There’s never really a good time to have an HVAC emergency, but during the dead of winter such problems can actually be dangerous. Today we want to give you a few tips on determining if you have an actual emergency and what to do while you wait for repair.
Step one: Consider the weather
Every season presents its own challenges for your HVAC system. In terms of your family’s comfort, there are definitely times of the year where having no heat or air conditioning would be frustrating. Generally speaking, however, unless you live in a very hot climate, the winter is the worst time to have an HVAC problem.
Step two: Consider your system’s symptoms
There are varying degrees of disrepair to consider before determining if you’re in an emergency situation.
No airflow – If your system isn’t kicking out any air, it may or may not indicate a significant issue. Regardless of the cause, you’ll want to put in a call to your HVAC professional. If it’s winter, and you’re in a cold climate, you’ll want to let them know that it’s an emergency.
Unusual sounds – Every system makes some sounds under normal operation, but excessive noise is a problem. When you combine excessive noise with reduced function, like less air, less heat, or less cool, you have a problem. If you notice new sounds that are accompanied by a change in performance, you should call in a pro quickly!
Unusual smells – If you notice a burning scent coming from your HVAC system, you need to contact a trusted HVAC professional immediately. You should turn off your system as you wait for repair as well, because this type of symptom can indicate a potentially dangerous electrical problem.
If you do find yourself without heating this winter, you can take a few steps to make your home more comfortable as you wait for repair. Please note, however, that if it’s dangerously cold, or if people in your home can’t tolerate the wait, it’s important to look for an alternate situation like staying with family, friends, or at a hotel.
Here are a few tips to help you wait it out, if you must:
– Use space heaters to heat limited areas of the home, preferably a room where you can close the door. Make sure you only plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet, ensure that nothing flammable is near and never leave it unattended.
– Use towels to cover the bottom of every outside door to keep out cold air.
– Limit opening and shutting any outside doors, including doors that lead to the garage.
– Keep your curtains drawn and hang a heavy blanket over windows that aren’t double-paned.
If you do find yourself without heat this winter, and aren’t sure who to call, we’re ready to help. We’ll discuss your situation and work out a plan to get you back up and running in now time!