For most homeowners, HVAC systems are an expensive but necessary investment. Just as you wouldn't drive a car without changing the oil, you shouldn't use the heating and cooling system (HVAC) without first doing regular HVAC maintenance.
When you carry out proper HVAC maintenance, you will not only extend the service life of your HVAC system and save money on costly repairs, but you will also ensure that your system is functioning at peak efficiency. Moreover, timely HVAC maintenance also helps you reduce energy consumption and contributes to responsible environmental practices. Additionally, there are professionals you can reach out to, like these HVAC services for residents in Chicago, that offer any services you may require such as maintenance, repairs, and installation.
On the other hand, failing to perform timely HVAC maintenance will have a negative impact on all the above-mentioned aspects. Besides, it is going to cost you in terms of warranty requirements and system longevity and can even potentially affect your family’s health due to poor air quality.
It is also important that you hire skilled and experienced technicians to check on your expensive HVAC systems, for they are rather complex in terms of technology. But how do you know when to call upon a technician? Of course, you must arrange for an inspection at regular intervals. But how do you know if your HVAC system is malfunctioning and needs immediate repair?
Here are the most pressing situations when you must book an appointment.
If your air conditioner is screeching, grating, grinding, or making other unusual sounds that it was not making before, you should have it examined right away. It could indicate loose parts, which could result in severe damage to your HVAC unit.
You should also be aware of any buzzing, humming, or clicking sounds. A buzzing noise could indicate a problem with your fan motor. However, if you hear a strong buzzing noise, it could be the result of a faulty compressor or loose wiring. This is a potential fire hazard that should not be overlooked. If you hear clicking sounds, you may have a faulty thermostat. This component may require repair or replacement.
Similarly, a pungent, burning, or unpleasant odor coming from the air conditioning vents usually indicates that your unit's wire insulation has burned off. Musty odors emanating from your vents indicate the existence of mold within your unit. If your air conditioner emits any of these odors, you must get it inspected right away.
Pro tip: Check your drain pan and empty the water out regularly. You may also clean it with mild soap and water. This often helps remove bad smells in an air-conditioned room.
When you run your heater or AC on a regular basis, such as in the heart of winter or the height of summer, it's common to see a rise in your monthly energy bill. Higher energy expenses are one of the inescapable consequences of utilizing your HVAC system. However, if you observe unusually high expenses or inexplicable rises in your energy bill, your HVAC system is most certainly not operating as efficiently as it could. A well-functioning system shouldn't produce unexpected spikes in your bill. If you notice any changes in your monthly energy bills, it's time to arrange a tune-up.
Pro tip: If your air conditioner has been in service for more than 15 years, it is likely that it is no longer energy efficient and that its functioning has been severely diminished.
The primary role of your HVAC unit is to keep your home cool in hot weather. If there is no airflow or your room isn't cooling properly, we don't even have to inform you that this indicates a significant problem with your air conditioner. If your air conditioner blows warm air or fails to properly cool your home, it could indicate a compressor problem or a low refrigerant level. If your unit is running short on refrigerant, the most likely cause is a leak. And this leak may prevent your equipment from effectively cooling the room. Furthermore, it may cause your AC's motor to overheat and eventually burn out.
If you turn on your air conditioner and there is little or no air coming out of it, it's time to arrange a tune-up. Poor airflow can be a symptom of a variety of AC problems, so it's better to have an expert HVAC technician inspect it and provide a precise diagnosis. Whether the AC's filter is clogged or the fan isn't operating, you'll need dependable repairs to get your air conditioner back up and running.
Pro tip: Make sure all the doors and windows are shut properly to get the optimum cooling from your air conditioner. Keep any heat-producing appliances away from your thermostat.
If you notice that your HVAC system is not helping to lower the level of humidity in your house anymore, contact an AC repair service right away. It may be a sign of mold. Higher humidity levels, as well as any liquid leaks near or around your HVAC unit, are all dangerous symptoms, especially if the fluid in question is the refrigerant. The refrigerant is not only dangerous but running an air conditioner without it will cause catastrophic damage to your HVAC system. Pooling water near your air conditioner indicates a broken or blocked drain tube, which can lead to mold growth.
Molds that form in your unit could pose a potential health risk to you and your family if left unchecked.
Pro tip: To clean mold from your AC, unlock and remove the filter, soak it in a mixture of one-part bleach to ten-part water, and wash it off gently. If it is disposable, replace it regularly.
Most people don't think twice about their HVAC systems until something really goes wrong. But this does not only incur significant expenses in costly repair work all at once; it could also be risky for your family members, both in terms of electrical/ fire hazards and health risks.
Regular maintenance, on the other hand, is critical for a well-functioning, energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. An annual tune-up performed twice a year, once for heating and once for cooling, will help you enjoy superior interior comfort throughout the year.
But remember, always trust a professional for HVAC maintenance. Before you hire anyone, make sure they are reliable, have adequate experience, and use the latest technology, such as field service management software or HVAC load calculator.