People are often surprised to learn that there’s a connection between the condition of your home’s foundation and HVAC efficiency and performance. The foundation that supports a house is a vital structural component. Defects or deterioration in a foundation can potentially affect many household functions from the ground floor up to the roof. Here are some specific foundation issues and how they interact with HVAC efficiency:
- A cracked or shifting foundation can stress structural joints throughout the house, leading to increased infiltration of cold outdoor air in the winter or hot air during the summer. This causes your furnace or air conditioner to run longer cycles to compensate and maintain thermostat settings. Extended cycles, in turn, mean higher monthly operating costs and more wear and tear on your HVAC system.
- Foundation slippage can also cause sloping floors inside the home. Eventually, this may mean that exterior doors no longer seal properly, causing excess loss of conditioned air from the furnace or air conditioner. In turn, your HVAC efficiency suffers and your energy bills increase.
- Shifting of the structure due to an unstable foundation can damage HVAC ductwork. Routed through internal portions of the house such as the attic, the crawl space, and inside wall cavities, segments of HVAC ducts may be stressed and eventually separated due to structural instability caused by a deteriorating foundation. Because ducts are typically located in areas not regularly inspected by occupants, loss of conditioned air due to disconnected spans of ductwork may not be discovered for some time. However, the increasingly higher costs of HVAC operation along with the decline in indoor comfort will be very noticeable.
- Ground-water intrusion through a cracked foundation is a major trigger of mold growth in the basement or beneath the subfloor of a house. Mold spores may be spread by the circulation of air through the HVAC system. If ductwork, coils, air filters, and other HVAC components inside the house become contaminated by active mold growth, system efficiency will be increasingly impaired.
For more about the relationship between HVAC efficiency and foundation health in the Coastal Bend, contact the professionals at CCAC.