Let’s imagine for a moment that you are sitting comfortably on a fine spring morning, and you’re opening your utility bills. Ok, you think to yourself, it’s probably going to be a tad higher than it usually is. After all, Winter has only just passed, and it’s hardly as though you live in the tropics. U.S. winter months are cold to freezing, and we are all turning the thermostat up at this time of year.

However, rather than being a little bit more than usual, you find that your energy bills are much higher than you expected. Surely you didn’t use your heating system that much, did you? Perhaps not. Maybe it isn’t a case of human error that is forcing your energy bills to skyrocket, but mechanical instead. Let’s have a look at how home systems can be responsible for efficiency issues.

From the furnace to the roof, and back to the furnace again.

The way that the temperature in the home is regulated and maintained is through your HVAC system. HVAC — which stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning — is the collection of appliances that work together to provide and circulate warm air within the home. Simply put, at peak performance, the furnace will heat water, sending it around the home in pipes. These will, via radiators, heat the air within the home, which is kept fresh by ventilation, and dry by air conditioning. Together, the warm air is kept at moderate temperatures, and dry. The ideal result is that the indoor air quality is warm (not too cold or hot), and lacks the presence of moisture.

Potential problems arise when a component of the HVAC system breaks down, forcing the other elements to compensate.

Thermostat turned up? Check. Temperature still low? Check.

If it is taking a long time for your HVAC system to warm the home, then in all likelihood you have a problem either with your air conditioner unit. If there is moisture leaking from the pipes and is not being cycled out by the AC unit, then the furnace will be attempting not only to heat the air but the water inside the air as well. Excess water in the air requires the working components of the HVAC system to work harder, which will not only use more energy but will ultimately impact the life of your system too.

So it’s best to call professionals such as One Choice Mechanical, LLC the moment that you detect a problem with the HVAC system. They’re on hand to help those who have severe issues with their air conditioner’s efficiency and even upgrade their units to give you more. Heat pumps can be added to relieve some of the focus from your furnace to provide warm indoor air, and will also create a more energy-efficient structure to the home. It could be a simple fix of replacing a dirty air filter or a full repair to a water leak; but either way, a problem like this must not be ignored.

Why is this important?

Heated moisture in the air becomes humidity. The last thing your home or your family needs at any time of year is a rise in humidity levels. Firstly, if the indoor air quality is humid, then it is also a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses that will then cause illnesses. These particularly prey on younger family members, and those with medical conditions such as asthma and allergies. Mold is a good indicator that harmful bacteria is present, so watch out for it.

Secondly, the chances are that members of the household are now spending more time at home, either working or studying in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. A malfunctioning air conditioner will impact them too. One of the fundamentals of online learning is having a comfortable and warm environment to study in, and since so many students will have been learning from home at some point or another during the Coronavirus outbreak (and potentially will have to again) it’s best that that environment is available. To ensure this, your air conditioner systems need to be in full working order, keeping the indoor air quality warm and dry.

Still, humid cold air still feels warmer than cold dry air, so don’t be fooled into thinking that just because it is warm in the house, the problem has gone away. Even during the summer months, it is a good idea to regularly check your HVAC systems for small problems as a precaution. Having an energy-efficient system won’t just save you money‚Äìhaving a fully working system goes a long way to comfort and good health.