You probably don’t think about your trusty HVAC system often. It’s kind of like breathing, your lungs are always working to pull new air into your body but it’s not something you think about. Just like your HVAC system runs behind the scenes to keep you comfortable in your home. As long as you’re comfortable, it’s just not on your mind. But the minute dull, hot air wraps around you like a blanket while watching TV – you instantly think, “Uh oh, what’s wrong with the AC?”.
What to look for when your HVAC system starts to fail.
Luckily, you don’t have to wait until your HVAC system stops working on a 95-degree day when your friends and family are coming over in an hour to celebrate your Son’s Birthday (that’s always when it happens, right?)
Be on the lookout for signs that your HVAC system might be reaching the end of its life:
1. No cool air. Period.
If you keep turning down your thermostat lower and lower and no cool air comes out at all, it’s pretty much a dead giveaway something is wrong. It could be that you need a Freon refill or something more troublesome like a blown compressor.
2. Wacky thermostat.
One second your thermometer reads 72-degrees, the next it reads 80-degrees. If your thermostat is set to one temperature but you keep noticing a fluctuation throughout the day, it could mean your thermostat needs replacing or it could be signs of a larger problem to come.
3. Run Forest Run.
If your AC is running all day long and never stops it could mean a multitude of things – anything from a dirty air filter, to your unit being undersized, to your ducts being clogged, to your unit simply being old. Usually, it is a combination of any of these. Like a beloved dog, HVAC units have a life span of around 15 years. If your AC is running all day, it’s a good idea to have it checked to see what’s up.
4. This room’s hot – this room’s cold.
If you feel like Goldilocks going from room to room trying to find the temperature that is just right for you – your AC might be ready to call it quits. An AC that isn’t working efficiently might not be able to pump cool air to the parts of the home that are further away, resulting in rooms that are cold and rooms that are hot.
5. Something doesn’t smell right.
Did that pesky squirrel hit the dust in the attic or What. Is. That. Smell?! If you’re picking up something stinky it could mean your unit’s wiring has burned out or there could be a build up of mold and/or mildew in the duct work, AC unit or both. This growth can have negative health implications for your family so if something smells bad, it’s time to have a professional come inspect your HVAC system.
6. A decline in the quality of air.
Last summer the house felt crisp, brisk and comfortable all summer long, like taking in a breath of fresh mountain air. This summer, the air feels heavier, almost like taking a deep breath on an ozone warning day in downtown Houston. Somewhere along the way, you feel like the air quality in your home has declined. This could be due to your ducts needing a good cleaning or it could mean your compressor or capacitor is failing. Either way, it’s time to get your unit checked out.
7. That doesn’t sound right!
If you start hearing bangs, clanks, screeches, whistles, grinding or grating from your HVAC unit, something’s up – usually broken motor bearings, slipped belts, or the system just needs a good tune-up with lubrication.
8. Is that a damp spot?
Woah – that area is supposed to be dry! Maybe your refrigerant is leaking or your conduit that disposes of condensation is broken or blocked. Don’t let obvious signs of dampness go unchecked – it can lead to mildew and mold growth that will cause even more complications down the road.
9. Higher energy bill.
Ouch – that energy bill hurt to pay! If you notice your energy bills climbing at a rate that is not normal for the time of the year, it could be that your HVAC unit is not running as efficiently and needs to be inspected.
10. Multiple Breakdowns.
If your HVAC system is being maintained as it should twice a year by a professional – it shouldn’t be randomly breaking down as most common AC issues are caused by a lack of maintenance. If you notice multiple instances where you’ve had to get repairs on your unit, it’s probably a sign that your system will need replacing soon. Talking with your HVAC professional will help you determine if it’s better to replace your unit now or continue risking costly repairs in the future.
When it comes to replacing your unit – nothing goes in the same way it came out. There are always newer, more efficient units on the market and better options for your home. Our specialists at County Air will help fit a system to your home and budget’s needs so you can stay comfortable year round.
Give us a call at 281-356-8564 for any questions you may have. We are happy to provide free quotes and second opinions on HVAC system replacements.