deferred maintenance and negligence.

These worn-out ducts allow air to leak out into crawl spaces and gaps in the walls and ceilings, so less air actually makes it into the intended rooms. Years of accumulating dust can also degrade IAQ and clog up air vents. The result is poor airflow throughout the house with hot spots and cold spots in some of the rooms.

Add to this the fact that many older homes also have ineffective, deteriorating insulation in the walls and attic along with worn out weather stripping around doors and windows. It all contributes to air leaks that make heating and cooling the home very inefficient. Having air leaks like these mean that your HVAC system must struggle and stay on longer in order to reach the desired temperature, and your utility bills are also going to be higher.

If you recently purchased an older home or have been living in the same house for decades, now is the perfect time to explore options for upgrading your HVAC system. When you do this, you can take advantage of modern technology with more comfort features and greater efficiency and ease of use. Contact us at HI-VAC Air Conditioning Service to see what HVAC installation options would work for your vintage home.

Image provided by iStock

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