Have you ever noticed an emergency light on in your car and continued to drive it anyway? You know it’s not safe, and you’re aware that something needs your attention. However, you figure the problem will either fix itself or that you can address it at a later time.
Then as you’re driving along trying to get somewhere in a hurry, your car sputters, jerks, and stalls to a complete stop. It’s pouring rain, there’s traffic building up, and you’re stuck on a major road. As your brain begins to panic and race through what went wrong, you remember your emergency light. Oops! While it’s too late to go back and take your car in now, you have the option of relying on emergency automobile services in hopes of bringing your car back to life.
In some other cases, your car sputtering out might not be your fault at all. You may even be involved in an unavoidable accident where you have no choice but to call in the experts. Life happens, and emergencies are always a possibility. You should get routine auto maintenance and care, but sometimes you fall behind. You can apply the same lesson to your HVAC system and the need for 24/7 HVAC services.
Whether you’ve put off repairs and maintenance or your HVAC unit seems to simply give out, here are a few ways to know if you need 24/7 HVAC services.
4 Situations Where You May Need 24/7 HVAC Services
Push your HVAC replacements or repairs aside, and you could run into a few issues down the road. If you’re experiencing any of the following, you will want to call an HVAC expert to help you out immediately.
The Heat Index Is At (Or Reaching) Extreme Temperatures
Summer in Texas is hot. This may be an obvious statement, but temperatures can reach dangerous and potentially life-threatening levels. This raises the internal temperature of homes and businesses everywhere, especially those without a working HVAC unit. Becoming overheated is a very real and extremely serious problem to consider. If you or anyone else in your home is feeling any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention right away:
- Muscle spasms
If you’re in the middle of a hot season and you’ve noticed your AC stopped working, it’s essential that you don’t panic. Ensure you and your family have plenty of drinking water, and then call for emergency HVAC services. In the meantime, shed off heavy clothing and only wear what’s necessary. Remain calm, and it will help you keep cooler than if you go into a frenzy.
Conditions Outside Are At Or Below Freezing
Some would say being without air conditioning in the summer is equally as bad as being without heat in the winter. If it’s close to or near freezing temperatures and you don’t have a properly working HVAC unit, you will feel the side effects quickly. There are a few dangers when it comes to a failed HVAC unit during the colder months.
To start, pipes can freeze and even burst without a continuous flow of air going through them. It’s true! Having the heat on while it’s cold actually helps insulate your pipes and keep them running smoothly.
In addition, you can increase your chances of getting sick and developing hypothermia if your body temperature falls below 95℉. Again, it’s important not to stress as you’ll lose body warmth at a faster rate when you’re stressed. Take steps to bundle up and conserve energy while you call an experienced HVAC technician.
Health Concerns For Elderly Or Other Vulnerable Residents
Elderly residents, those with medical conditions, young children, and pets should all be considered when reaching out for help with your HVAC needs. Many people have certain medical requirements or other needs regarding the regulation of their body temperature. You may also have family members who have immunocompromised conditions like cancer, diabetes, or chronic liver disease. A broken HVAC can further harm people with such illnesses. A failed HVAC system during the winter can affect yourself and others and cause additional symptoms such as:
- Overheating or fever
- Behavioral changes
- Staggering or stumbling
- Elevated heart rate
- Severely slow pulse and heart rate
- Dry skin
- Flushed skin
- Lack of sweating despite the heat
If you notice any of these signs, seek immediate medical attention. Then get a 24/7 AC service to fix your HVAC problem as soon as possible.
There’s An Outstanding Safety Concern
Your safety is the number one priority. That being said, there are a few more specific reasons to call the HVAC experts for their emergency services.
You may not notice a refrigerant leak right away or even at all. But a clear sign of a refrigerant leak is when you notice a yellow-green substance around your HVAC system. Refrigerant is used throughout your compressors and evaporators to produce cool air. Furthermore, it absorbs environmental heat. However, the substance on its own is highly toxic and can affect your health. If you suspect or notice a refrigerant leak, you need to call HVAC professionals for help.
Natural Gas Leak
Natural gas doesn’t typically have a smell. Over time, additives have been introduced to alert someone when there is a leak. If you ever smell sulfur or rotten eggs in your home or near your HVAC unit, you need to turn off the gas to your home and evacuate. Take your pets with you and move to a safe location. Natural gas is highly flammable and can cause an explosion. You should then call an HVAC technician for assistance. Additionally, you can call the fire department for help if you’re severely concerned or don’t know how to turn your gas off.
Smoke, Sparks, Or Burning Smell
Any time you notice smoke, smell something burning, or see sparks, it’s time to take immediate action. Call 24/7 AC services right away and turn off your unit if it’s safe to do so. Don’t turn it back on and stay away from the unit until an experienced HVAC technician arrives.
What To Expect From An Emergency HVAC Service Check
If you know you have an HVAC emergency on your hands, you should feel comfortable calling for help. An experienced HVAC technician should listen to your concerns carefully and make time for an inspection. As soon as your technician arrives, they should evaluate your HVAC promptly. Some components they might check for or test include:
- Wiring and other electrical parts
- Condensate pans
- Evaporator coils
- Air filters
- Exterior unit
- Valves and other connections
- Refrigerant lines
- Fan function
After doing a thorough inspection of your unit, your technician should be able to pinpoint the problem and offer a solution. You can take this time to ask follow-up questions, request a cost estimate, and determine a time to fix the problem. If it’s a true emergency, timing may be out of your control. However, it’s always better to be safe and take action right away rather than wait around for a potential disaster.
When An HVAC Repair Or Replacement Is Not An Emergency
HVAC problems are a huge inconvenience. We understand that. It’s also important to distinguish between emergency and non-emergency services so others may get the help they need in a quick and efficient manner. That being said, not every situation calls for emergency services. If you need help with any of the following, you should go ahead and schedule a routine checkup or inspection:
- General maintenance
- Routine inspection
- Air filter change or cleaning
- New installation (if you already have another working unit)
If you have a functioning unit but just need a few minor repairs or replacements, schedule an appointment with your HVAC technician, and they’ll be happy to help.
24/7 HVAC Services FAQ
Review the following commonly asked questions we get about emergency HVAC services.
Is A Broken AC An Emergency In Texas?
As a renter, you probably have questions about whether your broken AC unit is an emergency. Texas law requires that landlords fix problems inside of a building that could affect a person’s health. However, a general lack of air conditioning isn’t usually considered an emergency. But keep in mind that it can turn into one if weather conditions are extreme, there’s a major health concern, or if there’s a clear safety concern. In this case, Texas law says your landlord has 7 days to resolve the issue.
How Long Should My HVAC System Last?
Ideally, and with the right maintenance and care, your HVAC system should last anywhere between 15 to 25 years. A complete HVAC replacement is expensive, and most people want to avoid it at all costs. That’s why it’s important to take care of your unit. Regular maintenance, inspections, and repairs are essential to prolonging the life cycle of your HVAC.
Can An HVAC Explode?
Most HVAC systems use non-flammable materials to keep them running smoothly. Unless your AC uses propane, it’s unlikely that your HVAC will explode. Keep in mind that the chemicals used for your AC are only safe when used properly. This means refrigerant or natural gas leaks and other materials are considered dangerous when exposed to the air.
Although rare, you may notice sparks, smoke, or even a small fire that’s started within your HVAC system. In this case, you need to turn off the gas to your home and call an HVAC technician for urgent repairs. None of these involve an explosion but are still serious scenarios to consider when thinking about calling 24/7 AC services.
Can An AC Overheat?
Yes. Your AC unit can absolutely overheat. This is usually caused by clogged or dirty air filters, refrigerant leaks, and filthy condenser coils. Aside from routine maintenance and inspection checks, it’s important to keep your system clear of debris and dirt. This doesn’t mean you need to do a deep clean every time. What it does mean is that you should dust the exterior of your unit and clear any debris from its exterior. You should also change your air filters regularly and check on the condenser coils.
Do New Thermostats Send An Alert When There’s A Problem?
Yes. HVAC monitoring is available in new thermostat systems. This means newer thermostats can monitor and record the temperature of your home. They can also let you know when something is unusual and so much more.
If you’ve considered the purchase of a new thermostat, HVAC monitoring is something to consider when comparing new versus older models. In some models, you may even be able to get immediate feedback or reports to your mobile device. That way, even if you’re not home, you can check up on your HVAC unit throughout the day. You can even control some settings remotely and make adjustments on the go.
Don’t Wait Until You Need 24/7 AC Services
Remember the check engine light on your car? You waited and waited and ended up between a rock and a hard place. When it comes to your HVAC, most older units can’t tell you when something is wrong. But you might occasionally notice when something is off about your HVAC system. It’s critical that you don’t ignore the problem in hopes that it will disappear. A maintenance check now could not only save you money in the long run, but it could also save your life.
When you need a reliable HVAC team to handle your AC and heating issues, there’s Valderrama AC. With over 30 years in the business, we have the tools, skills, and experience needed to resolve your HVAC problems quickly and with confidence.
Have an emergency? We handle those, too. You can find dependable 24/7 AC services in the Houston area whenever you need us. We take our emergency cases seriously and go above and beyond to give you the HVAC care you deserve.