Identifying HVAC Emergencies

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Identifying HVAC Emergencies

Problems with the heating or cooling systems in your Illinois or Northwest Indiana home are never fun. But not every problem qualifies as an HVAC emergency. First, I want to assure you that Merts Heating & Air Conditioning is available 24/7 when you DO have an emergency HVAC situation. Now let’s talk about determining if the problem you have is a true emergency.

First consideration is the weather

If the outdoor temperature is moderate, meaning the house can stay comfortable without the HVAC system operating, then there’s probably not much need to treat it as an emergency and you can wait until business hours to call for help. But if it’s the dead of winter or during a summer heatwave, the urgency increases because the conditions can pose serious health risks. Those can be considered emergency HVAC situations and you should call for help even on nights, weekends, and holidays.

How severe is the problem?

Some common heating and cooling problems like minor water leaks and dirty filters can probably wait a day or two for the technician to arrive. Some other symptoms are more problematic.

  • Sudden unexplained sounds—Loud mechanical sounds like grinding and screeching are a cause for concern. There’s a good chance continuing to operate the equipment will cause mechanical damage. Popping and buzzing sounds often indicate an electrical problem. Both should be treated as emergency HVAC problems and you should call Merts as quickly as possible.
  • A burning smell—This isn’t usually a good sign when it comes to heating and cooling systems. Many times, it’s because of a bad electrical connection or short circuit. If the smell is definitely coming from your HVAC equipment you should shut it down and call for help. There is one exception and that’s when you turn your furnace on in the fall. Dust settles on the burner and heat exchanger during the summer and can create a burning smell when the furnace fires up for the first time. The smell should go away in a minute or two.
  • No airflow at all—A total lack of airflow often means serious repairs are needed. The key consideration in this situation is what we talked about earlier, the weather. As long as you can stay comfortable in your Illinois or Northwest Indiana home it doesn’t necessarily have to be treated as an emergency HVAC situation, but if conditions are life threatening do not hesitate to call for help.

Online help is a good place to start

If you’re still not sure if the problem with your heating or cooling system is an emergency, jump on to our website as we have our chat service available all the time. Just click on the chat icon in the corner of the screen and you’re all set to get started. For more great information like this, be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.