What to Do If Your HVAC Is on the Fritz

Your HVAC system is crucial to keeping you and your family safe, healthy, and productive during those hot summer days and frigid winter nights. You need to be able to rely on it; so what do you do when it starts to give you problems? Follow our guide below.

Signs your HVAC needs help

Some of these signs are pretty straightforward, but others can be more subtle. You likely have a problem if any of the following are true:

  • You’re not getting cool air or warm air when needed
  • You’re getting conditioned air, but the flow is weaker than you remember
  • Different parts of your house are very different temperatures
  • You hear strange noises when you turn the unit on
  • Your energy bills have been steadily rising
  • There’s leaking or moisture somewhere there shouldn’t be

Things you can do on your own:

There will be times when you’ll have to call an HVAC repair company, but before you do there may be some things you can do to help the situation.

Make sure it’s not the furnace

To test this, set your thermostat to the air conditioning mode and lower the temp. If the furnace starts up, you’re good. If it doesn’t, the first thing to check is the furnace circuit breaker. If that’s the issue, your fix is simple.

Clean out your filter

Your air filter keeps extra dust and dirt out of the HVAC system and helps keep your air clean. The problem is that a lot of people forget that these filters need to be changed out at least once a year. You’ll want to do this more often if you run the unit more than six months out of a year, if you have pets, or if someone in your family suffers from allergies.

Check Your Registers

If one part of the house is significantly colder or warmer than the rest, make sure the registers aren’t the issue. You might have inadvertently put furniture on top of them or a child might have closed them. Make sure they’re all open and have free flowing air.

Get Regular Service

Your unit needs to be maintained regularly. The coils need to be cleaned, and the refrigerant lines need to be checked. The outdoor unit needs to be cleaned and cleared of leaves, weeds, and any other debris. If you schedule regular HVAC maintenance, you can expect longer life and better performance out of your unit.

Know when you need a new unit:

The best maintenance and troubleshooting in the world can’t stop the inevitable. Eventually you’ll need to replace your unit. Some homeowners insurance in New Jersey, New York, California, Michigan, and a few other states may cover your new HVAC system, but it will depend on the exact circumstances.

If your unit stops working completely, you obviously need a new one. However, there are also some other situations where you should consider replacing your unit:

Your unit is old

If the unit is getting approaching 10 or 15-years-old, you’re probably paying far more for energy than you need to. The newest Energy Star certified units are amazingly efficient and likely to save you 15 percent to 20 percent more than an old unit.

Temperature issues are getting serious

If it’s just impossible to get the summer temps where you need them, or you can’t afford to be warm in the winter anymore, it’s time to replace the unit. The same is true if you can’t resolve the issue of having certain rooms or floors of your home at very different temperatures.

Humidity is inconsistent

If the humidity remains high all summer or the air is too dry during the winter, then your system isn’t doing its job. This can cause other issues in your home and even health concerns.

If your HVAC unit isn’t doing what you need, it’s time to troubleshoot or even replace it. When you’re enjoying those perfect temperatures and humidity levels with lower energy bills, you’ll be glad you did.

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