Warning Signs That Your HVAC System Might Be Failing Before Winter
Winter, spring, summer and fall, you count on your HVAC system to do it all, keeping you comfortable within your home. While most modern HVAC systems are built to be efficient and durable, they don’t last forever. And as we head towards colder weather, now is the time to make sure your system is ready to keep your home warm and safe.
In general, most HVAC systems have a service life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. Those spans can be affected by a host of factors from frequency of regular maintenance, to the demands placed on your unit particularly during the summer and winter months. At Robison, we want to help homeowners in Westchester and Putnam be vigilant — and to know the warning signs that may signal it’s time for an HVAC upgrade.
Warning Sign #1: Your HVAC unit needs frequent repairs
An aging system isn’t necessarily a problem, but frequent or expensive repairs can indicate a system that’s failing, is damaged or has leaks. Here’s a handy rule of thumb —known as the “$5,000 rule” — to help you decide if it’s better to repair or replace your HVAC system. Multiply the age of your equipment by the estimated cost to repair it. If the number is over $5,000, a new system probably makes more financial sense. For example, a 10-year-old system needing a $600 repair would come out to $6,000 — indicating it may be time to replace it.
Warning Sign #2: Higher utility bills
Even normal wear and tear can diminish the efficiency of your HVAC components over time. As a result, you might see higher utility bills even if you’re keeping indoor temperatures the same as you always have. In an era of rising fuel and electricity costs, that’s just throwing money away. A new, high-efficiency system will cost you money up front, but can represent savings over the longer haul.
Warning Sign #3: Strange smells and noises coming from your HVAC
An HVAC system that’s in good working order should be relatively quiet. But once you start hearing odd banging, whirring, screeching or grinding, it’s time to contact a Robison service technician. Similarly, a burning electrical smell in a unit you’ve had for some time may indicate a serious issue with your furnace or air conditioner — so shut off the unit immediately and contact a licensed HVAC professional to address the issue.
Warning Sign #4: Fluctuating temperatures in the home
The purpose of your HVAC system is to keep you comfortable. If you find inconsistent temperatures throughout the rooms in your home, first check the thermostat, filters, and air vents to a possible cause. But if you cannot pinpoint the cause of the temperature fluctuations, it may mean that your HVAC system needs professional attention.
Warning Sign #5: Indoor air quality is dusty or musty
There are several factors that can affect your indoor air quality and they can pose a health risk to you and your family. Abnormally high humidity can indicate your HVAC system is having efficiency issues, and may be spreading allergens such as mold and mildew into the air. Poor indoor air quality has been tied to symptoms like headaches, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs.
Warning Sign #6: Puddles
There should never been an accumulation of water around your HVAC unit. Whether it is a small leak or a noticeable puddle, it can create more serious issues that affect not only your HVAC system but also other items in and around your home. If you are unable to find the leak, contact a professional for help.
Keeping your HVAC system well-maintained pays dividends over time, but eventually even the most durable equipment needs to be retired. Robison is your trusted source for everything related to home comfort quality, with complete HVAC services for homeowners in New York’s northern suburbs. If you think you may be experiencing one of these warning signs or others, call us at 914-345-5700 or visit www.robisonoil.com/services/hvac/ for more information.