The last thing you want is for your HVAC unit to break down in the middle of summer. That’s why preventative maintenance is so important. But even the most well-maintained units can sometimes start acting up.
So when should you call for emergency heating and cooling service? Watts Heating & Cooling has plenty of experience helping people get out of emergency HVAC situations. Here’s when you should call a technician.
Your System Stops Working
It may seem obvious, but you should call for emergency service when you have a malfunctioning system. If your AC stops running on a nice, breezy day, you may think you can open a window and put off calling an emergency technician for another day. But weather conditions fluctuate. While the weather may be nice today, things could start heating up tomorrow. During months of extreme weather, you should call for emergency service as soon as you notice something is wrong with your system.
Your AC Shuts Off Suddenly or Stops Cooling
If your unit turns on but shuts off on its own and doesn’t cool your home properly, it could be short cycling. This is a sign that something’s wrong. If you haven’t cleaned your air filters in quite some time, this could be the source of the problem. Try checking your system’s air filters to see if they’re dirty or clogged with debris. If so, you can change them to see if that fixes the issue.
However, if your filters are clean and the problem persists, then you may be low on refrigerant or have a compressor issue instead. Call your HVAC technician to assess the situation and get your system back up and running.
Your Unit Is Making Noise
Have you noticed that your system is making a strange buzzing or humming sound? If so, it’s a sign that you should call for emergency heating and cooling service as soon as possible.
There are a number of reasons your system could be making these unusual sounds. To narrow down what the cause may be, listen carefully and determine exactly what type of noise is coming from your unit.
For instance, a loud humming noise could be a sign that’s something loose, such as the wiring or unit parts. It could also be caused by circuit breaker overload or a failed condenser fan motor. Since these types of issues can cause further damage to your HVAC system if not addressed in a timely manner, it’s best to call your HVAC technician right away.
If you notice a hissing sound, on the other hand, then your ducts may be leaking. A loud whistle signals that you may have a refrigerant leak or internal pressure buildup. Another noise that’s less disruptive but equally problematic is the sound of dripping. This signifies that you may have a leak. Whatever noise you are hearing, if it sounds unnatural or is highly noticeable, it’s likely an issue that requires prompt attention. Don’t hesitate to call your HVAC technician.
You Smell Something Strange
Just as with strange sounds, unusual odors coming from your system should be treated as a red flag that you have a serious problem. According to the CDC, 51 percent of American households use natural gas to heat their homes. There are many benefits to using natural gas for fuel. However, natural gas poses some serious safety risks if you have a leak. That’s why if you smell a sulfur-like odor in your home, you should shut down your system, go outside, and contact your HVAC technician immediately.
Even if you don’t use natural gas to heat your home, you should still be mindful of any strange odors. For example, if you smell something like burning plastic then it could be an electrical issue with your unit’s motor or wiring. Neither of these is something you should try to fix yourself so it’s best to call for emergency service right away.
Your Energy Bill Is High
While this may not be a “drop everything and call in the middle of the night” type of emergency, if you notice that your energy bills are persistently high, you should call your HVAC technician to diagnose the problem and find a solution.
There are a number of reasons your energy bill may be high. First, you could have a system that has reached the end of its life span and needs to be replaced. On the other hand, if you’ve had your HVAC system installed recently, then you could be using a system that’s incorrectly sized for your home, or it may have been installed improperly.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, heating and cooling equipment that is improperly installed will perform significantly below rated energy-efficiency levels. If you suspect that this could be the reason your energy bills are higher than usual, contact a qualified technician to address the problem.
Err on the Side of Caution
These are a few common instances in which it’s a good idea to call for emergency heating and cooling service. However, there may be other types of situations that warrant a call as well.
If you’re uncertain if you need emergency service or not, remember that it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Some HVAC issues can pose a serious threat to the safety of you and your family. Something as simple as an air quality issue can impact your family’s health.
But it’s important you don’t try to fix your system on your own. Many of these situations we discussed require the work of a skilled technician. Fortunately, Watts Heating & Cooling is available around the clock to help you with your HVAC needs. We use the most advanced equipment so that we are can handle any emergency situation that arises.
So when in doubt, give us a call. Watts Heating & Cooling will always be there to respond.
Note: This is a collaborative post