Keeping your home’s HVAC system well-maintained will ensure that you and your family receive clean and properly conditioned air all year round. It is always recommended to have a routine checkup every spring to ensure that everything is functioning correctly after the winter off-season, and getting ready for the summer peak season. There are also a number of things you can do yourself to ensure your system is functioning properly, including regular air filter changes and freeing clogs in condensate lines.
Sometimes, though, our systems will require maintenance despite our best efforts. Here are a few of the warning signs that you might suggest a phone call to the pros to get your HVAC system problems sorted.
1) Warm Or Insufficient Airflow
If you feel warm air from your vents when you were expecting cool, it may be as simple as checking your thermostat to see if it had been set to “cool” instead of “heat.” Change the temperature to something lower than your current house temperature and check your vents again. If they still blow warm air, it may mean that you have a compressor issue, or that something is restricting the airflow.
The most common reason for a low volume of air is due to a dirty air filter. This should usually be changed every three months in the off-season and every month in the peak season, depending on the actual volume of use. The good news is that this procedure is fairly simple and doesn’t cost much to maintain, meaning you should be able to do it yourself. If your filter is clean and the airflow is still an issue, it may be due to clogged ductwork, a broken motor, or something potentially more serious. At this point, we recommend using a professional to ensure the repairs are done correctly.
2) Frequent Cycles
Weather should rarely be a factor when it comes to how regularly your air conditioner is running. While it is normal for the air conditioner to run more frequently in the summer, it should never go through numerous very short cycles in a small amount of time. There are a number of reasons why air conditioners might do this, but all of them should be handled by a professional. While a quick tune-up may fix the problem, it is also a good indicator that you may need a new unit altogether.
3) High Humidity Or Water Leaks
With the summer months comes a drastic increase in humidity. Extra heat means increased evaporation, meaning a higher amount of moisture in the air. Humidity is measured based on the percentage of water the air can hold, and the higher the percentage, the more “full” the air is with water. High humidity doesn’t allow your sweat to evaporate, and that can be very uncomfortable when you’re trying to stay cool.
Air conditioners tend to reduce humidity simply by running normally, and high humidity is a generally good indicator that something has gone awry. Check for water or refrigerant leaks and clean them immediately, as they can cause serious damage to your home if left alone. Call a professional right away, so they can diagnose the issue and provide you with your best options.
Also Read: The Right Choice Renting vs. Buying?
4) Unusual Smells Or Noises
As with many machines, if it smells bad or if it sounds bad, it probably is bad. Smells could be the result of a blockage, which isn’t allowing your system to circulate normally, and might suggest you need a duct cleaning. It should be noted that systems usually make low levels of noise on startup or shutdown, but anything aside from that usually indicates a problem. Rattling or buzzing may simply be a loose part that hasn’t been properly secured, whereas a whistling or grinding noise is a sure indication of a much more serious problem.
If any of these smells or noises occur, you should contact a professional immediately and cease the continued operation of your system.
5) Sudden Spike In Energy Bills
Even if everything feels normal, your HVAC system can tell you that something is wrong simply by how much power it’s using. A sudden drop in energy-efficiency is a sure sign that something has gone wrong in your system, and will likely need a professional to diagnose the issue.
Keep in mind that this is not necessarily your HVAC system’s fault, as other parts of the house can become less efficient over time and cause an energy spike. Still, it is one of the more likely factors that can contribute to this being an issue, and it is especially worth getting it checked if your system hasn’t received maintenance in a while.
Sometimes, your only remaining option is to replace your system. Extensive repairs, old systems, outdated refrigerants, and high energy costs may mean that it simply isn’t worth it to continue repairing your system, and that a new system will end up saving you money in the long run, maybe even in the short term if the problems are bad enough.
Whatever your needs, your local HVAC professionals should be able to provide you with the service and advice you need to make sure your systems are running smoothly for years to come.
Colin Hegarty is a content writer for BreezeMaxWeb that helps businesses showcase their brand through enticing copy. When he’s not working, you can find him playing net in a local beer league or biking around the city.