When your HVAC system starts acting up, it’s hard to know whether it’s a small issue that can wait or a larger problem requiring immediate attention. Understanding the signs of an HVAC emergency can save you from discomfort, expensive repairs, and even health risks. If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions, it may be time to call your local HVAC technician.
1. Do You Smell Rotten Eggs or a Burning Scent?
The smell of rotten eggs could indicate a natural gas leak, which can be extremely dangerous. A burning scent could mean your system is overheating, which is also a serious issue. In both cases, you should turn off your HVAC system and call a professional immediately.
2. Is Your System Making Unusual Noises?
While no HVAC system is silent, if you hear new sounds like grinding, squealing, or banging, it’s possible a component has malfunctioned or broken down. Although not every loud noise is an emergency, it’s best to err on the side of caution and call your HVAC technician.
3. Is Your Circuit Breaker Constantly Tripping When Your HVAC System is Running?
This could mean your HVAC system is drawing more power than it should be, possibly due to a serious issue such as a short circuit. Turn off the unit and call a technician or electrician as soon as possible.
4. Is Your HVAC System Not Turning On at All?
If your system doesn’t turn on, even after checking the thermostat and circuit breaker, it could indicate a serious problem with the unit’s internal components. This could lead to an emergency in extremely hot or cold weather, so contact a professional sooner rather than later.
5. Is There Water Pooling Around Your Unit?
This could be a sign of a refrigerant leak or a problem with your system’s condensate line. Either of these situations should be addressed immediately.
6. Has Your System Been Cycling On and Off Frequently?
This behaviour, known as short cycling, can be a sign of a larger issue with the system’s compressor, thermostat, or electrical connections. The longer you wait to address this, the costlier it becomes.
7. Are You Feeling Ill with Symptoms Like Headaches, Burning Eyes, or Nausea When Your HVAC System is Running?
These symptoms could indicate a carbon monoxide leak, a dangerous situation that requires you to call 911.
8. Is There No Air Coming Out of Your Vents?
If air isn’t coming out of your vents, there may be a problem with your blower motor or a blockage in your ductwork.
9. Are You Experiencing Inconsistent Temperatures Throughout Your Home?
Inconsistent temperatures could indicate a number of issues, including a failing thermostat, a problem with your ductwork, or an issue with the HVAC system itself. It’s best to call in a professional quickly to assess the situation.
10. Do You See Ice Forming On the Outdoor Unit?
Ice forming on your outdoor unit could indicate a refrigerant leak or a problem with your system’s airflow. Low refrigerant levels can make the unit’s evaporator coil too cold, leading to freezing. Similarly, poor airflow can prevent heat from being properly absorbed, also resulting in ice. It’s essential to address this AC issue quickly to avoid further damage.
11. Are the Vents Blowing Out Hot Air in Cooling Mode or Cold Air in Heating Mode?
If your HVAC system is blowing air contrary to its set mode, it indicates a serious problem. For cooling mode, this could be a refrigerant leak or a damaged compressor. In heating mode, it could mean a malfunctioning heat exchanger.
12. Are You Experiencing Electrical Issues Like Flickering Lights or Power Interruptions When the HVAC System is Running?
Electrical problems related to your HVAC operation can be a sign of a significant electrical fault in your HVAC system, possibly indicating a short circuit or an overloaded circuit.
13. Has Your Energy Bill Suddenly Increased Without a Change in Usage?
A sudden, unexplained increase in your energy bill could be a sign of an underlying problem with your HVAC system that is causing it to run less efficiently. It’s important to get this checked out not only to save on energy costs but also to prevent potential damage to your system.
14. Is There a Visible Spark or Smoke Coming From Your HVAC System or its Outlets?
If you see sparks, smoke, or signs of fire from your HVAC system, shut it down immediately. This situation could be due to serious electrical problems and poses an immediate safety hazard.
15. Have You Noticed an Excessive Amount of Soot or Charring Around Your Furnace?
This can indicate a poor burn in your furnace, possibly due to a malfunctioning burner or problems with the fuel intake. This can lead to incomplete combustion and the potential release of carbon monoxide. In this situation, shut off your furnace and contact a professional immediately.
The Pros at Link ClimateCare are Here to Help
Your HVAC system is complex, and when problems arise, it can often be hard to diagnose and repair them on your own. If you’re experiencing any of the above issues, it’s best to call a professional HVAC technician.
At Link ClimateCare, we have the knowledge and tools to diagnose and fix any HVAC issue safely and effectively. Contact us today to book an appointment.