Proper HVAC System Maintenance

 Like any other machine, your home’s HVAC system needs to be properly maintained in order to operate in these extreme conditions. Many times, what seems like a small issue can be an indicator of a much larger problem to come. Here are some helpful tips that can help you identify the warning signs before it’s too late.

Untitled-1Weak Performance / Airflow

If you notice that the air coming from your vents is weaker or warmer than usual, this can be a sign of a more serious issue. Make sure your air filter is clean, unobstructed and positioned correctly. A dirty or improperly installed filter can greatly impact the performance of your home’s HVAC system. Your local hardware store will have a wide selection of filters can usually be purchased for under $20.

Another cause of poor performance is clogged or dirty ducts. Ductwork is the equivalent of your home’s respiratory system and is affected by dust and airborne contaminants just the same. Unlike air filters, duct cleaning requires the services of a trained professional with the right equipment. Check out this article to learn how to spot a duct cleaning scam.

Leaking Indoor Unit

Seeing pools of water around your indoor unit is a clear indicator of problems with your HVAC system. The cause of the leak can be attributed to a number of different issues. Two of the main components of your homes HVAC system are the evaporator coil and suction lines; both of these can cause condensation and some visible water around the unit.

This can easily be remedied using insulator tape on any open seams where condensation can be observed building up. However, if you notice a continuous leak or large amounts of water around the unit, contact an HVAC technician ASAP. If your HVAC unit is in your attic, it’s important to be extra vigilant about any leaks or excessive condensation. Leaks in your attic left unattended can cause potential for the ceiling collapsing around the unit.

Odors

 A good technician not only relies on what they can touch and see to diagnose a problem, but they also use their sense of smell. Out of place odors you notice when your HVAC system is switched can be caused by a number of reasons; some serious and others not so much. There are 4 different odor types that can be associated with residential HVAC units:

Electrical – Caused by overheating parts usually associated with blower motors. If you notice an electrical odor and the filter is clear and clean, shut down the system from the breaker and call an HVAC technician.

Burning Odor – Similar to an electrical odor but worse, burning odors usually have the same source as electrical. Debris such as plastic getting caught in the ductwork and melting on the resistance heaters can cause burning odors with smoke, which can be frightening when spotted. If you are able to rule out burning debris and still notice a smell, follow the same precautionary steps that you would with electrical odors.

Gas Odor – Gas leaks in the home are extremely dangerous and should never be taken lightly. A gas leak can cause deadly fires, explosions, and poisoning. However, smelling gas does not always mean a potential disaster is afoot. Settling dust burning on the exchange is very often the source of gas odors, especially when it seems to be coming from the air vents. Despite that, if you notice a strong gas odor and you are able to rule out burning dust, open the windows in your home, contact the fire department and leave immediately.

Mold & Mildew – Often caused by dirty ducts and exchanges, mold and mildew odors are usually remedied by a duct cleaning. While not an immediate danger, mold, and mildew can cause common colds, respiratory issues and worsen symptoms associated with common allergies.

No Power to Unit

If your HVAC unit simply will not turn on, it could be a simple electrical issue. Check your breaker box for any tripped fuses and any damage to the connections around the unit. If everything checks out, it may be an issue with your actual system. If that’s the case, contact your local HVAC professional.

Keeping an eye out for the above warning signs can help prolong the life of your unit and ensure your family has a cool and comfortable summer. Want to go the extra mile and do the most to protect your investment? Contact Michael & Son Services and ask for information regarding our HomeCare Agreements. With a Michael & Son HCA, you can take comfort knowing that your system is working properly and in good hands. Be sure to check in with us every week for more tips on how to keep your home’s appliances up and running. Also, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube page to stay up to date on special offers, upcoming events and much more!