Living in Florida, our HVAC systems run constantly.  The tropical climate makes it warm to hot most months of the year, and cooling in the home is essential to be comfortable.  However, many homeowners in Orlando, Clermont and the Villages are not sure what to look for to keep the HVAC working properly and efficiently.  Here are some signs that your HVAC unit may need service or replacement.

Age of the HVAC in Your Home

Did you know that the average HVAC unit will last 10-15 years? Direct Energy recommends during those 10-15 years that you have a tune-up done two times a year.  For example, once before summer and once before winter are great times to do this.  It is better to be proactive than reactive and take care of the tune-up before the hot months and the cold spell set in.  Additionally, waiting until those months come along to test out the system is not the time to find out that they are not working. Modernize.com has an online calculator and says an HVAC replacement cost is $3000-$12,000, depending on the climate of the area and also other factors! Do what you can to try to avoid this high expense.

1. Your House is Not Staying Cool or Warm in Specific Areas.

Do you have places in your home that just won’t cool down in the warmer months or warm up in cooler weather spells?  In Florida, this can be a big issue as it is too hot to live without air conditioning. Sometimes we have cold spells and the heat needs to be used.  Calling a technician to service the unit before this time is a great idea and hopefully, it is a minor repair.  It could be things such as needing more insulation in the home, damaged or inaccurate reading thermostat, or a clogged filter.  Unfortunately, it can also be more serious such as damage to the motor.  Schedule a tune-up early to avoid the high costs!

2. Dust is Accumulating or it is Humid in the Home

Are you noticing more dust in the home?  Energy Star states that the HVAC unit will help with the amount of dust and dander that collects in the home and also in keeping the home cool. The first step would be to make sure you change the filter. A good HEPA filter will help keep the air clean and you should change it every 1-3 months. If this doesn’t work and you are finding that there is more dust accumulating, or there are humid areas, it is time to call an HVAC technician to service the unit. 

Odd Sounds and First Name Basis with Technician

3. Odd Sounds from the HVAC unit

HVAC units are not silent and will make a little noise, but if you hear a squealing or rattling, it is time to look into what is causing it.  Sometimes it can be something simple as loose metal on an air vent or can be more extensive.  The tune-ups and a visit from the technician will help find the solution.

4. Your HVAC Technician is Making Frequent House Calls

If your technician visits your home multiple times a year to make repairs, it may be time to replace the HVAC unit.  Ask the technician if there are things you can do now to prevent a replacement in the future. Have an HVAC technician that you trust that can give you good advice and recommendations.

5. Check Your Condenser

AC Condenser Check After Storms

Living in Florida, we are subject to strong wind and rainstorms, sometimes hail and hurricanes.  After storms, check your outdoor AC condenser unit for leaves and other debris that can be caught in the fan or other parts.  Clean out the debris in the area surrounding the unit to make sure nothing interferes with the system.

6. Other Preventative Measures

Energy Star has an energy efficiency yardstick test that you can do at home. This will allow you to see if your home is performing at the levels to keep your utility bills low! Having yearly tune-ups, changing the HVAC filter, cleaning around the condenser, and using the Energy Start Yardstick are just some of the recommendations for keeping your HVAC working longer. In turn, hopefully replacing it later than sooner.

If you are interested in learning more about the services Atkinson Inspections offers, check out our webpage .

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