tracking pixel Common HVAC Emergencies | HB McClure | HVAC Company
skip to Main Content

One day in the middle of a particularly warm summer day or especially cold winter night, you might turn on your HVAC system and realize that it is not working. There are few things that are more disconcerting. A heating, cooling, and ventilation system in St. Harrisburg that is not doing its job does constitute an emergency situation because the problem has to be figured out. The fix could be something simple, or it could be something that is potentially hazardous to your health. In either case, professionals like us at HB McClure are ready to help.

Here are common HVAC emergencies that may occur.

No Heat

An HVAC unit that does not produce heat is a problem. This is an emergency situation. It could be something as easy as cleaning the filter; however, it could also be something more serious such as the heat exchanger is overheating. A heat exchanger can overheat because it is surrounded by too much dust. The dust builds up and turns into clogs. The clogs do not allow the other parts to operate optimally, so the entire system ends up working harder than necessary. Just like a car that overheats, an HVAC system will stop running, too.Thermostat malfunctions, blown fuses, and tripped circuit breakers are other reasons why a heater will not produce heat. If your furnace consists of a combustion, the pilot light may have gone out.

While you can very well inspect the unit yourself, situations like these require the skill set of a professional. It could be a dirty filter causing the problems, but it could also be a symptom of a greater issue. The best way to avoid most HVAC emergencies is to schedule regular maintenance. As long as it is thoroughly cleaned, nothing should go terribly wrong until the unit has reached its finials years. Then, it is time to start thinking about a replacement. Let our team come in and perform an assessment on your behalf.

No Cold Air

Dirty air filters are the most common culprit of HVAC emergencies. The purpose of the filter is to catch small debris and dust. The filter is designed to prevent buildup and clumping of that dust and debris. While this elemental invention does its job, it has to be cleaned at regular intervals, too. It is easy to forget about it because it does its job so well. If the filter is forgotten about for too long, no cold air could be the result. The air cannot be pushed out to its intended destination because it is blocked. This situation is similar to the lint catch of your clothes dryer. After every load, it is recommended that the lint be removed. During particularly lint-filled dries, the net is covered completely. If that net was your AC’s air filter, there is no way air could make its way through it.

Other causes of no cold air:

  • Broken condenser motor fan
  • Low refrigerant levels
  • Leaking refrigerant
  • Faulty compressor

If you still have the guide for your HVAC system, you may be able to handle dusting off the filter. For the other potential issues, however, let our professionals take a look. If a fan is the cause of the emergency or the refrigerant levels are low, that is best left to a skilled technician.

Refrigerant Leak

Signs that your cooling unit is experiencing a refrigerant leak include pooling water underneath it, a hissing sound, or ice forming around the evaporator coils. The chemicals used to produce the refrigerant are hazardous. They should not be ingested, and they should not be touched with bare hands either. The refrigerant lives inside the copper coils. It absorbs the heat and turns it into low-pressure gas to a high-pressure liquid. Then, the refrigerant cools down and returns to its original state.

An HVAC system should never leak liquids. If there is a leak, it means that a substance such as the refrigerant has eaten away at the coils. Even the tiniest crack can lead to leaks over time.

Refrigerant is only sold to licensed technicians, so this is an emergency that is best left to our skilled professionals.

Clogged Lines

Your cooling system is an intricate technology-driven machine that consists of coils and other hardware. It all works with each other. If something gets clogged, it backs up the rest of the components. Even worse, it makes other parts work harder than necessary. This could easily lead to a complete breakdown.

Clogged lines are an HVAC emergency that is better left to the professionals. When the line is not clogged, it is no longer draining the water. The water comes from the evaporator that helps the refrigerant to convert from liquid to gas. Since the water is not being drained, it becomes fertile ground for algae and other mucky stuff to build up. Eventually, that debris can lead to a serious clog. The clog can cause the rest of the unit’s components to overheat, which leads the system to stop working at an optimal rate.

Ventilation Problems

When your heating, cooling, and ventilation system is on but there are ventilation issues, it is an emergency situation. Ventilation problems could be a result of:

  • An obstructed condenser unit
  • Blocked vents and registers
  • Clogged filters
  • Leaks
  • Thermostat issues
  • Low refrigerant levels

Since there is no air making its way through the ducts or out of the unit in ductless cases, it is cause for concern. Our technicians will take a look at the cleanliness of the unit first. If there is no debris or dust buildup on the outside, it could be the filter. If the filter seems fine, then the technician has to get into the nitty-gritty of the system. Clogs, low refrigerant levels, or other obstructions may signal that a part needs to be repaired or replaced.

Electrical Problems

Electrical problems are among the most serious because they require a specialized skill set. A trained technician who is NATE-certified, like ours, is one of the best to handle this task because they have studied the electrical ins and outs. Plus, they have hands-on industry experience.

Tripped circuit breakers, blown fuses, and faulty connections are some things that could be causing an HVAC emergency. Compressor damage, blower fan issues, and a blown start capacitor are others. Electrical problems are best left to a trusted HVAC company because if you try to fix it yourself, you can make the situation worse. There is no reason to accidentally start a fire. There is also no reason to worsen the situation by forcing the issue.

Emergencies are inconvenient. They can happen at any time, at the worst moment, and even if you have cared for your HVAC unit well. The silver lining is that it is an opportunity for a technician to evaluate the system. If it is simply not blowing out hot or cold air due to a dirty filter, it is a much better scenario than a potential broken fan down the road.

If your HVAC system requires emergency service, contact us at HB McClure in St. Harrisburg today. Additional services we offer include preventive maintenance, smart thermostats, and backup generators.