When outside temperatures reach extremes, you depend on your HVAC system to keep you comfortable and safe. The last thing you want is your central air system dying in the middle of a heatwave.
Fortunately, your HVAC unit won’t break down unexpectedly without first displaying signs of problems. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to anything out of the ordinary when it comes to your home comfort systems.
Not catching the problem in time can result in an expensive repair or replacement bills, or you could be stuck without an air conditioner when the temperature rises. Your HVAC unit can account for 40% to 70% of your energy consumption, and a failing HVAC unit costs even more.
Have confidence in your HVAC system by learning the top signs that something is out of place. You can then make the needed repairs or contact an HVAC expert to solve the problem for you, saving yourself a lot of trouble over the long run.
Your HVAC system should sound like a fan when it's running. If you notice rattling or clanking noises once you turn it on, it's a sign that you need to do some maintenance work right away. A small part that came loose could be the source of the noise you hear. But you could also have much worse issues on your hand, and overlooking the problem gives it the chance to progress. Turn off your unit until you address the issue and get rid of the unusual sound.
High Energy Bill
Your energy bill can alert you to possible problems with your HVAC unit. When your HVAC unit is not running at its best, it will require more energy to keep your home at the temperature you want. The extra energy use will show up on your power bill. When you notice spikes in your electric bill even though you have not been using more power than normal, consider inspecting your HVAC unit for issues.
Rooms Heating Unevenly
Your HVAC unit should heat and cool all the rooms in your home to the same temperature. If you notice that some rooms don't reach the right temperature, make sure that nothing is blocking the vents. Your HVAC system is likely dying if blocked vents are not the source of the problem. HVAC systems that are going bad lose power and won't be able to push as much air to the other end of your home.
Your HVAC System Is More Than 15 Years Old
Most HVAC systems only work well for 15 to 20 years. Units that are older than that often experience excessive breakdowns, costing a lot of money in repair bills. In some cases, replacing an older HVAC unit is cheaper than repairing it. Also, old HVAC units that don't run well are not reliable, breaking down when you need them the most. Replacing your HVAC unit ensures that your home stays at the right temperature in addition to saving you money on repair bills.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: If the cost of the repair is more than half the price of a replacement, it might be best to spring for a new unit.
Your HVAC Unit Has Signs of Wear
Look at your HVAC unit. If you notice visible signs of wear, it’s time to start thinking about your options. As you inspect your HVAC unit for possible signs of trouble, pay attention to any rust or cracks you see. If the outside of your HVAC system is beginning to rust, it’s safe to assume that the parts you can’t see are also doing the same.
Rust and cracks spread over time and begin impacting the performance of your HVAC unit each time you turn it on. For example, rust on your fan blades will make it harder for your HVAC unit to keep them spinning at the right speed to distribute air throughout your home. You will notice the difference when you pay your energy bill each month unless you solve the issue.