It’s often possible to prevent air conditioner breakdowns and furnace issues simply by scheduling routine maintenance visits. During your HVAC system’s annual checkup, the technician will clean out all the components, inspect the system for signs of damage due to wear and tear, and recommend any needed replacements or repairs. This can enable you to enjoy a fully functional system all year long. But sometimes, HVAC emergencies can still happen that require an unexpected furnace or AC service visit. How can you tell what qualifies as an emergency? Here is a quick look at what to watch out for.
Water Leakage from the AC
Water leaks inside a home are never a good sign. Unless you quickly detect and stop it, water leakage can result in considerable damage to your property. If your AC is leaking water inside your home, the first step is to shut off the thermostat. This will prevent further water accumulation. Then, call the HVAC company to request an emergency AC service visit.
Quite often, water leakage is the result of a clogged condensate line. Normally, the condensate line drains water away. However, debris, dirt, and sludge can clog the line over time. This causes the water to back up into your home. It’s also possible that the water leak is the result of a damaged drain pan. Less often, it may be due to a broken condensate pump. Note that not all central AC systems have a condensate pump. Its function is to pump the water outside from the basement, and so it’s only used in systems where the indoor AC unit is installed in a basement.
AC Refrigerant Leaks
HVAC technicians often discover refrigerant leaks
during an emergency AC service visit. A refrigerant leak can cause the AC to lose cooling power. In other words, the AC is having trouble blowing out cold air. In addition to low air flow, other signs of a refrigerant leak may include the following:
- The house takes a long time to cool down.
- You suddenly have much higher electric bills.
- The AC is blowing out warm air.
- There is ice accumulation on the evaporator coil.
The HVAC technician will carefully inspect the whole unit to identify the cause of the refrigerant leak. The leak may be coming from the rubber seals on the service valve, for instance. Or, it may be the result of pinhole leaks in the copper lines, caused by naturally forming acid.
Broken Blower Motor in a Furnace
It’s always inconvenient when the furnace suddenly stops working during a cold snap in the winter. In some cases, this may be caused by a broken blower motor. If your blower motor is failing or completely broken, you will likely notice that the heating units are not blowing out warm air. It is possible to replace a broken blower motor. However, if your furnace is already rather elderly, it may make more sense to replace the furnace entirely.
Cracked Heat Exchanger in a Furnace
In a furnace, the heat exchanger is a set of tubes in which the air is heated. If you think the heat exchanger is malfunctioning, you will definitely need to request an emergency service visit. Not only will the furnace not heat your home, but it can also fill your home with life-threatening carbon monoxide. Watch out for these signs of a cracked heat exchanger:
- Unusual odors that may resemble formaldehyde
- Presence of soot inside the unit
- A burner with a yellow flame that flickers and bends, rather than a blue flame that remains constant
In addition, a cracked heat exchanger can cause symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning in the residents. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause flu-like symptoms, including headache, dizziness, nausea, disorientation, and sleepiness. If you suspect carbon monoxide is leaking from your furnace, get everyone out of the house immediately—including your pets—then call the HVAC company. Medical attention may be necessary.
When your AC stops working during the brutal Arizona summers or you have furnace issues in the winter, you can rely on the technicians at American Conditioned Air
to diagnose and fix the problem. We offer 24-hour emergency services for homeowners in the Tucson area, seven days per week. Are you in need of a reliable contractor to respond to HVAC emergencies? No problem! You can reach us at (520) 623-2430 to request a furnace or AC service visit.