The HVAC system in your San Marcos, CA home is key to staying comfortable throughout the four seasons. Not only do you use heating and air conditioning to maintain a preset temperature, but this equipment also helps regulate indoor humidity levels and maintain healthy indoor air quality. Unfortunately, HVAC emergencies occur in several scenarios. From regular wear and tear to malfunctioning components, a professional HVAC technician can help get your HVAC system up and running again. Are you wondering what warrants an HVAC emergency? There are some common scenarios.

The Smell of Gas

Furnaces run off either electricity or gas. If you have a gas-based model in your home and notice there is a gas-like smell emitting from your vents or furnace, shut down your HVAC equipment immediately. Then, call for emergency assistance from the gas company or local emergency services. Once the gas is shut off and your house has thoroughly aired out, you can have an HVAC professional come to diagnose and repair whatever problem you have.

Also, if you notice any issue with your pilot light, you need to promptly address it. A pilot light malfunction plus a gas furnace issue equals a hazardous situation to be in.

The Smell of Something Burning

A well-functioning HVAC system should never emit a burning smell or have smoke coming out of its equipment or vents. Shut down your system immediately if you notice either of these things occurring. It’s likely there is an electrical issue that is posing a major safety risk to your home.

You should also take note if your HVAC system is musty or smells like burning rubber or rotten eggs. There could be a belt that is broken or rubbing on other internal components. Moisture and mold may be building up inside your heating and colling equipment. There may even be a dangerous refrigerant leak that needs immediate attention.

A Lack of Conditioned Air

You may think that your furnace or air conditioner is running, but your thermostat is showing that the temperature inside your home isn’t anywhere near what you have it set to. You have an emergency HVAC situation if your home is becoming very hot on a summer day or very cold on a winter night. This is especially true if you have young children, seniors, or pets in the home or if someone in your household is ill.

Noticeable Condensation or Leaks

It’s normal for your air conditioner to experience some internal condensation when it’s running on a very hot day, but this moisture isn’t something you should be able to see on the exterior of the appliance. Also, there shouldn’t be any water pooling at the base of your equipment. Not only does a water leak indicate a problem with your HVAC system, but mold can start to grow in a short amount of time. This can lead to extensive and expensive structural damage. The problem may be as simple as a clogged condensate drain. You could also have a burst pipe or a damaged drip tray.

Also, keep an eye out for ice forming on the exterior of your equipment. This indicates a potential problem with your refrigerant level or airflow.

A System That Won’t Turn On

If you notice your home feels uncomfortable, only to find that your HVAC system isn’t running at all, you are dealing with a full system failure. Confirm that your thermostat is set to the proper heating or cooling function and that the fan setting is on Auto. If these settings are appropriate, but your system still isn’t running, you need to call a professional for help. They will run through several steps to determine what part of your system is malfunctioning and what to do about it.

Electrical components may have become compromised, or the compressor may be broken. If you have a relatively new furnace or air conditioner, it’s likely that repairs will be necessary. Otherwise, if you’ve been paying a lot for repairs recently, it may be time to consider replacing your old heating and cooling system before those expenses add up even more.

Banging, Screeching, or Loud Humming Noises

A low hum is normal from both your heating unit and air conditioner when they are in use. If you notice this humming starting to become louder or there are banging or screeching sounds, turn your HVAC system off, and call a professional. These noises could be coming from loose components that simply need to be tightened. There may also be a mechanical failure that hasn’t shut your system down entirely, but ignoring these sounds could result in a system failure. It’s best to have an inspection performed when you first notice strange noises.

Inconsistent Running Times

Both your heating and cooling equipment should turn on, run for a bit, and then turn off. Unless you’re dealing with extremely hot summer temperatures, it’s not normal for your HVAC system to run for long periods. Short cycling is a common problem that occurs because of an improperly sized unit, a dirty air filter, thermostat issues, or low refrigerant levels.

Your Carbon Monoxide Alarm is Going Off

All homes in the San Marcos area should have carbon monoxide alarms on each level. This is for safety purposes, but it’s also municipal code. If one or more of your carbon monoxide alarms are sounding, turn your HVAC system off, open your windows and doors, and leave the home immediately. Call for assistance to diagnose what’s causing CO levels to rise. Don’t go back inside your home until you’re given the all-clear.

Sparks or Shocks

The electrical components of your heating and air conditioning equipment should be fully contained within the unit’s housing. Also, everything should be working properly. If you notice any sparks coming from your system when it’s running, this is a serious electrical issue that needs to be professionally addressed. This problem could lead to a house fire if you ignore the warning signs.

Even if you’re not sure you’re dealing with an emergency HVAC issue, it’s a good idea to call a professional anyway. They can help you diagnose what’s going on and decide what to do in the meantime while you wait for help to arrive. When it comes to safety, you don’t want to ignore something that could be serious.

If you are noticing any of these emergency HVAC issues, you can call on Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning for fast, reliable, and trustworthy assistance in the San Marcos area. We will address all potential safety risks to ensure that you can enjoy healthy and comfortable indoor air without any risk. We have been serving the local community since 1984, and we’re proud of our family-owned and operated business. NATE-certified and BBB-accredited, we can also address the installation of new heating and cooling equipment, routine maintenance, indoor air quality assessments, and much more.

Call Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning today to schedule an AC repair appointment!

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