Whether it’s the height of the summer or the dead of winter, we depend on our heating and cooling systems to keep our homes (and businesses) comfortable. For some, good climate control is even medically beneficial, as it helps to avoid the stress the body experiences in temperature extremes. Given the importance placed on these systems, it’s natural to harbor some concern about what can go wrong. While no one wants to experience problems with the heating and air conditioning in their Santa Rosa, CA home, it can and does happen. That doesn’t mean you have to wait for a sudden failure to call for help, however. As in medicine, prevention is always better and less expensive than treatment.
How can you tell that something might be going wrong with your furnace or AC unit, then? An annual system inspection from qualified professionals can help you identify significant problem areas, but then there is the rest of the year to consider. Instead of flying blind, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with a number of the “red flags” that can pop up in your home or business’s HVAC systems. When you spot one, it’s a good sign to call for service — even if it turns out to be only a minor issue, you could be saving yourself from a hassle and a headache later. Here’s what you should look for based on the system that has you concerned.
The Signs That Say Something’s Wrong With Your AC
A good place to start is to get in touch with what your AC is like during normal operation. What does it sound like when it turns on and runs? Try putting your hand up near a vent too to develop a sense of the airflow’s strength. Taking these steps first can help you to spot problems later as they develop. That’s because one of the clearest and common red flags you can encounter is a strange noise. Trust your ears: when something doesn’t sound quite right, chances are it isn’t. Squeaking or whining, banging sounds, or even a persistent buzzing noise can all indicate different kinds of problems. That makes it an excellent time to call for help from a pro.
Other common red flags include warm air sometimes blowing from your vents when you have the thermostat set to a cool temperature or poor air flow altogether. The former often indicates an issue with the refrigerant system, while the latter could be an electrical fault in one of the fans that blow air through your vents. Finally, watch out for “short cycles.” That’s when your AC turns on and then off again in a very short period, with the process frequently repeating. This is a big red flag that something isn’t right with your system, and it can drive your power bill up, too.
How Do You Know When Your Heater is Out of Order?
What about when the summer ends, and it’s time to turn on the furnace? In an ideal world, it kicks in and heats your home without any trouble. In the real world, though, problems can occur with your heating just as with your air conditioning in your Santa Rosa, CA home. Here’s what can tip you off to a problem.
Spotting water on the floor near your furnace can be confusing at first, but it’s often a sign that an important drain line has become clogged. If you spot water dripping or pooling — or hear it, even if you can’t see it — you should call for service at your convenience. Likewise, thumping or banging sounds, just as with your AC, indicate that something isn’t working quite right inside your unit, just as weak air flow coming out of your vents does. When the furnace is in operation, visually inspect the flames from the burners. Yellow flames indicate your furnace isn’t burning all its fuel and should receive immediate attention.
One more important red flag to keep in mind is your unit’s age. If it’s more than ten years old, it should receive more frequent service to spot signs of a problem. The older the unit, the more likely you are to encounter a more serious problem, like a cracked heat exchanger.
Servicing Your Heating and Air Conditioning in Santa Rosa, CA Made Easy
When you first spot a red flag such as one of those described above, it can be a source of stress — now you know that something is probably wrong with a system upon which you rely daily. However, look at it from another perspective: now you can take corrective action and save you from an unfortunate outage down the road. After all, isn’t it better to fix things now than make an emergency call for service late on a weekend evening? Finding a trusted service provider for help with your heating and air conditioning in Santa Rosa, CA doesn’t have to be a challenge, either. When you contact professionals, let them know what you’ve observed. It will help speed up the diagnosis process and ensure you can return to positive climate control without delay.
Valley Comfort conducts heating and air conditioning services in the following communities: Santa Rosa, Napa, Rohnert Park, Healdsburg, St Helena, Calistoga and Windsor.