It’s about to get cold this year with winter season approaching and reports of unseasonable snow and cold
weather across the country. It may not be long before you need to kick on your AC heating unit in your area.
Last year, I made the mistake of waiting to turn on my heater until temperatures got too cold to handle. After
an hour of waiting for the heat to kick in, I finally resigned myself to the fact that we had a heating issue.
Instead of being able to budget and plan for maintenance, I now had an emergency and a much higher repair bill than if I would have tested my heating unit earlier.
Take some time today to turn on your heater and run it through a few simple tests to make sure it is working properly before you experience a system failure at a time when you may need it most. Here are a few things I learned to check for when self-testing my AC heating unit:
– Do you notice water spots on your ceiling or did you experience a leaky roof even when it wasn’t raining during the summer?
– Do you hear a loud clank or knocking when you first turn on your heater?
– Do you smell something burning when your heater is on?
– Did you notice a higher electricity bill this summer compared to last?
– Is your AC or heating unit not blowing as cold or as warm as it normally does in the past?
– How long does it take for your heater to start blowing hot air?
o Chances are your AC unit has over condensation. AC units are designed to condensate, but if they overflow the drain line, it may cause water damage, interfere with the electronics on the system that control your heater and as in my case, could cause the heating system to malfunction completely.
o Parts break from time to time and sometimes things find their way into places that can obstruct your air handler from working properly. A service professional should have whatever they need on hand to take care of the issue.
o Units need to be cleaned on a scheduled basis. If your unit has never been cleaned or is emitting a smell of burning coming from it, get it serviced before it causes larger issues.
o A high energy bill is probably the first sign that your air conditioning and heating unit needs to
be serviced. Continuing to run your unit while it is operating inefficiently will be more expensive than any repair cost.
o If you experience any fluctuation in performance in your air conditioning or heating unit it is
possible that just a few adjustments are needed by a professional to get your unit working back optimally.
o If your heater forgot how to heat when you try to turn it on, it’s defiantly time to plan a service call. Most central air units today provide nearly instant heating that you should feel through your vents when you place your hand up to it. If it takes more than a few minutes for the air to heat up. It’s certainly time to get your unit serviced and tuned up.
o Make sure that you are able to adjust the temperatures for heat and that the display is working properly. A battery replacement may be necessary.
Above all, nothing beats a certified professional coming to your home and doing a full multi-point system inspection to maintain your unit and give it extra life. It certainly pays for itself in preventative emergency repairs and electricity savings from a properly tuned unit.