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Jeff Sutten
CENTURY 21 New Millennium

Signs That Your House Has an HVAC Problem

You rely on the HVAC system to keep your house at a comfortable temperature year-round. It can be easy to take it for granted until a problem arises, and you come home to a freezing house in the winter or a sweltering house in the summer. Knowing common signs of an HVAC problem and when to call a professional can help you avoid extreme temperatures and astronomical utility bills.

Strange Smells
You might notice an unusual odor. If you turned on the heat or air conditioning after it had been off for several months, there could be a slight burning smell. That is normal and should disappear within a day. If the odor lingers longer than that, there could be a problem with the system that needs to be diagnosed and repaired by an HVAC technician.

If your home has gas heat and you smell rotten eggs, there could be a natural gas leak. Turn off the HVAC system, call the gas company, and get all people and pets out of the house until you have had the system inspected by an employee of the gas company and an HVAC technician and you have gotten the all-clear to return.

Unusual Sounds
Your HVAC system should operate quietly. Strange noises can indicate a problem that could have many potential causes, depending on the type of system you have. Call your HVAC company to have a technician diagnose the cause of the sounds and figure out how to fix the issue.

Your HVAC system is designed to collect condensation. It should not leak or drip water. If you notice any water collecting outside the unit, turn it off, remove the vent and check for water inside. If you see any, call a technician. Mold can also indicate the presence of a leak somewhere in the unit.

Inconsistent Temperatures
If you keep your thermostat set for the same temperature all day and night, the temperature in the house should be stable. If it fluctuates significantly, have a technician check your HVAC system for broken or worn-out parts and other issues. The fix may be simple and inexpensive or complex and costly, but either way, it needs to be addressed to avoid extreme temperature variations.

High Energy Bills
Your utility bills may increase each year in the summer and winter, but they should be fairly predictable. If your energy costs are significantly higher than they were in previous years with similar weather, the HVAC system may be working harder than it should to do its job and may need repairs.

Address Problems Immediately
Your HVAC system is designed to keep your home at a safe and comfortable temperature. If it breaks down, you could find yourself in an unpleasant or even dangerous situation. Fortunately, HVAC systems typically give signs of problems before they fail completely. If you notice any of these issues, contact your HVAC company to schedule an inspection.