Your home’s HVAC system is designed to run in the background, keeping your home temperate and comfortable. Unfortunately, the signs that something is amiss aren’t always apparent as a result. Knowing what to look for will help you act fast and call a professional when a problem arises.
Here are five telling signs that your HVAC system is on the fritz and what to do about it.
Your Power Bill Increases
One of the most telling signs that your HVAC system isn’t working as it should is a spike in your power bill. It’s normal for your power bill to increase during the summer when the air conditioning is on and in the winter when the furnace is running. However, the increase should be consistent with previous years.
Take a look at your power bill and note when the increase began. Compare this season’s bill to the last, looking for significant differences in the cost of electricity. If there’s no notable difference in your rates, look at your consumption.
If your consumption is the problem, call an HVAC professional to assess the situation. They’ll let you know whether the issue can be fixed with repairs or if a new air conditioning or heater installation is needed. Scheduling an annual maintenance visit can also help avoid this issue.
You Notice Signs of Mold Growth
While heating and air conditioning are often the focal points of the HVAC system, ventilation is a crucial component as well. A part of ventilation is humidity control in your home. If the humidity control component starts to fail, it puts your home’s integrity and your family’s health at risk.
Many signs of mold growth are less noticeable. You may note a musty smell in the air or walls that feel spongy. If your household starts to get sick more often or has allergy symptoms, it could be a sign of mold growth.
You Feel Hot or Cold Spots
If you feel temperature inconsistencies throughout the home, there’s likely an issue with your HVAC system. It’s normal to feel temperature differences between floors, but not from room to room. If you feel cold spots when the air conditioning is on, your system may not be appropriately sized for your house. This issue is also a sign of unregulated humidity levels.
You Hear Strange Sounds
The sounds of your heating and cooling system should fade into the background. While you may notice as it starts to kick in, newer systems are designed to be quiet. If you start hearing clicks or metallic sounds, there’s a problem.
Short cycling is an issue when the heater or cooling system starts to kick in and then stops suddenly. It may take time to notice this sound (or the absence of noise), but it’s essential to call a heating and cooling expert when it happens. Of course, the complete absence of sound from your system is also an issue.
You Smell Strange Odors
If you start noticing strange smells from your vents, the furnace, or the air conditioner, shut it down and call an expert immediately. It’s normal to smell dust burning when you turn on the system for the first time each season. However, you shouldn’t experience any chemical or plastic smells.
Knowing the signs of an impending HVAC failure will save you stress, time, and money.