As Wisconsin residents enter another year of social distancing, more and more homeowners have started to notice the “little things” around their homes that just don’t sound or look right.
Weird noises or a lack of efficiency in your HVAC system may become more apparent the more you stay indoors, and those “little” issues can quickly escalate to an emergency if left unattended.
To help you identify when you might need emergency HVAC repair, we’ve put together a list of the most common HVAC problems our Washington and Ozaukee County customers have contacted us about. Knowing what to look out for and when to reach out for emergency HVAC service can help you save time, money and headaches.
When you might need emergency AC repair
While there are a number of different types of air conditioners available, the problems you might encounter are fairly universal. In the most basic of terms, air conditioners use refrigerant to convert heat to cooled air.
Refrigerant travels between the AC’s compressor and evaporator coils, and for a variety of reasons might sprout a leak somewhere along the way.
A leak in the refrigerant line can be difficult to diagnose since they are hidden inside the unit, but if your AC struggles to reach your desired temperature, you may have a leak somewhere in the refrigerant system.
Other signs of a leak in the refrigerant line include:
- Hissing noises when you turn on the AC
- Ice buildup on coils
If a leak occurs during the hot summer months when you absolutely need your AC to feel comfortable, you may need to contact an emergency HVAC technician to help right away.
Another common AC problem that can quickly turn into an emergency involves clogged drainage lines.
Air conditioner units drain water from the evaporator coil, and this drainage system may become clogged over time. A clog or full blockage will back water into and around your AC, and can lead to water damage in your walls or other spaces in your home. Signs of a clogged drainage line include:
- Mold near the AC unit
- Water leaking from the AC unit
- A sense of dampness or humidity in the air being pumped into your home.
To stay one step ahead of potential drainage issues make it a habit to inspect the area around your AC unit on a regular basis. Early detection can help prevent an HVAC emergency.
Electrical problems are a less common issue, but one that definitely requires help from a trusted HVAC repair technician. Homeowners typically become alerted to electrical problems when the AC simply won’t turn on, or when they experience a burning smell coming from the AC. If your AC won’t turn on be sure to check your breaker box. If work is being done elsewhere in your home, or in a neighbor’s home, a contractor may be to blame for a blown fuse.
If you’ve ruled out a breaker box issue or detect a burning odor, it’s time to call an emergency HVAC company to fix your air conditioner. Electrical issues are extremely dangerous and should always be safely evaluated by a professional.
How to tell when emergency heating repair may be necessary
Diagnosing problems with heaters can be a little trickier than air conditioners. There are numerous styles of heaters, and each model uses a different fuel source and method of heating. While the number and variety of heating issues depends on the style of heater you have, there are some common problems you might encounter with any type of heating system.
An increase in dust in your home is a very visible and telltale sign that your heater might be on the decline. Furnaces and other heating systems use filters to keep the air in your home clean, and to protect the delicate inner workings of the unit. In the case of furnaces, a build up of dust inside the unit may cause it to blow excess dust from the vents, which also contributes to decreased air quality.
If you notice a sudden increase in dust circulating throughout your home, you should check your air filters to see if they need to be cleaned. If the filter is clean and air quality continues to decline, you may need an indoor air quality solution to help your heater reach peak performance.
If you notice that your heater is frequently cycling or slow to start, you may be dealing with a clogged filter or blocked air circulation. Signs of a blockage include poor air flow and water that pools around the unit. A sudden increase in your energy bill may also point to problems in ductwork or the heating system itself, likely due to blockages that reduce air flow and force the system to overwork.
Homeowners with gas furnaces should pay particular attention to unusual smells. If you can smell gas emanating from the furnace, you should call an emergency repair technician immediately for assistance with safely turning off the gas valve while help arrives.
Understanding the cost of an HVAC emergency
Now that you know some of the common symptoms of a failing HVAC unit, you can begin to see how urgent issues can crop up seemingly overnight. A common misconception homeowners have about the HVAC industry is that emergency service automatically means that emergency repairs will cost significantly more, simply because they are urgent.
While that may be true for companies who are out to capitalize on a homeowner’s misfortune, it’s not the case with Jackson Hardware Heating & A/C.
We make ourselves available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week because we know that an emergency can strike at any time, and our customers deserve the same expert service and care whether they need us day or night. We always provide transparent, upfront pricing and never tack on fees just to make an extra buck.
Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are available 24 hours a day to answer calls and help you determine if your issue is an emergency that needs to be addressed right away, or a more routine problem that can be solved during regular business hours that fit your schedule.
By performing routine maintenance tasks like changing filters and examining your heater and AC each month, you can keep costs down and identify a problem before it spirals into a costly emergency.