What Can Cause an HVAC Emergency?
The weather in Texas can be as temperamental as a moody teenager. We get everything from the occasional ice storm to the brutal summer heat. Running an HVAC in Waxahachie, TX may be a year-round activity. When your HVAC system has problems, the situation is never fun and could turn from an inconvenience into an emergency.
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As with other systems in your home, your HVAC can give some early warning signs that maintenance, or more, is needed. Here are five common signs that are easy to spot.
5 Signs Your HVAC is Malfunctioning
You can spot all of these major issues yourself: and they shouldn’t be ignored! Here are the five most common signs that an HVAC system is on the fritz.
1. Inadequate Airflow
Inadequate airflow is the one of the first and most obvious signs that something may be wrong with your HVAC unit. Often, this means that it is unable to heat or cool to the desired temperature or air is somehow blocked.
While your first thought may be to diagnose and solve the problem yourself, the challenge is that inadequate airflow can be caused by a wide variety of problems including electrical issues, a damaged compressor, or clogged vents.
The best option is to find a HVAC contractor in your area that can help properly diagnose the issue, getting to the root of the problem and providing long-term solutions.
2. Frozen Coils
When your heating or cooling system is stressed, you may spot frozen coils. Surprisingly, this can even happen during the dog days of summer when the temps are above 100 degrees.
Frozen coils occur when the refrigerant temperature drops below the freezing point and may indicate a refrigerant leak. Note: you cannot (and should not) deal with refrigerant yourself. Here’s what you can do to prevent this issue:
- Check to make sure that your AC is not running if the temperature outside is below 60 degrees.
- During summer months, make sure that your thermostat isn’t set below 70 degrees.
The added stress and constant running can quickly escalate.
In the event that your coils freeze, shut down your system and call a repair person. Refrigerant is a dangerous chemical that is essential to the normal function of your unit. It must be handled by an HVAC professional.
Often a dead giveaway that there are larger problems looming, screeching sounds from your HVAC can be caused by a handful of issues.
Frequently, the sound is the result of high pressure within the compressor, bearings going out or loose belts. As with most conditions, these can be prevented with regularly scheduled maintenance and inspection.
However, for systems that have been sitting without use, some screeching may be natural when reactivated. If the problem persists, call an HVAC tech to check it out. An electrical failure probably means a new HVAC. If you catch it early, you may be able to avoid that..
4. Other Odd Noises
Beyond a high pitched screech, you may notice that your system is making other odd noises, such as popping or clicking. These can come from either the inside and outside unit and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
More often than not these indicate an electrical problem. Listen closely to when and where you are hearing the noises to help your contractor quickly identify where the issue is coming from.
5. Burning Smell
Anytime your HVAC smells like it is burning, you need to act immediately. After all, this is an electrical system that can potentially catch on fire. A burning smell could be a sign that something has already melted and will need to be replaced.
First, turn off the system to make sure that no further damage is done. Then, reach out to your local HVAC specialist for assistance. Because of the potential for a fire, this is not an assessment that should be done by a homeowner.
Investigating root cause is important. But, of course, the goal would be to prevent disaster or an HVAC emergency.
How to Prevent an HVAC Emergency
As with other home systems, regular maintenance for your HVAC system is critical to keeping it running. While the technical aspects of maintenance should be left to the professionals, here are a few ways you can maintain your HVAC system.
When it comes to your outside unit, regularly check for debris that can accumulate and restrict airflow. This includes leaves, nesting insects, overgrown grass and more. For your inside unit, keep the area around your return vents clean. This allows proper circulation and causes less stress to your system. Keeping both areas free of excess debris will also make regular maintenance or emergency service much easier for your HVAC contractor.
Changing the filter on your system is an easy step to properly maintaining your home HVAC unit. It is recommended that you check your filter at least once a month and replace it every 3-6 months.
For pet owners, this may be more frequent as pet dander can quickly accumulate and clog the filter. Additionally, parents of fur babies may buy filters specifically designed for pets, dust or bacteria. This not only improves indoor air quality but also prevents your damage to your system.
Regularly Scheduled Maintenance
Regularly scheduling maintenance from a highly rated, local HVAC provider reduces the likelihood that an emergency call will be needed. They will be able to quickly diagnose any potential problems and can remedy the situation, saving you time and money.
HVAC Replacement: What to Consider
While most emergency HVAC calls will result in repairs, replacement may be the best or only option. Just like other home systems, your HVAC was not designed to last forever and eventually need replacement. Typical life expectancy for HVAC systems is approximately 15-20 years, with proper maintenance. New systems are a large home investment so it is important that you choose one that will reliably work for years to come. Here are three things to consider if you need to replace your HVAC.
Because this is a large investment, you will not want to revisit this issue every couple of years. Stick with the common manufacturers that have a proven life expectancy of 15 or more years. In addition to reliability, contractors will be more familiar with the system and maintenance will be cheaper.
Rely on your HVAC expert to guide this option. Simply choosing the biggest option is not always the best way to beat the Texas heat. Adequate sizing results in more efficient heating and cooling of your home, less stress on your electrical system and fewer problems in the future.
With each passing year, newer HVAC models become available that are more energy efficient. When your AC is running around the clock during our 6-7 month summers, your energy bills will benefit from a greener option.
The good news is that you don’t have to do all of the research yourself. Your local contractor will be able to recommend brands, estimate installation costs and more. Additionally, because they are familiar with your area, they can provide insider knowledge that will help you make a decision.
Find Emergency HVAC Waxahachie, TX
Whether you are looking for general maintenance or emergency service for your HVAC, Dial One Johnson is the trusted source for your residential or commercial needs. Serving the Dallas area for over 50 years, Dial1 provides 24-hour emergency service to ensure that you are safe and comfortable in the event of an HVAC emergency. With offices in Midlothian and Cedar Hill, we are excited to expand our services to Waxahachie and the greater Ellis County area. Contact us for the best HVAC contractors in Waxahachie, TX.