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HVAC Issues: Strange Signals That Mean Trouble

By Aztil –

Your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system plays a crucial role in maintaining comfort and indoor air quality within your home or commercial space. However, like any mechanical system, HVAC systems are prone to wear and tear over time, necessitating timely repairs to prevent costly breakdowns and ensure optimal performance. But do you know the top signs to look for that signal HVAC issues? Ignoring these signals could lead to more extensive damage and compromise your comfort and safety.

Take a few minutes to learn what to look, listen, or smell for, so you can take prompt action before any significant damage is done.

Weak Airflow

When the system is working properly, airflow from the vents should be strong and steady. It should also be consistent throughout the house or commercial space. If you notice a decrease in the airflow, an inconsistent flow, or that some vents have a stronger airflow than others, this may indicate a variety of issues. Blocked or clogged air filters, malfunctioning blower motors, or ductwork obstructions can all impede the HVAC system’s airflow, which reduces system efficiency and comfort levels. By addressing these airflow issues promptly, you can prevent strain on the system and improve indoor air circulation.

Strange Odors

When you turn on the heating part of the HVAC system after months of no use, you may notice a slight odor at first. This can be normal because the system hasn’t been used in so long. But if you are using your system on a regular basis and begin to notice unpleasant odors emanating from the vents, this is a clear indication of potential HVAC issues. Musty or moldy smells may indicate mold growing within the system itself or in the ductwork, either of which poses health risks and compromises indoor air quality. An odor like something burning could indicate overheating components or electrical issues, both of which require immediate attention to prevent safety hazards such as fires.

If strange odors are coming from your vents, for health and safety purposes, you should turn the unit off and have a technician thoroughly inspect your system and make any necessary repairs before using it again.

Unusual Noises

You will likely always notice some level of noise when the HVAC system is on. This is normal. Unusual or persistent noises such as grinding, squealing, or banging should not be ignored. These could indicate worn-out or malfunctioning components such as bearings, belts, or motors. Sudden noises should also be checked out, even if quiet or infrequent. Ignoring these noises may lead to further damage and more costly repairs down the line.

Fluctuating Temperatures

Is one room ice cold while another feels like a sauna? Inconsistent temperatures throughout the home or commercial space often point to underlying HVAC issues. A malfunctioning thermostat, faulty sensors, or refrigerant leaks can disrupt the cooling or heating process and result in uneven temperature distribution. Ductwork may leak, or the ductwork or HVAC system may not be the right size for the space in which you are controlling the temperature. A professional diagnosis and repair are essential to restore consistent comfort levels and optimize energy efficiency.

Increased Energy Bills

Most of the time, energy bills are the same from month to month each season, with only a few dollars difference. When there is an increase, most people can trace it to an increase in usage or notice from the energy provider that there would be a rate increase. If you discover a sudden spike in energy bills without a corresponding usage increase or rate increase, this may be a red flag that your HVAC system is operating inefficiently. Common culprits may include dirty air filters, refrigerant leaks, or malfunctioning components that cause the system to work harder to maintain the desired temperatures. Addressing these issues promptly can help reduce energy consumption and lower utility costs.

Frequent Cycling

You may not need an energy bill to tell you the system is working overtime. If you suddenly notice that your system is constantly running, this may indicate one of the culprits mentioned above or others. Excessive cycling, where the HVAC system frequently turns on and off, can indicate various issues, such as thermostat problems, inadequate airflow, or refrigerant leaks. This constant cycling strains the system and compromises comfort and energy efficiency. Professional diagnosis and repair are necessary to identify and address the underlying cause.

Unit Blows Hot Air

If the system blows hot air when it is set to cool or cold air when it is set to heat, this is a sign that something isn’t right with the system. It could be a lack of refrigerant, a thermostat problem, or another issue. A professional diagnosis and repair are critical to getting the system working properly again so you can live in cool comfort.

Thermostat Isn’t Working

Whether the thermostat won’t turn on, won’t adjust the temperature, or doesn’t seem to be communicating with the system at all, a nonworking thermostat means that your HVAC system won’t work properly, if it works at all. The HVAC system requires input from a properly working thermostat to control the temperature inside the house or commercial space accurately.

Before calling for repairs, check the thermostat to see if it requires batteries. If it does and after changing the batteries, you still can’t get it to work right, you’ll need to have a technician diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant leaks are always a problem, but they can be a serious issue if the HVAC system is older and uses freon, as freon is poisonous. A refrigerant leak will result in moisture around the unit. However, moisture around the unit can also be from a blocked or clogged condensate drain, so it is important to contact a professional to confirm and repair the cause of the moisture.

High Humidity

While most people understand an HVAC system’s primary purpose is to cool the air in a house or commercial space, it also serves another purpose: to dehumidify. This is important as indoor humidity can lead to constantly damp surfaces, which can cause mold and mildew. If you notice the humidity rising indoors, your HVAC system may need repairs.

Systems Older Than a Decade or Frequent Issues

While it would be nice to install an HVAC system that would have a life as long as the home is cooling, the fact is these systems have a much shorter life span than our houses. Typically, you’ll realize that an HVAC system is at the end of its lifespan because it will begin to have frequent issues. Frequent issues may also be an indication of a defective system. If your system has frequent issues, it may be best to discuss replacing it with an experienced and knowledgeable technician. While installing a new HVAC system can be expensive, it is usually less costly than constantly repairing issues cropping up with an existing unit.

Take Action and Avoid Potential HVAC Issues

Recognizing and addressing these warning signs promptly can prevent minor HVAC issues from escalating into major problems. Regular maintenance and professional inspections are essential for ensuring the longevity and performance of your HVAC system.

Don’t ignore these warning signals—consulting with a qualified HVAC technician can help diagnose issues early and restore comfort and efficiency to your indoor environment. Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment with one of our family of independent contractors.

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Dana is way beyond fabulous. He is knowledgeable, kind and extremely competent I am so thrilled with Aztil’s service
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Dana was excellent , we seen him before, always happy with his work .
Easy. Expert and helpful. Dana. Good guy .💪.Ita 2024 and this time Ricardo came to do my service. He took pix of every service he performed. He was efficient and braved the heavy storms to get the job done. Really good guy
Response from the owner: Hi Valerie Pinhas,Thank you for your feedback! We're glad to hear that your experience with Dana was easy, expert, and helpful. We strive to provide top-notch service and it sounds like Dana did just that. We appreciate your kind words and we look forward to assisting you again in the future. 💪
Thank you for sending Ricardo to service The Rosado AC unit at 230 Andover I. I recommend Ricardo because he did a thorough job; keeping me informed during the time of his investigation and was polite and professional from start to finish.
Dana & Alex did a fast & clean job of replacing my drain line for my air conditioning.
Dana and Alex arrived for a service call today to solve an ongoing duct issue. They successfully removed a booster fan in the master bedroom duct! Dana and Alex are true professionals. Today they settled an ongoing issue I’ve had for over 2 months. I hope to see them again during any maintenance. Thank you!
We recently received AC maintenance from Ricardo Campos. He was very professional and cordial. He was prompt and got to work as soon as he got here. He explained what he was doing as he went along. He did an excellent job. We are very happy with Aztil we highly recommend it!
Ricardo came and did my yearly tune-up on my ac, I was very pleased and highly recommend ;
Dana found out the problem and took care of it quickly!
I highly recommend Ricardo at Aztil Air Conditioning. He is very professional and knowledgeable. He takes the time to explain why things need to be done and will inform you of alternatives and consequences if applicable. He is customer oriented and represent his company extremely well.
Dana was amazing. He cleaned and added a UV light to my a/c system. He is extremely polite and professional. I hope Aztil realizes what a great technician he is and an asset to the company. If I ever need help again, I want Dana to come.
I have been under contract with this AC company since 2013. They have kept me going since. Just got my usual 6 month tune-up, and my technician, Ricardo was excellent and very helpful, and answered all my questions. Highly recommend.
Response from the owner: Hi Bret, We're glad to hear that the technicians were courteous of your belongings and that Patty was helpful in scheduling the service. We take pride in our customer service and we appreciate your feedback. Thank you for choosing us for your duct cleaning needs.
Dana did a great job and was very professional! He was quick to diagnosis what was wrong and corrected the issue.
Dana provided fast professional service and I highly recommend him and Aztil.
Dana did a phenomenal job. Showed up on time, took care of some repair work, and had the A/C back up and running in no time. He also made it a point to keep me informed throughout the whole process and answered any question I had. Friendly and professional service! Thank you!
Very fast and efficent.Friendly and respectful.The only negative thing I could say is that they're much more expensive than anyone else.
Response from the owner: Hi Dennis, thank you for taking the time to leave a positive review. We are so glad that you had a positive experience with us!
I was having issues with my AC and was given an appointment immediately. Technician Dana was very professional, answered my questions and fixed the problem quickly. Very thankful that Aztil is able to provide great service and knowledgeable technicians.
Dana was professional and efficient. Tough to find these days! Thank you, Dana for your hard work!
Dana was on time and very polite. He quickly determined the issue and knew just what to do. The problem was corrected quickly. He answered my questions and explained the shut off safety feature on my AC unit so I would understand the codes. I would gladly have him back as a service provider.
Another great experience with Aztil. Technician Paul was outstanding. He identified the problem with our AC unit and got us back to a functioning AC system. I highly recommend Aztil for AC service.Our service included installing a new coil. Yohan and Pedro were terrific. They both were efficient and professional.Aztil completed the service on our AC unit today by doing a duct sealing. Cody and Kenny were both outstanding! I will continue to use and recommend Aztil!
Dana was absolutely professional and did his job quickly and efficiently AI would recommend him highly Judy and Frank Pisani
Dana is a Service PRO - knowledgable in all issues HVAC! Hire him with confidence knowing he will be thorough and successful in your air conditioning repairs! Google needs more stars for Dana!
Dana came and fixed my ac in 5 mins on a Sunday. Thank you!
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Dana was pronto didn’t even have to wait!!!! Took care of business and cooling off🥰😎😊😉
Dana,Dana arrived on time and we received excellent service from him. Would like Dana any time I need any service.
Dana is the best. He took his time and found out what the impossible problem with my air conditioner was.he gets 15 stars from me
I came home from work at 6:30 pm and the house was steaming hot. I called Aztil and within 2 hours Dana arrived. He was polite, professional and was able to get the air conditioning working within one half hour. I was so appreciative. Thanks Dana!
Dana was here AC problem fixed good job and thank you
Dana was great very trustworthy and did a great job at the Palmisano residence . 5 star worker 👍💪
Dana from Aztil Air Conditioning was exceptional. He diagnosed my problem immediately and was able to fix it in about 30 minutes. I have a service contract with this company and they were able to send Dana on short notice. Just the type of service you need when it's 90° and your AC stops working. Thanks to all their staff
Dana, came to the premises on time.Professional and efficient.Thank you for your service today
What amazing service‼️Ricardo and Yusnier today what an amazing experience with our duct cleaning crew, professional, fast and efficient .Thank you much‼️
Ana and the team are amazing!
Dana was here and great!
I recently contacted Aztil Air Conditioning to have my air and dryer vents cleaned. Ricardo and Yusnier arrived on-time and ready to work! They brought in their equipment quickly and made sure to be careful with my doors and floor. They worked meticulously and orderly, making sure to cover the area where they were working and not spread the dust around. They wiped down all of my air vents and made sure they placed the air vents in a manner that provided us with the best airflow. By the time they were done, it felt like we had a brand new air conditioner and there wasn’t anything out of place or dust residue from the service.I will definitely be calling Aztil back for more services and will surely be requesting Ricardo and Yusnier —they are THE BEST!
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