HVAC systems are an integral part of maintaining comfort in our homes. They keep us warm during the winter chills, and cool in the summer’s sweltering heat. They can also ensure that you are filtering out the bad air and keeping in the good air. In most cases, feeling comfortable in our own homes depends on the functionality of our HVAC systems.
In this post, we’ll be discussing the signs that your HVAC needs repaired and how you can prolong the longevity of these systems.
Signs you need a repair
Most of the HVAC systems have similar signs that repair is necessary. For example, if any of your units are creating loud noises or emitting a bad smell, that means you’ll need a repair. However, there are a few differences between the signs and symptoms of your failing air conditioners, furnaces, and air filters. We’ll mention more common signs of failure afterwards.
One huge sign that your air conditioner is in rough shape is when it starts blowing out warm air, which entirely defeats the purpose of having an AC in your home. Another sign of your failing AC is when it stops removing the amount of humidity it usually does. This is the other job your AC has, so it’s pretty important to repair it when you notice either of these issues.
Since central AC units have parts that must be placed outdoors, they’ll need more maintenance and care since they’re exposed to the elements. You typically should have maintenance done on this unit once a season. If you’re repairing it frequently, you should probably get it replaced. A problematic AC part or setup can result in issues with the entire system. Maintaining the main system in central AC units is imperative for the health of your whole AC unit.
Furnaces and boilers
Furnaces and boilers have a common heat source called a heat exchanger. In a gas furnace, the heat exchanger transfers heat from gas burners to the circulating air in the system. When a heat exchanger gets cracks or holes, you’ll be in need for a repair soon.
Signs the heat exchanger in your gas furnace is on its last leg: the smell of exhaust, soot, and water spots under the unit (The water spots are a sign of holes in your heat exchanger. Moisture can lead to the exchanger developing rust).
A faulty heat exchanger can cause exhaust gases to mix with your unit’s circulated air, which can result in high carbon monoxide levels in the house. If you notice that your carbon monoxide detector is going off during the seasons where you use your furnace, you’ll want to get your furnace checked as soon as you can.
Gas boilers use the heat exchanger to hold water. Like the furnace, you can tell your heat exchanger is damaged when you see water around the unit. Both units can be damaged greatly by excess water.
Your air filter’s purpose is to purify the air, and there are a few tell-tale signs that it’s becoming faulty. The biggest indicator that your air filters need replaced is that it’s been over 3 months since you’ve replaced it. Most air filters last 30 to 90 days, depending on the quality of the filter.
Another sign is that you have an increased amount of dust accumulating in your home. If your air filter is filthy, it won’t be able to filter the dust properly, but rather will push this debris in your home.
Lastly, you’ll notice a spike in your energy bill, which is a common sign any of your HVAC systems need repaired.
You can learn more about the importance of maintaining your indoor air quality in our last blog post.
More common signs that repair is necessary
Like we’ve previously mentioned, a spike in your energy bill can be a sign that one of your units needs to be looked at. We have also mentioned leaks, which is a common symptom in all units. Freon refrigerant leaks, water leaks, and even the sight of ice in your HVAC units means that you should call in a professional. Overall, if it feels like your units aren’t working efficiently, you should take a look at getting them repaired.
That being said, you should consider the costs of your repairs. Are you making repairs to your system so often that the price is stacking up? Perhaps you should simply replace the unit instead of repairing it.
Maintaining the longevity of your HVAC system
While you obviously can’t get your units to last forever, routine maintenance can help them function properly for much longer. Here’s a quick list of ways you can manage the HVAC system in your home:
- Replace filters every 1 to 6 months
- Inspect fans, bearings, and belts twice a year
- Inspect the areas around your unit twice a year
- Clean air ducts every 2 years
And lastly, we recommend having a professional do routine checks of your system for you.
In conclusion, we recommend keeping an eye out on how your HVAC system functions. When in doubt, call someone in to help you. And like we previously mentioned, make sure you aren’t spending too much money on repairs; otherwise you should just replace your units.
If you feel your HVAC system is having ongoing issues and you don’t know where to turn, we’d love to help you. Contact us today and we can discover if our services can help you!