A clean house equates to utmost comfort and wellness of the whole family. That’s why it’s important to have dust-free, spick and span surroundings, as well as spotlessly fresh indoor air. However, the metal conduits piping heated or cooled air inside your house or HVAC ducts are some of the most favorite hiding places of dirt, dust, and other allergens. Also, malfunctioning HVAC may harbor more contaminants that can affect indoor air quality.
But, how do you know if your system already needs checking? What are the HVAC warning signs you need to watch out for?
In this post, you’ll learn some HVAC tips on how to know when your system needs checking.
Check For Signs That Air Ducts Need Cleaning
Central air conditioning systems have hidden ductworks that draw air inside from outside your house, and in which contaminants easily enter. But, how do you know they need cleaning?
Here are some signs that air ducts have already accumulated grime and need cleaning:
- Mold found in the furnace or AC: Furnaces and air conditioners can develop condensation, so mold growth is possible, most especially if you reside in a humid climate. Burke AC services recommend periodic cleaning and servicing of the HVAC system or two HVAC service visits per year.
- Very dusty home: If all flat surfaces in your home are coated with dust even after cleaning, your dirty air ducts might be the culprit. Check your HVAC supply and return vents if they’re dirty and dusty. Remove the vent cover and check if the metal is covered in dust.
Note: Cleaning air ducts is not a DIY task because it’s a complex process, requiring advanced knowledge and skills of HVAC systems. Also, specialized tools are needed. An air duct cleaning technician removes airflow-obstructing debris and dirt, as well as checks for leaking ducts, then seals them to prevent air leakage.
Climbing Heating Or Cooling Costs
Every month, homeowners expect a predictable electricity bill. However, if you receive a noticeably high bill, then you probably have an HVAC problem. Check your records and compare the utility bills from last year’s.
Here are the possible reasons your AC causes high electric bills:
- Dirty filters
- Failing parts (capacitors, motors, etc.)
- Duct leaks
- Low refrigerant
- Old system
- Poor installation
- Lack of maintenance
Here are the possible reasons your heater causes high electric bills:
- Lack of filters
- Dirty coil or filters
- Malfunctioning heat pump
- Faulty thermostat
Note: It’s important to seek professional help from a qualified and experienced HVAC technician to assess your heating and cooling units to avoid paying consistently high utility bills.
Be Alert To HVAC Odors
An HVAC odor problem doesn’t always mean an expensive repair. It could have to do with condensation or a dirty air filter, which has led to mold growth in the unit. When troubleshooting HVAC smell, using your other senses, like your sense of sight and hearing, is advised. Listen for knocking or banging. Check for excess water and other unusual liquids.
Many times, the odors aren’t dangerous and just indicate that your HVAC system needs servicing. However, if you already smell gas or rotten eggs, the problem could already be serious. In such cases, turn off the air conditioner or heater, and contact an HVAC technician immediately.
Here are common HVAC odors to watch out for:
- Electrical odors: An electrical odor is a common problem emanating from the wiring or motor. An overheating smell can be due to restricted airflow caused by dirty air filters. An HVAC technician will check the problem and make the necessary repairs. Never attempt to fix it yourself because this may result in severe injuries.
- Rotten egg smell: Sulfur-like or rotten egg smell is actually an indication of a natural gas leak. Most HVAC utility providers add the aroma to alert homeowners of a gas leak. If this happens, open the windows, get out of the house, and contact your gas company.
- Gas smell: If the gas smell is not coming from the vents, there could be a problem with the pipe fitting or equipment, like leaks. Don’t attempt to fix the problem. Contact an HVAC technician to assess the situation and carry out necessary repairs.
- Moldy or musty smell: This indicates that moisture is not draining properly, escaping into the ducts that cause mold.
Strange odors, dirty air filters, leaks, and skyrocketing utility bills are just some of the signs that your system needs checking. Contacting an HVAC professional, someone who has the right knowledge and skills to handle the problem and make sure that it doesn’t recur, is a must.