Don’t let these normal home comfort system sounds scare you:
- A quiet hum: Your HVAC system is happy. A steady hum from your indoor or outdoor system indicates proper function.
- Buzzing: A slight buzzing from your outdoor unit is normal, even if it is not running.
- Squeals: Brief squeals of excitement during startup are normal. Your compressor may make high-pitched noises during operation as well.
- Whooshing: This is simply a sign of air moving properly through ductwork and venting.
- Brief noises at startup and shutdown: Older systems sometimes need a little TLC. Brief squeals and thumps at startup and shutdown aren’t anything to worry about, but do indicate loose belts or dirty fan rotors in need of a professional tune-up.
Don’t kick yourself for missing these cheap, easy fixes:
- Not as comfortable? Your filter probably looks like a giant dust bunny. It should be replaced every 30-90 days. Also check for obstructions to air returns and vents.
- Slightly higher bills? Have you been neglecting your system of a professional cleaning to “save money”? Coils should be cleaned once or twice a year to prevent the heavy price of inefficient operation.
- System turning off too soon or too late? Your thermostat may be living in the wrong neighborhood. Improper placement is a common culprit. Some examples of this are: in direct sun, near hot appliances, or too close to registers are common culprits.
Don’t overlook these signs that your home comfort system may not be in it for the long haul:
- You’ve seen dinosaurs that look younger: is your home comfort system more than 12 years old? Being proactive about replacement will save you time, money, and inconvenient repairs from your old system going down when you need it most.
- It needs a lot more attention than it used to: Frequent repairs almost always indicate a system with one foot out the door. If your repair costs add up to half the value of the system, it is wise to consider the benefits of replacement verses repair. Always review all your options so you can make a decision that best suits your family’s needs.
- Something smells funny: Unusual odors, such as burning smells emanating from ductwork, are always a cause for concern.
- Your system sounds rattled: Just like a good argument, the louder it’s complaining, the more serious the situation is. Loud noises could be loose hardware, a failing motor or a dying compressor pointing you in the direction of a new system.
- Electric bills are burning a hole in your wallet: Old, inefficient home comfort systems can really put a strain on your wallet. Replacing old, inefficient equipment could save you 20-40 % on your energy bills. If your system is over 12 years old it could save you even more.