10 Signs It’s Time to Call an HVAC Technician

As you know, regular maintenance of your furnace could extend its life and reduce your overall heating and cooling costs.

However, nothing lasts forever…so if you’re experiencing any of the following warning signs it could be an indication that your furnace needs repaired.

At the very least, it means you should call someone after exhausting all options on your end.

Analyze your issue

If your furnace or air conditioner isn’t running at all, check the breakers first, then look to see if your thermostat batteries are in good condition before calling your HVAC professional.

Sometimes the failure of smaller components will lead to bigger ones failing, costing you more than if you’d had it regularly serviced.

An HVAC technician can run tests to make sure the system is working within limits, potentially saving you from more costly repairs.

Your heating and cooling system will often give you warning signs of its impending demise. If you’re experiencing any of the following issues it may be time to call for some help.

1. What was that?

Furnace making strange noises?

Get to know the sounds your HVAC system normally makes so you’ll be able to spot potential problems early..perhaps even saving you money because you were able to address the issue before repairs get more costly.

Noises, chirps, creaks, and groans are nearly always a sign that something is either wearing out or has failed.

For example, high-pitched squeals could mean something is interfering with the movement of the fan blades in the unit.

If you’re experiencing this problem, avoid further damage by turning off your system and calling your HVAC tech.

2. Your home feels uncomfortable

No matter how much you adjust the thermostat you’re still too cold or too hot.

If you have warm or cold spots in your home or your system is frequently turning off and on more than is usual, do the following:

  • ⬥ Is your air filter clean? Replace it if necessary.
  • ⬥ Check the outside unit. Remove any debris such as leaves, twigs, grass clippings or dirt.
  • ⬥ Make sure every air register is open and that no carpet or furniture is blocking airflow into your home.

If the problems remain it could mean you’ve got leaky ductwork or your unit’s blower motor isn’t working properly. Which of course means calling a technician out to look at your furnace.

3. Thermostat Alerts

A unit that keeps cycling off and on could mean an issue with the thermostat.

Many of the newer thermostats have the capability of alerting you to potential issues. If yours is flashing a message to call a service technician it’s smart to do so…before a small problem escalates to something major.

If you’ve ruled out an issue with the thermostat, your furnace could be on its last legs…time to call around for quotes on a new furnace.

4. Yellow flame

If you have a gas furnace and the flame is yellow you should call a technician fast. 

This means you could have a carbon dioxide leak (a gas which is tasteless and odorless). Carbon dioxide is very dangerous to you and your family’s health. 

5. Soot build-up

Soot around the furnace, pipe connections that are rusting and condensation building up on the walls or windows of your home can also indicate a carbon dioxide problem.

6. Bad smells

Does the air coming out of your vents smell like plastic burning? It could be that your wires are burning.

Obviously, this is where you turn off your unit, then call the pros…you don’t want your unit…and then your home…potentially catching fire.

If you smell something stale or musty, you could have a mold issue that will also need to be dealt with. 

Exposure to mold and mildew can lead to serious problems with your health, so until you find the source of the moldy smell it’s smart to turn off the HVAC unit and call the pros.

7. Weak Output

If the air blowing out of the vents is weak, check them to make sure they’re clean and not blocked in any way.

Things like a dead motor, a fan that’s clogged up with dirt or a wheel that’s stuck will cause your blower motor to work poorly – or not at all.

If you have flexible ductwork check to see if there are any kinks in it. If everything looks straight, it’s time to call the pros.

8. Energy Bill Fluctuations

A heat pump or furnace that isn’t working properly will cost you a lot of money.

The heat resistance unit on a heat pump is 100 percent efficient, but it costs quite a bit to run…if you see a big increase in your electric bill it could be your furnace. 

9. Your unit keeps freezing up

If a block of ice forms on the pipes or the coils of your heat pump it will block the circulation of coolant through the system. 

This, in turn, will cause your unit to not work properly. If you’re constantly having to turn the unit off to let it thaw, get it checked out…depending on the age of your HVAC system it could need replacing entirely or a simple component could be causing the problem.

10. You’re always having to call an HVAC technician

As your system gets older it needs to be repaired more often. If you have your HVAC technician’s number on speed-dial it’s probably time to save up for a new furnace.