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Diagnose Your Heating and Air in Birmingham

Published on: October 26, 2012

Living in Birmingham AL exposes you and your family to a variety of weather conditions. While winters can be somewhat mild, there is always the potential for a freeze. Hot summers are uncomfortable because of the humidity in the sub-tropical climate. It’s important to make sure that your family is safe during the most extreme seasonal temperatures, and paying close attention to your heating and air in Birmingham is important in diagnosing potential problems.

One of the most important keys to diagnosing your heating and air issues is conducting routine maintenance of your HVAC system. Some of the most basic tasks include checking the air filter and replacing it, inspecting your system for debris and dirt, and testing the thermostat to assure that the system is functioning. Some of these tasks are simple to perform on your own, but signs of wear or damage demand professional attention. While it may be tempting to save money and attempt such repairs on your own, the potential for doing further damage to your heating and air system really isn’t worth the risk.

Maintenance tasks should be performed periodically throughout the year. Air filters should be inspected monthly. It’s important to change the filters if you find excessive dirt. If you discover mold, it’s wise to contact an HVAC contractor that services heating and air in Birmingham in order to have your system thoroughly cleaned. Molds can develop more easily in a humid climate, and it’s important to avoid continued growth and spread of spores through your HVAC system.

Your diagnosis of the function of the thermostat should be done between summer and winter heavy usage times. Make an assessment in the months of October and March so that you are aware of problems well in advance of more extreme temperature changes. Take time to turn on each system so that you are sure of both heating and air operating correctly. Check each function of the thermostat. Check each vent to determine whether air is flowing consistently at an appropriate temperature.

In the event of inconsistent airflow, you will want to consult with a heating and air contractor in order to assess the need for duct sealing. Leaky ducts can lead to energy loss and elevate your energy bill. It’s important to work with a reputable contractor in obtaining service for your ducts so that the work is done correctly and in a timely manner. If your thermostat isn’t working well, you will want to consult with your heating and air service company about current technology and products like smart thermostats. These can assist you in controlling energy waste and costs.

If your system is running but doesn’t heat or cool the air, you will need to enlist the help of an HVAC professional in assessing the source of the problem. Similarly, you should contact a service company in heating and air in Birmingham if you notice a lingering smell coming from your vents or heat pump. While initial use of a system may cause some musty smells, anything that lasts longer than a few minutes should be checked further. Similarly, unrecognizable sounds coming from your heat pump should be investigated quickly. A professional diagnosis is definitely warranted if your heat pump fails to turn on.

One of the most important considerations in enlisting a heating and air company to service your system is their state license information. While there may be affordable services advertising great savings on HVAC services, the lack of a license is a sign that there could be problems with the service provided. Most states create boards to oversee the professional conduct and quality of such contractors in order to protect consumers. You can be more certain of the reputation of your company if you take time to investigate its licensing. You can also check with online review sites or with local business oversight boards to find out about consumer opinions of the company.

While some diagnosis issues are easily addressed without your family having to experience discomfort and inconvenience, a system failure during extreme weather conditions can be dangerous. Whether you are faced with a malfunctioning unit during a streak of hot temperatures or during an unexpected freeze, you need to be sure of your family’s safety first. If a fast response time isn’t possible, it’s wise to find friends or family to stay with until the repair can be made. If necessary, you may even need to think about staying in a motel for a couple of days in order to make sure that your family is protected from extreme temperatures.

Repairs in mid-summer or mid-winter can take longer because there tends to be more system failures during high usage periods. Older systems often fail because of extreme use. Others find that power surges or storm damage can cause their systems to quit working. It’s important to make every effort to avoid stressing your system. Paying attention to your Birmingham AL HVAC system during the year can help you plan for a system upgrade at an opportune time. You should consult with your contractor about energy efficient models, new dual-fuel systems and other energy saving options that can cut costs in your home. You should also ask for information about company rebates and national tax incentives related to specific energy efficient systems. Upgrading can provide many avenues of savings on your energy expenses.