HVAC systems are the backbone of comfort in our homes, seamlessly providing the warmth or cooling needed to keep our living spaces pleasant year-round. However, when unusual sounds like rattling or grinding start emanating from your unit, or if peculiar smells begin to fill the air, it’s a clear signal that your HVAC system may be on the brink of a breakdown. Perhaps you’ve noticed ice formations on your external air conditioning unit, or a sudden high energy bill has surprised you. These can all be indicators that your HVAC system is struggling. While you can’t avoid all emergency repairs, there are steps you can take to reduce or prevent the need for emergency HVAC repairs.

Professional Maintenance

Preventive Maintenance Programs: Regular preventive maintenance is the best thing you can do to ensure the performance and longevity of your HVAC system. Being proactive with ongoing maintenance protects your investment, saves money in the long run, and addresses minor issues before they become big problems that require emergency repairs. While homeowners can easily perform some maintenance items themselves, most manufacturers and service professionals recommend inspections and tune-ups by trained technicians at the onset of each heating or cooling season. Preventive maintenance services include safety and efficiency checks, ensuring all components are clean, calibrated, and operating at their best despite ongoing wear and tear.

DIY Maintenance

Change Your Filters: If you can’t remember the last time you swapped out your system’s air filter, that’s probably a sign it’s time for a change. A filter full of dirt, dust, and debris will impede airflow, forcing your system to work harder than it has to and increasing the likelihood of a breakdown. Replacing your HVAC filter every one to three months is one of the simplest yet most effective maintenance tasks you can perform as a homeowner.

Keep Exterior Equipment Clean and Clear: The air conditioning unit outside your home can easily become dirty or obstructed, but general upkeep of the surrounding area can help ensure it’s performing its best. A general rule of thumb is to allow at least three feet of space between the unit and landscaping. Trim nearby trees, bushes, shrubs, and other plants to keep leaves, branches, and other yard debris from blocking units, air vents, and intakes.

It’s also important to keep the outdoor unit itself clean. The unit also draws in dirt, pollen, and debris as it takes in outside air. If too much accumulates and the unit has to keep working harder, it could eventually overheat and require significant emergency repairs. Turn off the power to the unit before giving it a rinse with just water from the hose to remove dirt, debris, and more. 

Smart Usage Tips

Set Your Thermostat: Use programmable thermostats to reduce the workload on your HVAC system by setting higher temperatures in summer and lower in winter when you’re away.

Use Zone Cooling and Heating: Only heat or cool the areas of your home that are in use, reducing unnecessary strain on the system.

Avoid Overuse: During extreme weather, use other methods to help control your home’s temperature, like blinds during summer or extra layers in winter, to avoid overworking your system.

Items to Check Before Calling for HVAC Repairs

You may be able to troubleshoot and potentially resolve common issues. Before calling for HVAC Repairs, try the following.

  1. Check the Thermostat: Is it set to the correct mode (heating, cooling, or auto) and the desired temperature? Check the batteries. Sometimes, the issue is as simple as the batteries needing replacement in a battery-operated thermostat.
  2. Check the Power Supply: Ensure the power switch for the HVAC system is on. (It’s usually located on or near the unit.) Check the circuit breaker to make sure the breaker hasn’t tripped.
  3. Inspect Air Filters, Vents, and Registers: Check the air filter and change if it is dirty. Be sure all vents and registers in your home are open, unblocked, and clean. Furniture, rugs, or other objects blocking the airflow can cause issues with the system’s ability to heat or cool effectively.
  4. Check the Outdoor Unit: If you have a split system, check the outdoor unit to ensure it’s clear of debris, such as leaves, dirt, or snow.
  5. Check for Error Codes: Some modern HVAC systems have digital displays that show error codes when there’s a problem. Refer to the owner’s manual to decipher any codes you see.
  6. Attempt a System Reset: Turn the power off at the breaker for a minute and then turn it back on or use a reset button on the unit, if available.

Keep Emergency HVAC Repairs at Bay with Preventive Maintenance from Precision Comfort Systems

Unexpected heating and cooling system issues can be stressful, costly, and even dangerous to your health and safety during extreme temperatures. But with a combination of preventive maintenance efforts by proactive homeowners and the highly trained technicians at Precision Comfort Systems, we can help you avoid sudden, untimely breakdowns and the high costs that typically come with them.

Contact our comfort specialists today to learn more and sign up for a preventive maintenance agreement that can help keep your system running smoothly for years to come. Homeowners across Westfield, Carmel, Zionsville, Noblesville, Fishers, and Cicero have trusted Precisions Comfort Systems for emergency HVAC repairs, full system replacements, preventive maintenance, indoor air quality improvements, and more.