Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which means it’s time to think about all the things in your life that need some love. Whether you’re single, married, or in an “it’s complicated” situation, you likely agree that one of your most important relationships is the one you have with your HVAC system. You love your HVAC when it keeps you warm during cold winter months and provides relief from the sweltering heat of summer, but when it stops doing its part, you’re miserable.

Since your HVAC should be your year-round companion and source of comfort, you need to make sure you take care of it so that it can keep doing its job. Watch out for these HVAC red flags that let you know your system may need some extra attention.

HVAC Warning Sign #1: Higher Energy Bill

It’s normal for your energy bill to fluctuate throughout the year, but a sudden spike in energy costs can be a warning sign that your HVAC is not operating as efficiently as it should be. While a rise in energy costs can have a number of causes, the biggest contributor to major increases in utility costs is typically your HVAC system. When you notice your energy bill rising, monitor your usage and the rates of gas or electricity along with weather conditions. If there haven’t been significant changes in any of these but your utility costs are still rising, then your HVAC system is likely the culprit. This means you should have an HVAC professional check out your system and perform maintenance so it can run more efficiently.

HVAC Warning Sign #2: Strange Sounds

You know what your HVAC unit usually sounds like. Most heaters and air conditioners make quiet noises when they start up and shut down. If these noises start getting louder or unusual sounds enter the mix, your HVAC system may need some serious attention. Rattling or buzzing can mean there’s a loose part in your unit and grinding or whistling can indicate an even more serious problem. These problems won’t fix themselves, so you will need to call on the help of an HVAC company to figure out what’s causing the noise and then fix whatever the issue may be.

HVAC Warning Sign #3: Unpleasant Smells

If your heating and cooling system starts to emit an odor, don’t ignore it. This is your HVAC system telling you that something might be wrong. If neglected, the issue causing the smell may grow worse. A rotten egg smell could mean a gas leak, which can be very dangerous if left unaddressed. Electrical burning smells often mean a motor or other component has an issue that could lead to an electrical fire. Musty smells are usually the result of mold accumulating in your system, which is unsafe to breathe. When you notice one of these smells, it’s best to turn off your heat or air conditioning and call an HVAC professional to resolve the problem.

HVAC Warning Sign #4: Pooling Water

If you see any accumulation of water around your HVAC unit, interpret this as a red flag that your system needs attention. It doesn’t matter if it’s a large puddle or just a small drip—any size leak can cause serious issues. There are two possible reasons why your HVAC unit may be leaking. Either a drain tube has become blocked or damaged, or there’s a refrigerant leak. Both issues need to be repaired immediately to avoid larger problems. Your HVAC unit needs to be checked out by a trained technician who can find the root of the problem and provide the right solution.

HVAC Warning Sign #5: Reduced Airflow

Reduced airflow is a common indication that there’s something wrong with part of your HVAC system. Insufficient airflow can mean a number of things, such as a blockage in the ductwork, a broken motor, a clogged air filter, or something else. Only an HVAC professional will be able to find the exact origin of the problem and offer the best resolution. It is a good idea to get this issue fixed quickly because inefficient airflow can cause components to burn out in your HVAC unit.

HVAC Warning Sign #6: High Humidity Indoors

Here in East Tennessee, sticky, muggy weather is expected during the spring and summer. However, your HVAC system should automatically regulate humidity levels to keep you comfortable when indoors. If your system is unable to keep moisture levels where they should be, then it needs to be repaired. An HVAC technician can diagnose the issue and figure out the best way to make your HVAC work properly once again.

HVAC Warning Sign #7: Wrong Temperature Blowing from Vents

If your air conditioning is on but warm air is blowing out of your vents, check your thermostat to make sure it is in cooling mode and set lower than the current temperature. If warm air is still coming out, there could be an issue with the compressor or capacitor, a blown fuse, a refrigerant leak, or airflow restriction. If you have the heat switched on, keep in mind that the air blowing from the vents may not feel very warm to the touch even as it heats your home. However, if your home is not getting warmer while the heat is running, then there is an issue that needs to be addressed. If your heat or air conditioning is not bringing your home to the right temperature, reach out to an HVAC company so a professional can figure out what’s going on.

HVAC Warning Sign #8: Frequent Cycles

Your HVAC unit should turn on and off in a relatively routine cycle. During more extreme temperatures, your heating or cooling system will turn on more frequently to keep up. However, it should not constantly cycle on and off. Frequent cycles can be a sign that your HVAC just needs extra attention or that it has reached the end of its life. A simple tune-up by an HVAC professional may resolve this issue, or you may need a new HVAC unit.

Expert HVAC Repair and Maintenance in East Tennessee

If your HVAC system starts to show any of these warning signs, you should contact a reputable HVAC company to come out and check on your system as soon as possible. If these issues are left unresolved, they can worsen and cause more harm to your HVAC system and its components.

City Heating and Air Conditioning is a trusted HVAC company in Knoxville, TN, with an experienced team of HVAC technicians. We will find the cause of the problem and provide the best solution to bring your HVAC system back into proper working order. To avoid the need for future repairs, we also perform regular HVAC maintenance to help keep your system running efficiently.

Whether your HVAC has a problem that needs to be fixed or just needs an annual tune-up, City Heating and Air Conditioning can help. To schedule HVAC repair and maintenance with the most reliable HVAC company in the area, reach out to us today at 865-938-1005.