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A broken HVAC unit can essentially stop your life. You will have to miss work to wait for the repair tech, sit in an uncomfortably hot or cold house until the problem is fixed, and possibly spend thousands of dollars to have it fixed. Fortunately, there are some signs that your AC unit is getting older and could be about to break — you just have to know what to look for. Here are three signs that you should call your HVAC tech to stop the problem before it gets too big.
Your Air Conditioner Seems to Run All Day
Most HVAC units aren’t supposed to run 24/7. Their goal is to cool a room until it reaches a certain temperature and then turn off. This downtime extends the life of your unit instead of placing undue pressure to perform all the time. If you find that your unit is on all the time — or on more than normal — it could be out of Freon or is so dirty that it needs to constantly push a weaker stream of air outinstead of pushing strong air out at once.
This is why it helps to have routine HVAC checks. Your tech can replace any necessary parts while giving your unit a deep clean, allowing for more downtime and extending the life of your system.
You Adjust the Temperature but Nothing Changes
Image via Flickr by StarsApart
Sometimes the problem isn’t the actual air conditioning unit but the thermostat. If your HVAC system seems to work fine — or is less than five years old — but you can’t adjust the temperature how you want, then your thermostat could be malfunctioning.
There are many ways for a thermostat to malfunction, each way causing its own problems for your home. In some cases, the thermometer breaks, so you can only turn the device on but can’t set the temperature. In other cases the calibration is off, so you have to set your home much cooler to get the same effect. While this is an easier fix than a broken unit, it can cause undue frustration for the homeowner.
Weird Smells Are Flowing From Your Unit
It’s a bad sign any time there are strange odors floating through your house or emitting from your HVAC unit. If the smell is musty or mildewy, you could have a leak in your system that is causing water to pool. Even worse, you could have mold growing in your system or around the area. This can damage your health significantly and hurt the foundation of your home.
If the smell is smoky, the wires inside the unit could be burned out and fried. This could lead to a total break and possibly cause a fire in older units. Either way, whenever there is an odor coming from your HVAC system, call a specialist immediately for your own health and safety.
Few homeowners are prepared for their air conditioning unit to break, and it always seems to give out at the worst times. However, once you know the warning signs you can identify the problem before it gets serious and expensive.