Purchasing an HVAC system is an investment, one that most home- and business owners would prefer not to repeat too often.
Maximizing that system’s lifespan is easier than you’d think, so long as you remember to schedule regular maintenance and repairs.
Things do break down, though, even with regular maintenance. This happens because of long times between checkups, normal wear and tear, temperature fluctuations, and myriad other factors, not least of which is pure dumb luck.
The worst thing people can do when HVAC systems fail is to try to save money by making the repairs themselves.
Here’s how you know it’s time to call an HVAC technician — and why it’s important.
Signs It’s Time to Call an HVAC Professional
It’s almost impossible not to notice when something goes wrong with an HVAC unit.
If you experience any of the following, it’s time to call a qualified professional:
- Display problems: If the temperature on your thermostat does not match that of the air coming through your vents, there’s likely something going on that a technician will need to diagnose.
- Higher-than-average bills: Inefficient heating and cooling causes run the gamut from simple belt issues to aging systems in need of replacement. A technician will tell you what’s going on and help get repairs underway.
- Noises: Banging, clanking, clanging, tapping, and other noises on startup or between heating and cooling often indicate that something is amiss. Keep track of such sounds and be sure to relay that information to your HVAC partner.
- Scents: Systems sometimes emit scents like warm rubber, garbage, stale cigarette smoke, sulfur, and exhaust, among others. Each indicates a specific issue, so be sure to mention it to your technician when you schedule your appointment.
- Temperature issues: If you turn your HVAC system on and the air does not begin warming or cooling accordingly, call a technician. This issue can become particularly dangerous during the hottest summer weeks or coldest winter weather, so have it addressed immediately.
Call your HVAC partner as soon as you think you’ve got a system issue. The longer you wait, the worse that problem can get.
Catching repairs early is a lot like early medical diagnoses: the sooner the better (and less costly), as fewer things can spiral out of control when problems are caught early.
The Downsides of DIY HVAC Repairs
A lot can go wrong when you work to fix your residential or commercial HVAC system’s problems on your own.
Non-professionals’ lack of knowledge prevents them from turning off, opening, or moving the right elements to isolate and repair the issues, often leading to physical injuries.
This same lack of knowledge can also result in further system damage.
Worse yet, those who poke and prod into HVAC systems without proper training can inadvertently void their warranties, resulting in skyrocketing bills for future repairs.
A voided warranty means replacing the pieces typically covered due to normal wear and tear — as well as product replacements from manufacturers — would no longer be available without significant costs.
These expenditures will greatly exceed what would have been incurred had you simply set up the repair appointment in the first place.
Do yourself a favor: Call your local heating and air conditioning technician as soon as a problem arises with your residential or commercial HVAC system.