A Homeowner’s Guide To Dealing With An HVAC Emergency

The HVAC system is an essential element for making any home comfortable. With proper regular maintenance, it should perform optimally during all weather conditions. When the HVAC home system works the way they’re supposed to, the residents are happy, healthy, and productive. However, this comfort can be interrupted if an unexpected breakdown occurs in winter or during a heatwave.

outdoor AC unit covered with leaves

Although there is no good time for the HVAC system to fail, such a situation is undoubtedly an emergency. If an emergency happens during peak seasons like summer or winter, HVAC technicians may take a while to respond to your distress call. As a homeowner, you should know how to troubleshoot your system during an emergency.

Recognizing danger signs as early as possible can give you time to act and prevent your HVAC system from failing. This article will guide you on some basic things you can do in an emergency before seeking heating and cooling services Porterville, CA.  Here are a few things you should watch out for and what you can do:

Strange Noises

Your furnace may be running but producing strange screeching or squealing noises. Such sounds may result from loose bearings or a blower motor about to fail. These issues could lead to severe mechanical breakdowns and should be addressed immediately. The other problem you can face is uneven airflow, which you can solve by insulating the ductwork.

If you hear a rattling noise, then the panels of your system could be loose and need tightening. Thermal expansion in your ductwork causes popping or pinging sounds as it heats and cools. When there is a grinding sound in your system, then it might be the motor bearings that need a replacement. Thus, you need to call an emergency air conditioner repair Porterville, CA technician. Squealing noises also need the attention of a technician, as the belt on your system might have slipped and needs repair.

Unusual Smell

Natural gas is used in many homes for heating and cooling. Natural gas is odorless, but gas companies use a chemical (mercaptan) to give it that rotten egg odor. So, if you smell rotten eggs, there may be a gas leak. You may also hear a hissing sound if there’s a leak.

If you suspect a gas leak, ensure everyone gets safely out of the home. Below are the steps you should take in case of a gas leak:

  • Don’t operate any light switches, as the gas might ignite.
  • Don’t turn on the stove.
  • Open the windows.
  • Don’t use your cell phone inside the house.
  • Leave your car in the garage.
  • Call for emergency service.

In such situations, don’t second-guess yourself. Ensuring the safety of everyone should come first.

changing air filter

Clogged Condensate Lines

Condensate lines are responsible for collecting excess water from your system and draining it. When they are clogged from dirt and rust, they won’t drain the excess water, thus resulting in leaks. Although the leaks might be small initially, they can cause massive water damage if not handled early. A reliable technician should address the problem before the leaks cost you more.

Ice Buildup On The Outdoor Unit

The outdoor unit can sometimes freeze during winter, indicating its defrost cycle is malfunctioning. This problem happens due to a low refrigerant charge or a bad motor fan. In such an instance, your HVAC system won’t work, and you need to call a trusted technician to come and fix it.

Frozen Coils In Summer

When you notice that the coils on your HVAC unit are frozen in summer, you shouldn’t use the unit. Below-freezing refrigerant temperatures cause the air in its immediate surrounding to condense and the coils to freeze. Don’t run the system below 70 degrees to prevent this occurrence.

Tripped Circuit Breakers And Blown Fuses

When the blower in your HVAC system is overworked, it’ll likely blow fuses and trip circuit breakers. The reason why the blower motor overworks is most likely due to dirty air filters. When the filters are dirty, the blower motor works harder to provide sufficient airflow in your home. With the help of an HVAC maintenance professional, you can determine the problem and know if it goes beyond including the ductwork.

Wrapping Up

An HVAC unit consists of many components. Parts like the evaporator and condenser coils, air vents, and air ducts can show signs of breaking down, which should be dealt with immediately to prevent a bigger problem. Even with a regular maintenance schedule, any of these components can cause your system to malfunction. If you can recognize warning signs, know what to do in an emergency, and when to call for professional assistance, you can prevent your HVAC unit from breaking down.

Not sure about whether to repair or replace your HVAC unit? Watch this video:

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