It might come as a surprise to many homeowners, but the condition of your home’s foundation has an effect on HVAC efficiency. We all know the foundation is a critical element in the structural stability of a house. However, it also impacts the performance of your furnace and air conditioner.
Household comfort, monthly operating costs, and even indoor air quality can be indirectly impacted by issues with the foundation. Here are some details about the potential link between the condition of your foundation and home HVAC efficiency.
- Foundation instability. Due to shifting and/or cracking, an unstable foundation can loosen joints in the home’s structure. This allows unconditioned outdoor air to seep indoors, causing your furnace to work harder to maintain consistently comfortable indoor temperatures. Higher monthly operating costs as well as increased wear and tear on HVAC components may result.
- Sloping floors. Foundation slippage due to soil instability or from some cause such as water intrusion may cause sloping floors inside the house. This can widen the gap around exterior doors, preventing them from properly sealing when closed. Substantial amounts of heating and cooling can seep out of the house due to air leaks around exterior doors. This means increased energy bills as your HVAC system runs longer to compensate and maintain desired thermostat settings.
- Disconnected ducts. As a foundation shifts, stresses occurring in structure affect installed interior components, including plumbing pipes, electrical wiring, and HVAC ductwork. Over time, duct segments may loosen and eventually separate, allowing heated and cooled air to escape into unconditioned areas, such as the crawl space, the attic, and inside wall cavities. Inconsistent indoor temperatures, as well as steadily increasing HVAC operating costs, are the result.
- Mold issues. Water seepage through a cracked foundation can trigger toxic mold growth in the basement or beneath subflooring. Airborne mold spores can infect HVAC components including filter, ductwork, and the A/C evaporator coil. Contaminated air quality and system-performance issues may result.
For a professional evaluation of possible foundation issues affecting HVAC efficiency, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing.