Much of the country is entering into the coldest, wettest time of the year. Residents of warmer climes — think Miami Beach and Maui — also experience somewhat cooler temperatures.
Regardless of where you live, you’ll use your HVAC system. And there’s nothing more frustrating than turning on the furnace or the AC only to find something isn’t quite right.
Some heating and cooling problems are easy enough for a savvy homeowner to troubleshoot and fix. Others require help from an HVAC technician.
HVAC systems rarely quit working abruptly. If you’re paying attention, they issue early warnings. Read on for three sure signs you need to call for help.
1. Is Your HVAC System Screeching?
The hum of your heating and cooling system — it’s normal. When there’s something wrong with an HVAC system, that low hum often turns into a shrill screech.
Screeching noises should make your ears perk up.
Depending on where the screech originates, you could have either a broken compressor (outside) or a malfunctioning blower motor (inside). Either way, calling an HVAC technician should be at the top of your to-do list.
Hissing, buzzing, rattling, whistling, and squeaking all warrant a call for an HVAC contractor to come and have a look at your system.
2. Something Smells Fishy Around Here
For most people, dirty socks, trash, mold, gunpowder, and exhaust fumes smell unpleasant. When coming from your HVAC system, none of these odors constitute an HVAC emergency.
However, there is one smell you should never ignore.
It’s the smell of something burning.
When you smell something burning in your HVAC system, treat it as an emergency. Shut off the system immediately and call for HVAC repair.
An electrical issue could cause the odor. That burning smell accompanied by popping sounds is a sure sign you need to call a licensed HVAC professional to check out the entire system.
What about the fishy smell? You thought we were joking about that, right?
When plastic components melt, they sometimes smell like fish. There’s your answer! You’ll still need to consider hiring an HVAC technician.
3. Cool Weather HVAC Issues
Even if you’ve put it off so far, you will (sooner rather than later) turn on your furnace. There are multiple signs that you should contact an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace or boiler. Ask yourself these questions:
- Does your circuit breaker trip — over and over?
- Do you smell rotten eggs coming from your air ducts?
- Is the flame in your gas furnace a yellow color?
- Have you discovered puddles near the HVAC unit?
If you said yes to the first three, you have safety issues. Ignoring puddles on the floor may result in water damage to your HVAC system, your home’s structure, and your personal belongings.
Why Not Reach Out to Your HVAC Technician?
Any of the signs we’ve discussed in this article indicate your system needs help. Who better to call than a qualified HVAC technician?
Do you have more questions about HVAC problems? Check out our archives. We’ve put together a collection of articles geared toward savvy homeowners and renters just like you!