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The overall efficiency of your HVAC system in Berryville, VA, is probably its single most important attribute because this strongly influences both your utility bills and your comfort. Your system’s level of efficiency may not always be clear, however — especially not relative to what it has the potential to be. Here are a few useful rules to help you gauge how efficient or inefficient your HVAC system is.

Higher Than Usual Utility Bills

The clearest and most undeniable sign of your HVAC system’s general efficiency is your utility bills. Of course, if you begin using your system more intensively, your bills will grow in connection with this. However, suppose you keep your usage habits the same, but the bills start rising anyway. In that case, it’s reasonable to believe your system is losing efficiency.

An even more obvious indicator that your HVAC system’s efficiency is in free fall is if your utility bills spike in a short amount of time. Assuming that you’re using your system in the same way as before, this event almost always points to very serious underlying problems. On the other hand, you can trust that your HVAC system is efficient when your utility bills are fairly low and change relatively little from month to month.

Dirty Air Filters

Poor airflow may be the single most common cause of faltering HVAC efficiency, and aging and dirty air filters can play a significant role in choking off airflow. Luckily, you can easily fix this problem on your own. Remember to replace your filters at least once every 90 days — more frequently if you have smokers or furry pets in the house.

Dirty or Leaky Ducts

Dirt, grime, and other kinds of debris can have the same effect when they build up in your HVAC system’s ductwork as when they latch themselves onto the mesh of your filters. This is why it’s important to have professionals clean your ductwork from time to time.

A further issue with ductwork is that, over time, wear and tear may create holes through which air might escape. Even if these holes are tiny, they still force your HVAC system to work harder and consume more energy to keep you comfortable, thus reducing efficiency.

Get a Tune-Up

If you’re unsure whether your HVAC system is as efficient as it could be, call a trained technician over and ask for a tune-up. An HVAC professional will be able to look at all aspects of your system and discover the truth about how efficient or inefficient it is.

During maintenance, the technician may do things like add lost refrigerant, check electrical connections, clean dirty furnace valves, tighten bolts and remove debris from your AC’s compressor, condenser coil or evaporator coil. Each of these things may increase overall system efficiency. However, by comprehensively examining your system, they will be able to make recommendations about further action to truly maximize performance.


As a rule, the older your system is, the less efficient it will be. This is true for two reasons. The first is that, as time passes, HVAC manufacturers will create more and more efficient systems, and the second is that, as your system ages, the quality of all of its parts will deteriorate.

Of course, timely repairs and regular maintenance from trained technicians will slow this slide into inefficiency as much as possible. Nevertheless, it will still happen. On average, a central air conditioner will be able to function well for anywhere between 10 and 15 years, while a gas furnace can last for 15 or 20.

If you live in Berryville, VA, or nearby, don’t tolerate your HVAC system being anything less than as efficient as you can possibly make it. If you’re worried that your system is losing efficiency, call our team at Griffith Energy Services today and choose from our selection of HVAC services.

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