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When properly tested, furnaces and air conditioners generally work without incident. Though they need to be kept maintained after installation, HVAC professionals can test and service HVAC systems regularly to keep you from experiencing the need for expensive furnace or air conditioning repairs, and this especially applies for emergencies.
Even for those who live in the Fort Worth, TX area, with its relatively mild winters, when a furnace breaks down in mid-winter it’s more than a mild inconvenience. With temperatures below freezing, hail, high winds, and ice storms a common occurrence in the Fort Worth metro, you’d be hard-pressed to find any homeowners in Tarrant County, TX willing to go without a heating system during a North Texas winter.
When to Call a HVAC Professional for Your Furnace
There are things you should know about what complications can occur to your heating system, many of which require only minor adjustments, and those that require the professional services of a heating and AC technician. Some of those things for which you’ll need to a professional include:
- Electrical Issues
- Unusual or loud noises
- Turning on and off rapidly
- Unpleasant odors
- Furnace blowing cold air
- Flame on gas furnace not blue
- Heat suddenly shuts off
Electricity plays a critical role in any home heating and AC system. The lights on your furnace shouldn’t flicker when it turns on. It’s these electrical issues that are best handled by a trained professional, who understands the different components of your home’s electrical system. They can identify potential hazards, including understanding the technology that these systems use to make your home safer.
It’s important not to attempt repairs on your HVAC system yourself, as you may endanger yourself or others. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation:
- 43,700 fires in homes caused by factors due to electrical-related failure or malfunction
- 1,620 injuries and 430 deaths occurred from these fires
- Property damage worth $1.5 billion occurred
Having someone qualified to work on your HVAC system on call may just save your life.
With many furnaces, though they may seem to work just fine, start making more noise than usual. This may just be the sound of air running through the ducts, so by insulating your ducts you can cut down on the noise. If it’s actually your furnace making unusual noises, however, it could mean your blower motor might be improperly adjusted and that your ports need lubricating. This could also be an issue with the belts, or possibly the burner.
When you hear certain noises in your heating and AC unit, these are possible causes
- Pinging or popping: This could just indicate thermal expansion from expansion and contraction when the ducts heat or cool.
- Rattling: A loose panel may require tightening.
- Squealing: This could mean a belt connecting the motor to the fan may have slipped or needs replacing.
- Grinding: The motor’s probably going and it’s time to call a heating and AC repair technician.
You may not think it’s an emergency, but any time you hear your HVAC system making unusual noises you should call in a professional, as early detection could prevent further damage and cost less to repair in future.
When your heating and AC system rapidly cycles, it could just be a worn air filter. It’s an easy fix, though one you should do as soon as you can. Old filters stress your compressor, leading to more substantial issues and even mechanical failure. But there are other causes. When a new filter doesn’t solve the problem, it could involve the blower motor and belts, which would require an HVAC expert.
If you smell rotten eggs or sulfur coming from your furnace, get yourself and your family out of the house. That strange odor is probably gas. Natural gas is odorless, but a substance called mercaptan, which smells like rotten eggs, is added to it so that you can determine when there’s a gas leak.
Here are the following steps to take:
- Leave the area, especially if there’s a hissing noise.
- Don’t turn lights on or off, as an electrical arc could ignite the gas
- Don’t turn on the stove or anything else that creates heat.
- Leave windows open, or open a few of them on your way out.
- Don’t use your phone, not even your cell, inside the house.
- If your car is in the garage and it’s attached to the house, leave it, as starting the car could cause an explosion.
- For the same reason, don’t open any mechanized garage door, even with a remote.
- Call from outside your home or from a neighbor’s.
- Keep your family out of the house and plan to stay elsewhere until the leak is fixed
- Turn off the gas if it’s safe to do so.
- Call an emergency team to help.
Though smelling gas is probably one of the more dangerous things that can happen to make you call out an emergency heating and AC repair company, there are other serious issues that can muck up your system, like when cold air blows out of your heating vents when you’re trying to heat your home.
It’s fine for when you want air conditioning in summer, but when there’s an ice storm in Fort Worth you don’t want to feel even cooler. Luckily, there may be an easy solution. Make sure debris aren’t blocking the blower. It should have a flashing light that blinks green or red. If it’s green, everything’s okay, but if it’s red call for service. And if there’s no light, the problem may lie with the blower motor, thermostat, transformer, run capacitor, or furnace control board.
Another sign of danger, for those who heat their homes with natural gas furnaces, happens when your pilot light burns yellow or another color other than blue. It could just be condensation or soot, causing the burners to malfunction, which is why it’s important to service your heating and AC system annually.
If not dealt with, it could lead to trouble with carbon monoxide, which is difficult to detect as it has no odor. It can build up indoors, poisoning and sometime even killing people or pets who breathe it. If this is the case, it’s time to call in a heating and AC professional to check out your HVAC unit.
If your heating system shuts down suddenly, it may not be as serious as it initially seems. Check the air filter to ensure it’s keeping the system clean. If clogged, that may be why your system shut down. Otherwise, if your thermostat uses batteries, it could simply mean you need new ones.
Replacing Your Heating and AC System in Fort Worth, TX
Sometimes you’ll need to replace your furnace or heating system. Making the decision to replace your whole HVAC system, however, is a big decision to make. Usually it’s just one part of a heating and AC system that needs replacing, but it may be a good idea to replace both at the same time.
Since it’s such a big expense, you must take into consideration the following:
- The age of both heating and AC components
- Local climate
- Age of your home
- HVAC features or technology you want
Matching your heating system with your air conditioner may be the answer. While replacing both parts of your HVAC system may be expensive, replacing both at the same time could save you energy and money in the long run. Modern furnaces last 15-20 years, while air conditioners generally last 15 years max, depending on the quality of the equipment as well as its efficiency rating.
Shopping for Both Heating and AC
Eventually, every HVAC unit gives up the ghost. It might happen on a cold morning, when you crank up the heat but get no response. Or perhaps your AC just suddenly shuts down during a muggy midsummer day in Fort Worth, TX. When you experience a malfunction, you always hope it’s something simple, perhaps just a clogged filter or a circuit breaker that tripped. But always in the back of your mind is the feeling that you may have to replace your HVAC unit.
Shopping for a new HVAC system is a headache. You’ve got to familiarize yourself with new technology, efficiency ratings, and different brands as well as deal with all the sales people that are trying to get you to buy their products. That’s where asking the advice of a reputable and experienced HVAC provider can help.
Yet there’s something else to consider. Sometimes replacing both your heating and AC systems at the same time makes sense, even if one part of the system is still in good working order. Sometimes professional HVAC installers advise this. Even though it may not be the right choice in your situation it’s something any homeowner should consider. Consider the following:
- Age of both systems
- Matching systems work better
- Less costly installation
- Better climate control
If one part of the system’s only a few years younger, it may make sense to replace both at once. So, if your furnace is 16 and your air conditioner is 14, it may be a good idea to replace either of them if one breaks down. As newer systems are much more energy efficient, a simultaneous replacement of both your heating and AC will save you money in the long run.
When you mix older technology with new, it can cause trouble. First of all, it will make the whole heating and AC system work less efficiently. A brand new, highly efficient air conditioning unit replacing your old AC might sound great, but it may not work as effectively when paired with a venerable furnace or other heating system. So not only will you not get the efficiency you were looking and paying for, you’ll pay more to cool or heat your house. Performance and efficiency are much better with matching systems.
It’s also much less expensive to do one installation rather than two and, with both systems being under warranty, it will make it easier, and less expensive, to repair. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, it will make your home more comfortable year-round, as both parts of your HVAC system will be functioning optimally. Putting in a new thermostat for both systems may not be possible either, if you’re just replacing the AC or heating portion of your system. With a complete installation of both your heating and cooling systems, you can use one thermostat for both.
An HVAC Installation Solution
Adding a new HVAC system can help you stay warm in winter and cool in summer while keeping your energy and electricity bills low. At One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating®, we recommend replacing your heating and AC unit whenever the cost to repair it is half of what a replacement would cost, or if it keeps breaking down and it’s over 10 years old. Our licensed technicians can give you good advice on a system that would work best for your household.
We offer one-day installations as well as contracted maintenance. It’s important to keep your HVAC system well-maintained, and our qualified technicians can conduct a thorough examination of both your heating and AC system, to ensure they are working at optimal levels. Besides, maintenance contracts will ensure that your heating and AC system lasts as long as possible.
A Trusted Heating Contractor
Regardless of the weather outside, you should be comfortable in your home or business. One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating® provides heating and AC repair throughout Tarrant County, TX. We install, maintain, and repair heating systems and air conditioning units for both commercial and residential customers.
We realize that for Fort Worth residents, not having a working air conditioner in midsummer can jeopardize your family’s health and safety, and that it needs repair right away. The same is true if your heating system breaks down during a freezing winter’s night. You need someone who can repair your HVAC outside of regular business hours, because often break downs occur at very inconvenient times.
One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating® in the Fort Worth, TX area handles all emergency HVAC repairs, with its skilled technicians available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Give us a call at 817-283-6911.