Regular maintenance on your HVAC system is recommended at least yearly. For systems 10 years or older, professional check-ups are recommended bi-annually. Hiring an HVAC professional to keep an eye on your system can go a long way toward preventing future problems or damage to your heating and cooling units. However, if you find yourself in a situation where your HVAC system suddenly has major problems, you can call for emergency service. Keep reading below to learn about the differences between regular and emergency HVAC service, when to call a professional, and what each type of repair will involve.

How Maintenance Differs From Emergency Service

Maintenance refers to regular cleaning and check-ups from your HVAC professional. During this visit, our technician will inspect each part of your system, clean any dirty areas in your unit, test electrical components, and look for overall inefficiency. He or she may also recommend needed repairs or replacements. This service can be done anytime during normal business hours.

Emergency repairs arise when a problem area is causing damage to the entire system and to other parts of your home. Chemical leaks and electrical failures are often the culprits behind severe HVAC emergencies. It’s essential to call an emergency HVAC service as soon as possible in these situations to prevent further damage to the system or your home. Emergency service is available 24/7 from trained HVAC emergency technicians.

What Happens During a Maintenance Visit?

We recommend servicing your HVAC system at the beginning and end of the hot and cool seasons. During the visit, your technician will check over each area of the system, including all parts of the condenser unit, electrical components such as the motor and capacitors, the thermostat, and refrigerant and coolant lines and levels to ensure everything is in good working order. He or she will keep an eye out for any damage or corrosion to parts in the system and schedule an appointment for parts replacement or repair as needed.

We’ll also look for anything that could become a problem in the future, such as loose connections in the wiring or tubes, straining motors, or aging components.

If you have traditional ductwork in your home, your HVAC professional will check the ducts for any cracks or misalignments that could cause air and heat to escape. Sealing these cracks can improve your home’s energy efficiency and lower your heating and cooling bills. We can also let you know if ducts are growing too dusty and schedule an appointment to come and clean them out. Your technician will also look at air filters. If they’re dirty or no longer functional, he or she can clean or change it.

When Should I Call for Emergency Repairs?

If you notice any of these problems, you need to call an emergency technician as soon as possible:
  • Unusual noises or smells
  • Warm air blowing from vents when AC is on
  • Visible ice or large puddles around the outdoor compressor unit
  • Rapid short cycling
  • Frequent tripping of your breaker
  • Spikes in energy bills

If you hear grinding, clicking, or gurgling, you need emergency service. Grinding or clicking can indicate a problem with the motor; if left unchecked, the motor could die completely. Gurgling might come from air bubbles in refrigerant lines. A certified HVAC professional can address these noises by changing the motor, replacing lines, or installing a new system if needed.

Musty smells might just indicate dust in your vents, but a professional should check it out just in case. There could be mold or mildew in your ducts, which can be dangerous to everyone living in your home. You need service immediately if you smell a burnt rubber smell or rotten eggs. Burning smells could indicate an electrical problem, while rotten egg smell is a clear sign of a gas leak, both of which can be fatal. Your technician can detect the leak or the electrical problem and repair or replace any damaged parts.

Warm air in the system can signal a blockage in your vents or a failing compressor unit. If the system continues to strain against these problems, it will eventually shut down, so it’s important to call as soon as you notice this inefficiency.

Repeated leaks or thick chunks of ice on or around your outdoor compressor unit might mean that your coils are frozen, or your lines have burst, which will cause damage to the rest of the compressor if not addressed quickly. We’ll replace any lines or coils and check for any other inefficiencies that may be occurring in the unit.

Short cycling means that your system turns on and off frequently. Under normal circumstances, the system will shut down when your home reaches the desired temperature and then kick on again when the temperature rises or drops. However, a system that repeatedly shuts off and turns back on isn’t normal. If you notice this happening every few minutes, that signals a serious problem with the electrical connection between the indoor system and the outdoor compressor. You’ll need to call in a technician as soon as possible to check the connections, the compressor unit, and the thermostat to find and fix the problem.

If your circuit breaker trips each time you turn on the AC or heat, there could be a serious electrical problem with your home’s HVAC unit or electrical circuits. Be sure to get this checked out immediately, as faulty electrical wiring can cause a fire. You may need to bring in an electrician as well if the problem is with your home electrical circuits.

While rising energy rates can indicate a slowly growing problem, a spike in energy bills shouldn’t be ignored. This could signal a problem with your HVAC system’s motor, capacitors, or compressor. When electrical parts must constantly run to keep up with the demand for the thermostat, your electricity bill is going to go up. If these malfunctioning parts continue to run, the whole system can fail.

Other Considerations to Keep in Mind

Emergency service will always be more costly than standard repairs or maintenance, so investing in regular maintenance on your HVAC system is worthwhile. Even with regular checkups, though, issues can come up suddenly. Calling in a professional as soon as you notice anything unusual is important.

Furthermore, maintenance or basic repairs may be covered by your home insurance or by a warranty from the unit manufacturer, while emergency repairs likely won’t be covered at all. If caught early, a technician can fix a common problem before it becomes larger, so call us as soon as you notice anything odd happening with your system.

We at Emergency Air Heating Cooling & Plumbing offer heating and cooling services in Chandler, AZ. Additionally, we provide plumbing services to our customers. If you need a new HVAC system or want to switch to a different heating and cooling setup, we’re happy to install a traditional ducted system or a mini-split. We have technicians to handle everything from basic cleaning and maintenance to emergency repairs and replacements. Reach out to us today for a quote!

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