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There’s no doubt that an effective HVAC system is crucial for the comfort levels of the occupants within a closed space. Temperature extremities – both hot and cold – can affect you beyond mere comfort. Intense heat can have negative health consequences and make you vulnerable to flu bugs and similar contaminants. Conversely, severe cold is not ideal for people living with chronic illnesses such as asthma and other respiratory problems. When you experience an issue with your HVAC system, you need to identify if it is an HVAC emergency or not.

Ultimately, you must consider the costs of HVAC emergency repairs and compare them to a regular repair during business hours. Perhaps, you should evaluate the weather outside. If the heat, cold or humidity levels indoors are unbearable, you may have to place an emergency call. However, if you feel that everyone is relatively comfortable, waiting a few more days won’t hurt.

Additionally, the time of the breakdown is critical. If it’s at the start of the weekend, you may have to bite the bullet and call an HVAC technician to repair the system. Alternatively, if you have to wait a short while until usual business hours resume, then it’s worth waiting.

Refrigerant is an integral aspect of air conditioning as it absorbs heat and pumps cool air into your space. It travels from the compressor on the outside to the coils on the inside. Any leaks in the line would adversely affect the system, and you may feel that your interior isn’t cooling sufficiently. Listen out for a hissing out at the refrigerant line and look for a build-up of ice. A technician can repair the leak for you as it is an emergency.

The evaporator coil releases water that originates from the drain line. Since condensation occurs naturally, these droplets of water can accumulate, and if the drain line has a blockage, water will move back into the system. This issue could have serious consequences not only to the system but also to the walls of your building. If you find water leaking from the interior unit or the air is slightly damp, you require a professional to address the problem.

Ductwork is another crucial component of the HVAC system since it distributes the air around your property. Dust and other items can cause blockages in the ducts, which can suffer damage that leads to leaks. Debris can get stuck in front of vents which prevent the system from operating efficiently. Uneven temperatures are a typical indicator that you have duct issues along with poor air quality and longer run time on the system. You can check the vents yourself, but if you still experience problems, it’s best to call in an HVAC technician.

If you find that your system isn’t turning on or is running continuously, you could have an electrical fault. The best case is that the issue is at the breaker, where it’s blown a fuse. However, since it’s electrical, the fault could be more complex and requires a knowledgeable contractor to find a solution. A burning smell is another sign that you have an HVAC emergency.

In terms of heating problems, a gas leak is probably the most common and dangerous. Gas leaks can occur through a crack or anomaly in the gas line. You can determine if you have this issue with a rotting smell similar to a rotten egg. You should never attempt to work with gas if you don’t have the qualification or skills.

Adopting a proper maintenance schedule will avoid HVAC emergencies. The technician will thoroughly inspect the system and replace the filters at regular intervals and clean the coils when it’s dirty. The costs of an emergency repair far outweigh sticking to a maintenance plan. Studies estimate that 25 percent of Americans don’t have savings to address HVAC emergencies.

Even though all problems with your HVAC system are critical, some issues don’t warrant an emergency call to your HVAC contractor. Air filter replacement or cleaning doesn’t require immediate attention as you can operate the system for a few days until a contractor is available. Installations and general repairs are also less time-sensitive and can wait for business hours.

Before you call the HVAC company as an emergency, you must inspect the thermostat to ensure someone else didn’t switch off the air conditioner or heat. Check the circuit box as returning the lever to its original position can solve the issue instantly. You can defrost the ice build-up by turning off the unit and allowing the fan to melt the ice. If the system still isn’t operational, you should call in professionals.