Delaware’s climate is capable of some fairly extreme temperature changes from winter to summer. This means that it is imperative for homes to have both heating and cooling systems.

It is similarly critical for commercial buildings to have suitable heating and cooling capabilities. The ability to control basic environmental factors within the commercial building makes it possible to keep employees, customers, and other visitors safe and comfortable.

Routine maintenance is crucial to ensuring that residential and commercial HVAC systems are operating at full capacity. This is what makes it possible to control the indoor temperature regardless of what might be occurring outdoors.

Unfortunately, even a well-maintained HVAC system will occasionally malfunction. This simply may be a function of the system’s age or a faulty component. When something goes wrong with the heating and cooling unit, it is sometimes possible to put off repairs until the next scheduled inspection and maintenance appointment.

At other times, HVAC repairs are needed on an immediate, emergency basis. You’re in luck because, in addition to providing appointments that are scheduled well in advance, the HVAC experts at Delaware Heating and Air are available on an emergency basis. Just call us whenever you need us.

How to Know If an HVAC Problem Is an Emergency

Not every HVAC problem is an emergency. The problem is that most people are not HVAC experts, which can make it difficult to discern whether or not an unexpected event requires immediate attention or could potentially wait for a few days or even weeks.

It is always advisable to contact Delaware Heating and Air at the first sign of an HVAC problem. We are happy to help people assess the severity of an HVAC system issue. If your system needs immediate attention, we’ll let you know and send out one of our professionals as soon as possible. If the issue is not an emergency, we’ll schedule an appointment for a later date.

Here is a look at some of the guidelines that may be used to assess the situation with your HVAC system:

  • The system’s ability to heat or cool is drastically decreased or the system has ceased to function
  • The heater or air conditioner is losing power or repeatedly trips the breaker
  • An active water leak is found near the HVAC unit
  • Odors reminiscent of rotten eggs or burning are being noticed
  • The HVAC unit is making uncharacteristic noises

If any of these things are occurring, it is essential that your HVAC system be immediately turned off. Doing so prevents further damage and may protect the system from total failure. Your next step is to call Delaware Heating and Air.

The one exception to this is if you smell smoke or rotten eggs. Your most essential step in these circumstances is to evacuate the premises. These odors may be a sign that you have a gas leak or that there is a fire somewhere in your HVAC unit. Once outdoors, it is safe to contact Delaware Heating and Air.

Common HVAC Emergencies

Large or small, simple or complex, all HVAC systems have the same basic components in common. This means that there are certain problems that arise on a regular basis. The good news is that these similarities make it relatively easy for experienced HVAC professionals like those at Delaware Heating and Air to diagnose and fix problems fast.

Some of the most common HVAC emergencies include:

  • Clogs in condensate lines
  • Frozen coils
  • Tripped breakers and blown fuses
  • Furnace malfunctions

Let’s take a look at each one of these to understand them better.

Clogs in Condensate Lines

Clogs in condensate lines are perhaps the most common of all HVAC system issues. A clog in a condensate line typically is responsible for leaks in the unit. Ordinarily, the condensate line is responsible for collecting excess moisture and directing it away from the HVAC system. The moisture is dumped outside of the home and prevents damage to the HVAC unit.

However, a buildup of dirt and grime can clog the condensate line. That clog prevents water from leaving the system. It pools up, causing a small leak that eventually leads to severe water damage as well as problems with the entire heating and cooling system.

Routine maintenance typically prevents clogged condensate lines from becoming a major problem.

Frozen Coils

Refrigerant is used to lower the temperature inside homes and offices. This refrigerant runs through the air conditioner’s coils, and when the AC is running all the time as it does on hot summer days, that refrigerant can get too cold.

Several factors can cause the refrigerant temperature to get too low. Usually, it’s because the AC is running when the outdoor temperature is less than 60 degrees or because the thermostat is set to an unrealistically low temperature. Blocked airflow or leaking refrigerant also may be responsible for freezing the coils.

This can be prevented simply by using the AC only when it is warm enough outside and setting the thermostat to 70 degrees or warmer.

Tripped Breakers and Blown Fuses

Your HVAC system has a blower, which is an integral component when it comes to keeping your home warm or cool. When that blower gets overworked, it can trip a circuit breaker or blow a fuse. Usually, a dirty air filter is the culprit behind this problem. Clogged air filters block airflow, which puts additional stress on the unit, especially the blower.

Furnace Malfunctions

When things go wrong with your furnace, chances are good that you’ll notice it immediately. Several things might cause your furnace to go haywire, among them a cracked heat exchanger and a broken thermostat.

Certain signs will let you know that the furnace is responsible for the uncomfortable conditions in your home. These signs may include unusual sounds emanating from the furnace, a flickering yellow pilot light, the furnace having difficulty starting up, and inadequate heating throughout the building.

Emergency Situations

The HVAC professionals at Delaware Heating and Air can help you to assess whether or not your situation is an emergency.

Generally, we consider the loss of air conditioning on extremely hot days with temperatures in excess of 90 degrees to be an emergency. This is especially the case if you have elderly people, young children, or those who have compromised immune systems in your home.

Similarly, if we are experiencing bitterly cold weather and your heating goes out, we consider this an emergency situation. Call us as soon as you can to ensure the health and safety of all of the occupants of your home.

If you notice a serious leak in your AC system, this may be another situation in which it is appropriate to ask for emergency HVAC services. Leaks can cause severe water damage to your home, necessitating costly repairs. Construction materials that are damaged by water also make your home more susceptible to pest infestations, so early detection and control of leaks are imperative.

Do electrical issues seem to go hand-in-hand with your home’s HVAC problems? If so, then it easily could be considered an emergency situation. Tripping breakers, dimming lights, and burning smells are just a few examples that may indicate a potentially dangerous problem that needs to be immediately addressed.

Avoid Emergencies with HVAC Maintenance

Whether your HVAC system is giving you problems or not, contact Delaware Heating and Air. If you can’t recall the last time your HVAC system was inspected and serviced, then it’s probably overdue. While your HVAC system may seem to be operating all right at the moment, it is always best not to wait until something goes wrong before taking action.

HVAC systems sometimes seem to stop working with little or no warning. Don’t wait until it’s 95 degrees in the summer or below freezing in the winter before calling Delaware Heating and Air. The height of summer or winter is not the best time to have an emergency. Opt for maintenance instead to ensure proper performance from your HVAC system when you need it most.