The other night an emergency call came in. One of our residential preventative maintenance subscribers had no heat. It was the coldest night of the season, so far, and there were children in the house.
Since the customer is a subscriber, we knew the equipment had recently been inspected and checked out fine. When one of our HVAC technicians arrived at the subscriber’s home and, after a quick inspection, discovered the batteries were dead in the home’s thermostat.
Our tech showed the homeowner how to change the batteries to avoid an emergency in the future. While the tech was there, the homeowner also asked about upgrading the existing heating system so the bedrooms on the northeast side of the house could be warmer?
The answer the tech gave is: “not necessarily” and “yes,” as I discuss below.
The takeaway I got from this anecdote is: customers may not know when to call an HVAC contractor. The no-heat emergency could’ve been solved by reading the owner’s manual to the thermostat, and the real problem of cold rooms had been left unexamined.
To help homeowners manage their HVAC systems, I put together Phil’s 4 Important Times To Call A Nearby HVAC Contractor:
1.Your home has different climates.
You may have a multi-zone heating and cooling system, in which case, different climates are okay because you’re controlling them. With today’s building material technology, every room of your home should be comfortable in all four seasons.
Massachusetts homeowners can qualify for a free energy audit through the Mass Save® collaborative. An energy expert inspects your home and offers guidance for making it more energy efficient. With this practical guidance, comes financial advice about rebates, incentives, and financing available to improve the energy efficiency of residential properties.
The answer to our customer’s cold-room problem wasn’t solved with an expensive furnace upgrade. Instead, we installed a single heat pump and two mini-split air handlers, one for each room, and provided heat, air conditioning, and humidity control to both rooms.
Now on cold nights, the homeowner lowers the temperature in the entire house and heats the two bedrooms. Controlling the home’s climates lowered the utility bills!
2. Something goes “boom, boom, boom!”
Properly functioning furnaces make noise when they turn on.
It’s time to call for furnace repair when a “boom, boom, boom,” sound continues while the furnace is running.
Typically the malfunction isn’t catastrophic, and the problem is fixed by cleaning the burner or replacing a gas valve, bearings, or belt.
Always remember that problems don’t fix themselves. What starts out as a repetitive banging noise can escalate into a complete furnace failure and replacement.
3. The utility bill breaks the bank.
Take advantage of the online services of your utility company. Often times, you can see your energy consumption in a convenient graph.
If you see an abnormal spike in energy use, you may want to have your heating or cooling system inspected by a factory-trained HVAC technician.
The problem may be easily fixed by changing a clogged air filter or cleaning the coils on an air conditioner. Either way, the equipment is working harder than necessary and, as a result, the mechanical parts are stressed and energy use goes up. Both of these outcomes ultimately cost you more money.
Leaky ductwork is also another potential cause of poor energy efficiency for homeowners who heat or cool with a forced-air system. Up to 40% of the air traveling through ductwork leaks, according to research by the U.S. Department of Energy.
A licensed HVAC contractor can identify and fix leaks in duct joints, seal tears, and failing pieces of duct tape. By tightening up your system, the tech reduces your energy loss.
4. Electric Avenue or The Swamp?
Which one best describes your home?
Too much humidity and poor ventilation can make your home feel moist and swampy. Other tell-tale signs of too much moisture include a mildew smell, mold growing in the corners of the walls and ceiling, and normal smells like perfume and food lingering for a long time.
Indoor air can get very dry in the winter. Physically, you may notice dry skin, irritated sinuses, and dehydration. These symptoms are a result of moisture being sucked from your body into the dry air, according to WebMD.
Also, you may get a lot of static electricity shocks when the air is too dry.
Don’t run in circles trying to solve the symptoms, like washing mold off the walls or wearing rubber-soled slippers. A free consultation with a local indoor air quality expert can quickly get you on a path to healthier living.
I hope Phil’s 4 Important Times To Call A Nearby HVAC Contractor gives you good rules of thumb for effectively managing your heating and cooling systems.
The best advice I can give is to find and stick with an HVAC contractor who offers a service plan. Providing regular service and tune-ups to HVAC equipment gives top-rated HVAC technicians the opportunity to become familiar with individual heating and cooling systems. Potential problems may be anticipated, repairs may get done quicker, and equipment can be properly maintained to perform its best.
Read more about hiring the best nearby HVAC contractor.
You can always call on your extended family of dependable heating, cooling, and air quality experts at CPS Heating & Cooling.
Contact us anytime to set up a consultation or call us at 508-460-6691.