Few experiences are as agonizing for a homeowner as calling a handyman for something that didn’t require professional service in the first place. In my two and a half decades of service to residential and commercial clients, I always feel like a bearer of bad news when I have to inform someone that the cause of their poor HVAC performance was due to the neglect of basic preventive maintenance, or issues simply remedied by effortless troubleshooting.
While I wouldn’t recommend that any individual engage in intensive repairs if they aren’t licensed and sufficiently trained, there are certain issues that you should avoid phoning a technician to solve. When you watch for these common A/C problems in your home, you might be able to avoid complications in the first place.
Power surges present a danger to all electronics in your home, and this certainly doesn’t exclude the hardware in your HVAC system. Power surges pose a particular threat to the compressor in your condenser unit, and replacing this damage can set you back a few thousand dollars depending on your system’s needs.
While this damage can be costly, it isn’t always severe. Before deciding to call a technician to examine your system, turn off your thermostat, switch off your system’s power supply at your circuit breaker, and flip it back on. After waiting half an hour to allow it to properly reset, turn your thermostat back on – you may find that you no longer have any performance issues.
Whether because you have pets roaming the household or you simply forgot, we might leave our systems during particularly cold or warm seasons while away. While an inadvisable practice, we all do it from time to time. However, if you return home to discover that your system is no longer as powerful as it was when you left, your overworked system could have ended up severely damaged.
If you need to leave your system on for any extended period of time, it’s always prudent to closely inspect the state of your system. Condensation could indicate that your system is being overworked and cannot handle the humidity in your environment. Weak performance could mean that it’s time to have some routine cleaning maintenance and inspections performed, such as filter replacement, coil cleaning, duct vacuuming, and more.
To prevent extended stays away from your thermostat from being an issue, investing in a programmable thermostat can spare your system a lot of effort and reduce your energy bills.
If at any point you experience abnormalities in your HVAC system, the last course of action I’d recommend is simply ignoring it and hoping that it will pass. Strange sounds, moldy smells, or weaker airflow are all symptoms that something is seriously amiss in your system. With a little awareness, you can equip yourself to know when a technician is necessary. And remember, Bell Plumbing and Heating is here for you when you need an HVAC technician to service your home.
Jason Wall is an HVAC technician with Griffith Energy Services. When he isn’t servicing clients in the field with their HVAC needs or connecting with other professionals online, he enjoys spending his time with his kids and catching baseball games.