We know how the winters in Arizona; the morning could be freezing but that afternoon you're walking around in shorts. Such a large fluctuation in temperatures can put a lot of wear and tear on your HVAC system. Regardless of what brand of system you may be using, it is important that it remains functional for the duration of winter, summer, or any season.
There is simply nothing worse in the heating and cooling business than a homeowner whose heater breaks down in the middle of a major cold front. Since we can’t predict what is going to happen with the weather, we can try to help you predict what will happen with your air conditioner. In this blog, we will discuss many things you can do to spot the major warning signs that your HVAC system is in need of repair, or that a major breakdown is right around the corner.
It is our hope that you can use this blog to catch an issue before it leads to something much worse.
Pay Attention to Your Energy Bill
Your energy bill is a great indicator of your air conditioner’s health. When you first install your HVAC system, it is in optimal condition and runs at peak performance. Over time the normal wear and tear of your system will decrease the energy efficiency of it's cooling and heating output. Knowing how much energy your HVAC requires to function properly is the best way to know when something is wrong.
If you’ve used just about the same amount of energy every summer and winter, but suddenly your energy bill is through the roof, check your HVAC system. Your system may appear to be functioning correctly, but appearances can be deceiving. If there is something wrong with the inner workings of your air conditioner it usually doesn’t mean an immediate breakdown. Your system will power through any problems by burning more fuel to make up for inefficiencies in its output.
Using excess energy amounts may still keep you comfortable but that means higher electric bills and a larger repair cost down the road. If a problem is not addressed soon the damage done may not be reversible and require you to purchase a brand new unit. Pay attention to your monthly energy bill and monitor your monthly spending so you can easily judge if price spikes are from a failing unit.
Trust Your Senses
When your HVAC system is having an issue, it may actually ‘cry’ for help. The grinding, thumping, or screeching sounds of metal on metal is a noise no HVAC system owner should ever hear. These noises are a good indicator that the parts that make up your air conditioner are not in sync. There’s no way to know what the issue is without opening up the unit and taking a look, and that should be left to a professional. One thing for certain is that there is an issue that must be addressed as soon as possible.
Smells can also be a great indicator of how functional your HVAC system is; specifically, the smell of mold. If you smell mold around your home your HVAC system and duct work could be at fault. Mold growth can be traced to two major causes: water and stagnant air. A water leak could happen to anyone anywhere, but stagnant air can be typically traced to airflow problems. Your HVAC unit determines how much air flows through your home, and the ductwork provides the proper pathway.
If airflow is an issue in your home, it could be that your HVAC unit is not providing enough or that your duct work has leaks or clogs. Either problem should be addressed by a homeowner immediately because of the dangerous effects mold has on the respiratory system.
How Old Is Your Heater?
Furnaces typically live to be 15-25 years old. That said individual factors to each heater could have a positive or adverse effect on its lifespan. If your heater is nearing 15 years or has already exceeded it, now is the time to begin looking for a new system. This way when your heater finally expires you’ll be ready for it, and have the knowledge to make a quick, correct decision regarding your future comfort.
Although any new HVAC system is a major investment, there have been significant advances in the HVAC industry to make owning a new system a breeze.
Let H.A.R.E. Help
Don’t wait till your heater is finally out of service before you look for a new one, because it could take days or weeks to replace. Every day without in-home comfort is one too many. At H.A.R.E., we are ready to help you at every step find your next heating system, so take the proactive approach and contact us today!