Friday, December 30, 2011

Before You Call Your HVAC Repairman

Let's say you're enjoying a cozy evening at home. Maybe it's winter, and you have the heat on - or else you're trying to keep the house cool during a heat wave. Suddenly in the middle of your favorite show, as you're unwinding from a long day at work, your HVAC system goes on the blink. The air is stifling in your living room now, and you're agitated. What now?

Your first instinct is to check the air conditioner or heating system to see where the problem lies. If you know next to nothing about how your HVAC system works, though, you could end up just staring at the setup and wondering what to do next. Tinkering with the AC or heater could solve the problem, or make it worse. If you rely on gas to heat your home, it could be a matter of relighting the pilot, but do you feel comfortable doing that?

The problem with your heating and air system, however, may only be minor, yet you might feel more comfortable having a licensed HVAC contractor have a look. Before you make that call however, here are a few things you may wish to consider before you pick up the phone.

1) Is this a persistent problem? If you have experienced a breakdown of your AC or heating more than once through the week, it definitely warrants a call to a reputable repairman. Some homeowners may be content to wait out the problem if they believe they can rough it for a night. This may largely depend upon the age of the unit and the weather situation. Be intuitive when looking at your HVAC as you think about whether or not to call.

2) How old is your unit? Age and wear play important roles in the health of your HVAC system. If you can remember when your unit was installed, it could portend that you need a replacement instead of a simple repair. Did the unit come with the house? Knowing how long you've lived there will tell you whether or not to make the call.

3) Has the outside weather affected your system? If you use gas, a severe wind might blow out a pilot if it reaches it. Your heating problem could only be a matter of relighting it. If you feel comfortable doing it yourself, use good judgment. Otherwise, let a professional take care of it for you.

Of course, there are other considerations to take when looking into an HVAC repair. If you find the problem doesn't resolve itself, or you do not know how to fix it, call your local repairman.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Hampton HVAC services and Hampton HVAC repair.

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