Your HVAC setup could be working throughout the season, keeping things comfortable inside the house and not showing any signs of breaking down. At times, the lone way to determine your HVAC system needs attention is via regular professional maintenance work carried out by an HVAC technician. If you fancy regular maintenance, getting it done via a service contract is wise and recommended. Service maintenance is a cost-effective way to detect and resolve issues before the smaller problems blow themselves up and turn into a major HVAC repair.
Under a service agreement with an experienced HVAC contractor, your heating system would be inspected by an HVAC technician during the fall and the AC being thoroughly checked in the spring, just before the systems getting back to regular duty to meet the seasonal demands. The technician would completely check and clean system components and replace parts if required. If additional service is needed, the technician will follow up.
Common Alert Signs
Although regular maintenance would mitigate most issues that crop up during the season, all the problems cannot be possibly avoided. Unforeseen mechanical failures and breakdowns are bound to happen. Generally, your HVAC would give you signs that it requires professional treatment. The signs are usually obvious. The following are some common warning signs that you should not overlook and get a professional contractor on-board.
• No cool air from the AC, or the heater not warming the room enough
Suddenly, the air conditioner would blow warm air during the summer. Or, during winter, the heater would give out cool air, not keeping your space warm. If you notice these signs, then something’s not right. Before getting the HVAC contractor in, check if the system has power – inspect the circuit breakers, pilot light, and power switch. If the heater comes with a pilot light and it is 25 years old or more, it must be replaced. If the system is getting power but isn’t turning on, or it’s turning on but not working as expected, contact your HVAC technician. The issue can be a bad thermostat or a sign of a much bigger underlying problem.
• Zero professional system inspection in a year or more
Regular maintenance and an annual inspection by a professional would help keep the repair bills down and make sure your system continues to work at the right temperature. In case an HVAC expert hasn’t checked your HVAC in more than a year, it’s high time you get maintenance work done. These systems require attention at regular intervals and not doing so may result in premature breakdowns and strain on your HVAC system.
• Utility bills are higher than normal.
If you see a spike in your utility bills without a proportionate change in the temperature outside, don’t ignore the increased expense. Inflated bills usually indicate your HVAC setup is struggling to get its act together. It could require a relatively small HVAC repair. If ignored, you may have no option but to purchase a new setup.
Short-cycling is your heating systems going on and off temporarily. It could be a sign your heat exchanger is experiencing overheating problems, resulting in the system shutting down. Short-cycling could be a sign of some serious issue with your setup. Get it serviced immediately by an HVAC contractor.
• Weak airflow
If the air flow through the vents is bad, it could be a sign the compressor has gone bad. If the problem exists in all rooms of your house, your compressor could be going down. If only a few rooms have been affected, a ductwork blockage could be the cause. Both these problems require proper diagnosis and care by a professional technician.
• Signs of leakage or moisture anywhere
Your HVAC setup mustn’t be creating moisture or leaking if you notice that, the issue could be as basic as a clogged condensate drain, or it could be a leaking refrigerant or some other serious issue. Regardless, the problem must be looked into at the earliest. The clogged drain could cause mold growth and other serious issues. Leaking refrigerant could mean one or multiple holes in your HVAC system that need immediate correction. The leak also indicates the age of the system and that it would not last too long. Your HVAC technician could diagnose the issue for you.
• Unusual noises
If your HVAC system is creating strange sounds, you must switch it off and get in touch with an HVAC contractor and have it serviced. Generally, a squealing noise means the belt is slipping and must be replaced, or some components require lubrication. A metallic or grinding noise could mean the bearings would soon give up the ghost, or you must replace the entire system.
• Unusual smells
Pungent, sharp odors coming from your system could mean an electrical issue. Organic, musty smells indicate mold growth within the system – the growing mold is in itself a sign of moisture pooling or excessive humidity in a place where it shouldn’t be. Your HVAC system must be serviced professionally to pinpoint the issue and make proper HVAC repairs.
If your HVAC setup is more than 15 years old and is experiencing some or most of the issues aforementioned, it must be replaced. Contact your HVAC replacement service provider to get the HVAC replaced before the season starts. The last thing you want is your system breaking down on you in the middle of the season. A new setup would increase your house’s value; and the energy-efficient, new heating setup could save you some cash in the long run as your energy bills would be lesser. Not to mention, it would also offer a healthier and safer home environment at all times.