You will probably know if your furnace or air conditioner breaks down and stops working altogether. It’s a huge hassle that needs to be fixed immediately, especially if it happens during a hot summer or a bitterly cold winter. What you might not realize is that some HVAC issues that are easily ignored could turn into emergencies. Even when they don’t become pressing matters that need to be addressed right away, they could still result in a serious repair bill that you haven’t budgeted for.
We understand wanting to put off repairs in your home for as long as possible, but some things just can’t wait. These common HVAC problems might seem like minor inconveniences, but they could be emergencies in disguise. Here are a few “minor” problems that you should never overlook.
1. A Lack of Airflow
A lack of airflow can be harder to detect than you think. After all, how often do you check every vent in your home to make sure it’s working? You might turn on your heat or your air conditioner and think everything is working fine, only to find that your home’s temperature has barely changed an hour later.
Lack of airflow can be caused by any number of issues. It could be that some of your vents are closed. You may also need to have your ducts cleaned. A dirty air filter that hasn’t been changed recently can also contribute to poor airflow. These are easy problems that shouldn’t be too difficult to fix. There is the potential that your lack of airflow could also be caused by a malfunctioning blower motor. Your blower motor is an important part of your HVAC system, and it can break down after years of wear and tear or if it overheats.
In any case, if you’re dealing with poor airflow in your home, don’t assume that the problem will just go away. Check your vents to make sure that they’re open, replace your HVAC filter every month, and contact Summit Heating & A/C if you suspect dirty ducts or a bad blower motor.
2. A Lack of Hot Air
Another possible sign of a serious HVAC issue is a lack of hot air when you run your furnace. This is a problem that you’ll likely only notice during the fall or winter, and it’s one that is surprisingly easy to overlook. If you turn up your thermostat on a really cold day, you’ll notice that your house doesn’t get warmer. On the other hand, you might not notice if you turn the heat up a few degrees on a moderately cool fall afternoon.
A lack of warm air is one possible indicator of a cracked heat exchanger, which can lead to serious problems with your furnace as well as a health hazard in your home. A cracked heat exchanger can lead to a carbon monoxide leak, which is potentially fatal and nearly impossible to detect without a carbon monoxide alarm.
If you suspect a cracked heat exchanger in your furnace, contact Summit Heating & A/C right away. If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off or you suddenly feel nauseous or light-headed, get out of your house and call 911 as soon as you’re somewhere safe. A carbon monoxide leak is a serious problem that you should never ignore.
3. Bad Smells
If you turn on your furnace for the first time after several months, you might notice the smell of burning dust. This can be alarming, but it’s normal in most HVAC systems. It’s just the dust that settled on your furnace components burning away, and it should go away after about 10 or 15 minutes. If it doesn’t go away after a while, you might have other issues that need to be addressed. The burning smell might be from burning plastic, which can happen if you have bad wiring. If you suspect that this is the case, shut off your furnace and contact Summit Heating & A/C so we can take a look at your electrical system.
You might also smell something similar to rotten eggs if you turn on a gas furnace. This means that you have a gas leak somewhere that needs to be fixed right away. Natural gas is usually odorless, but a chemical odorant is added to it to give it a smell for safety reasons. This can be another sign that your heat exchanger is cracked, or it could mean that there is a gas leak somewhere else in your HVAC system. In any case, get out of your home right away and call 911 once you’re somewhere safe, just like you would if there was a carbon monoxide leak. Contact Summit Heating & A/C when the danger has passed to take a closer look at your HVAC system and find the source of the leak.
4. A Clogged Condensate Drain
The condensate drain removes water that condenses on your air conditioner’s evaporator coils. If it becomes clogged, the water has nowhere to go and will pool in the condensate tray. If the tray overflows, the water can pool on the floor next to your AC unit. It can also trigger a shutoff switch that shuts down your air conditioner before the tray can overflow.
Naturally, you don’t want your AC to stop working in the middle of a really hot summer night, so contact Summit Heating & A/C to clear the condensate drain before that can happen. If you do have an overflow that causes water to pool on your floor, treat it like you would any other leak. Keep it away from appliances and other electrical components, and clear it out before it can cause any water damage or mold growth.
Contact Summit Heating & A/C for Your HVAC Needs
It’s easy to take your heating and cooling system for granted and assume that it will always work. It’s also easy to overlook seemingly minor problems or write them off as glitches that will work themselves out. This is a bad idea, especially when you have to contend with severe weather. If you suspect that there is a problem with your HVAC system, don’t wait until the problem has gotten out of control. Contact Summit Heating & A/C and let us take a look at it. Summit Heating & A/C serves homeowners in Denver, CO, and the surrounding areas. We specialize in heating and AC repair as well as furnace and heat pump installation. We also provide plumbing and electrical services, offering financing to ensure that all of our services remain affordable to our clients. All of our HVAC technicians are NATE-certified and receive continuing education and training to make sure that they are at the top of their game when they need to make a call to your home.
HVAC problems will always be a hassle to fix, but they can get much worse if you let them turn into emergencies. If you suspect any problems with your heating or air conditioning system, contact Summit Heating & A/C in Denver, CO, today.