Most people don’t realize that the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system plays an integral role within their home. In fact, most people fail to do the baseline maintenance until after a breakdown or problem has already occurred. They also don’t investigate HVAC contractors until repairs are already necessary.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Most people do learn a bit about their HVAC systems. They may also do smaller routine maintenance in the interest of saving money. But HVAC maintenance is something that’s very easy for most homeowners to put off until there’s a breakdown. Many homeowners lack the mechanical acumen to repair the unit themselves.
This article will illustrate the times that it’s necessary to call a heating and cooling repair specialist. It offers a few troubleshooting tips but also detailing when it’s likely necessary to contact a professional.
1. The home is uncomfortably hot or cold
The first sign to call in the HVAC contractors is when a home is too hot or cold. Let’s say, there is a notable temperature inconsistency from room to room. For example, a bedroom is stifling while the living room is freezing. This is a strong sign that there’s a problem with the heating and cooling unit itself.
Some underlying issues that could cause inconsistent temperature from room to room include old air filters. Or issues within the air duct. Depending on the home and the configuration, a handy homeowner could likely clean or replace a unit’s air filter. Larger issues with the insulation or with the ducts are likely problems for a professional to handle.
2. Odd noises coming from the unit
Like most machines and mechanical setups, unusual noises could indicate a problem. Especially if the system is experiencing other temperature-related issues such as fluctuations or slow heating times.
Strange or unusual noises do not necessarily mean immediately calling a professional. But, they are symptoms to be monitored. People who want to be proactive may want to call one of their apartment or home’s preferred HVAC contractors. This will ensure that there isn’t a larger problem looming. Or they may ask to check the system for operational efficiency before a major breakdown occurs.
Heating and cooling systems are surprisingly intricate. One loose bolt or screw could become a serious issue if it’s not addressed in a timely fashion. Given the cost involved, it’s often better to be safe rather than sorry. A routine maintenance call could be much less expensive than a large-scale system repair.
3. Inadequate or weak airflow
Another common sign that the heating or cooling unit may require service is weaker-than-normal airflow from one or more vents within the home.
This could end up being a minor issue. A partially obstructed vent or a clogged air filter could be the culprit. Homeowners and landlords who are familiar with their heating and cooling unit and the ducts could do some investigating to see if there’s an obvious issue, and something like a dirty air filter is a problem that a homeowner could solve without professional intervention.
Homeowners can also check around the vents and ensure that there isn’t any type of obstruction. In addition to weak or inconsistent airflow coming from the vent, other signs of a larger problem would include the aforementioned inconsistencies in temperature, as well as pressure imbalances such as drafts or hotspots.
Other airflow-related issues could include:
- Problems with the thermostat
- Sluggish start to cooling fan
- Low levels of refrigerant
Again, depending on the individual, some homeowners may be handy enough to tackle a few of these issues themselves. In other cases, people are better off contacting one of their local HVAC contractors for assistance or repairs.
4. The system is already requiring frequent repairs
Like any other appliance – dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and so on – a heating and cooling system can become dated or wear out over time, especially in older homes. People who are regularly contacting their heating and cooling repair company will likely be encouraged to overhaul or replace their system if one or two service calls can’t adequately address the issues.
A rule of thumb for heating and cooling service is that a repair specialist or technician should not be maintaining the unit more often than once every six months – maybe once before summer begins and again before winter or heavy snowfall hits. People who contact their HVAC contractors more often than that are likely trying to keep a unit running that is nearing retirement.
If repair bills and service calls are outpacing the price of a new unit, then it may be time to upgrade. Any local heating and cooling company should be able to give homeowners or landlords a solid estimate.
A home of about 1,000 square feet requiring a new central air unit, a replacement gas furnace, and the correlated duct work would rack up costs ranging from about $6,000 to $13,000 in installation costs, depending on the area and the service required. This isn’t to alarm homeowners – after all, most HVAC setups are intended to last a decade or more – but only to give people an idea of what a potential replacement might cost if necessary.
If you are looking for a professional HVAC contractor to meet your needs, give HVAC Experts a call! We are here to help take the stress of your HVAC system off of you!