HVAC problems are never fun to deal with. Why does your air conditioner always seem to go out on the hottest day of summer and your heater on the coldest day of winter? When HVAC issues arise, many homeowners wonder if it is serious enough to make a service call or if they should try to troubleshoot the problem themselves.
At Cates Heating and Cooling, we want all homeowners in the Kansas City area to know exactly when they need to call an HVAC technician to help with their air conditioning and heating problems. Let’s take a look at when you should make a service call to your HVAC service provider.
1. Poor Heating or Cooling
You will want to call an HVAC repair company as soon as possible if you notice that your unit isn’t heating or cooling the way it should. Before calling out the professionals, you can always double-check the thermostat to make sure that all settings are as expected, but if it is getting too hot or cold in your home, it is time to make a service call.
A few common problems that could lead to improper heating and cooling include:
- A broken compressor
- A refrigerant leak
- A broken thermostat
- A frozen evaporator coil
- Damaged ductwork
There are so many different reasons that your HVAC unit could be working improperly. It is best to leave the problem solving to the professionals to ensure the correct fix.
2. Poor Airflow
Improper airflow is not normal. When you notice that less air is coming out of your vents, it is time to get a technician out to your house. Weak airflow decreases air circulation in your home, and it could be caused by a problem with your HVAC unit’s compressor or something in your air ducts.
Hot or cold spots in your home are often one of the first signs of an airflow issue. Drafty spots or doors slamming shut on their own are other indicators of an air pressure problem caused by poor airflow.
Leaving airflow problems unaddressed could lead to a strain on your system, which can lead to additional problems, such as compressor failure.
3. Strange Sounds
A light, consistent hum is the only normal sound that should come from your HVAC system while it is running. You may also hear the sound of air flowing through the vents, but your AC unit shouldn’t make any clanking, banging, or squealing noises.
A clicking noise coming from the outdoor unit could signal that something is obstructing the fan, and a similar noise from inside could mean you have an electrical issue. Squealing noises might indicate a problem with a belt within the unit or that bearings are going bad.
When you hear unusual noises coming from your HVAC unit, it is time to call out an HVAC expert to handle it for you.
4. Strange Smells
It is never a good sign when unusual smells start coming from your HVAC system. A funky odor typically signifies that there is some problem with your unit. One of the most common problems that produce an odor is electrical wiring damage, which could be very dangerous if left unfixed. If you ever notice an odd smell coming from your HVAC unit, you should make a service call to get a professional out to your home as soon as possible.
Musky odors could mean there is mold or mildew build-up in your vents, which could pose a serious health risk for you and your family. Air duct cleaning might be necessary to remove the offending odors (and the health problems they could cause!).
5. High Humidity
When it feels humid in your home, even with the air conditioner running, it is probably time to pull out your phone and call an HVAC professional. Humidity problems usually occur when units are old, inefficient, or improperly sized for your house. In these instances, your unit isn’t keeping up with the job it needs to do to cool your home. The reason it feels humid is because the moisture in the air isn’t being removed properly by your HVAC system.
Leaving the problem unresolved leads to wear and tear on the unit and higher utility bills. In some cases, you might need to have a new unit installed to cool your home properly without all the extra moisture.
6. High Energy Bills
If you suddenly notice that your energy bill is skyrocketing, your HVAC system could be the culprit. Unfortunately, high energy bills can be caused by dirty air filters, duct leaks, and failing unit parts. You can start by checking your air filter to see if it is clogged and dirty. If that isn’t the case, it is probably time to get a professional out to take a look.
7. Ice Starts Forming
Ice formation or puddling near your HVAC unit is a sign there is a blockage in your buildup line or a freon leak in your system. Both of these problems are best solved with the help of an HVAC expert, so if you notice a moisture problem on or around your unit, it is time to call out a professional.
Making a service call is a normal part of living in a house. To have a professional look at your HVAC unit, Kansas City metro residents can call Cates Heating and Cooling! We service homes in both Kansas and Missouri. If you are in Kansas, please call us at 913-888-4470. Missouri residents are encouraged to call 816-944-1844.
If you are interested in signing up for one of our service plans, we will send out technicians at a scheduled time to perform routine maintenance and help catch problems before they arise. Take a look at our service plan options.