Top Reasons For Emergency HVAC Service Calls: Breaking it Down

Top Reasons For Emergency HVAC Service Calls: Breaking it Down
February 25, 2024

A home's HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system is a workhorse, ensuring comfort throughout every season. However, like any crucial equipment, it can have hiccups resulting in unexpected service calls. Today, we'll be examining the most common reasons for these emergency HVAC service calls.

1. Clogged Condensate Line

The condensate drain line is a vital part of any HVAC system and is responsible for removing the condensed water vapor produced by the cooling process. Over time, algae, dirt, or mold can clog this line, causing water leaks and, in extreme cases, system shutdown. Regular maintenance is necessary to prevent this situation.

2. Dirty Filters

Air filters are at the frontline, safeguarding your HVAC system from dust, dirt, and other airborne contaminants that can hinder performance. When left uncleaned for extended periods, these filters become clogged, and this can drastically reduce your system’s efficiency, damage components, and in serious cases, cause breakdowns.

3. Leaking Refrigerant

The refrigerant is the substance that your air conditioner uses to remove heat and humidity from the air. If it starts to leak, your system will not cool as efficiently, leading to increased energy use and reduced system longevity. Signs of a refrigerant leak include extremely high electric bills during summer, frost build-up on the evaporator coil, and a mildew-like smell.

4. Noticeable Decrease in Efficiency

If your HVAC system is working harder to maintain comfort levels, it may be due to a variety of underlying issues – from aging components, wrong size installations, to poor insulation. A professional diagnosis is vital to bring the system back to peak performance.

5. Dirty Condenser or Evaporator Coils

Coils play a crucial role in heat transfer, and if they're caked with grime or dust, heat transfer can be impeded, overworking your system resulting in higher energy consumption, and even system failure.

6. Furnace Unit Doesn't Turn On or Makes Unusual Noises

If your furnace doesn't turn on or makes unusual noises, it's a telltale sign that something's wrong. Problems could range from a faulty ignition system, a worn-out blower, or an uncalibrated thermostat.

7. Unusual Smells

Musty smells can indicate mold or mildew in your system, while a rotten egg smell can signal a natural gas leak. Both instances require immediate attention to avoid detrimental health effects and safety issues.

8. Rapid Cycling

Rapid cycling, where your HVAC system continually turns on and off, can indicate a malfunctioning thermostat, clogged or dirty air filter, or an improperly sized system. This condition will consume more energy and put undue stress on the system's components, leading to premature wear and tear.

Handling an HVAC emergency can be a daunting task. However, by understanding potential issues and ensuring regular maintenance, such unnecessary troubles can be minimized or eliminated. Regular checks on filters, coils, drain lines, and the overall functionality of your system can greatly improve efficiency and extend the life of your HVAC unit.

When in doubt, don't hesitate to call in professionals who can diagnose and fix the problem suitably, ensuring optimal home comfort during every season. Get familiar with the signs and remember: a well-maintained HVAC is a well-performing HVAC. Systematically approaching your maintenance in a preventative manner can help to prevent or mitigate any emergencies. Moatkeeper can help you build and track your HVAC maintenance plan to protect your property. 

Written by
Brian Borchert

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