How to Avoid an HVAC Emergency

It’s no secret that Maryland winters can get extremely cold at times! For this reason, it’s important that every home has a reliable heating system that can be trusted to provide the necessary warmth for a safe and comfortable environment. While system breakdowns do sometimes occur unexpectedly, there are steps you can take to help limit the likelihood of an HVAC emergency this season. Grove Heating & Cooling explains how to care for your heating system and best prepare it for winter.

What to Do to Prevent Winter HVAC Problems

To avoid emergency HVAC repairs during the winter months, maintaining your heating equipment is critical. Hopefully you know that maintenance tune ups are necessary for furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps each year, and the ideal time to have this service performed is in the fall before it gets cold outside.

HVAC maintenance for heating systems is designed to improve the performance and energy efficiency of any furnace, heat pump, or boiler. The steps involved are very helpful in preventing an HVAC emergency, as the work performed by a qualified HVAC technician greatly reduces the likelihood of a system breakdown over the heating season.

  • During a maintenance tune up, your system receives necessary care that reduces the damage done by wear and tear. This improves the condition of individual components, allowing them to perform without extra stress so they are less likely to suffer a failure during operation. 
  • The entire heating system receives a thorough inspection by a professional when maintenance tune ups are performed. With a trained eye reviewing all aspects of your heating unit, existing defects are easily identified and brought to light. With identification of these issues, you’ll know what repairs need to be made and can schedule repair service for this work to be performed. Once these repairs are completed, you’ll know your furnace, heat pump, or boiler is running with components that are in good condition and operating properly to avoid stress and wear that leads to breakdowns.
  • One of the busiest days of the year for heating repairs is that first cold day of winter, as this is the first time many homeowners turn on their heating units in several months. Some homeowners receive an unwelcome surprise this day, which is a heating system that doesn’t turn on at all or doesn’t heat the home properly. These issues could have been identified and corrected ahead of cold weather when a tune up was performed, but skipping the yearly tune up leaves these issues hidden longer. A technician would have caught issues preventing proper heating operation and performance, but if no tune up is performed, you find out about them in a situation that creates an HVAC emergency. You’ll most likely have to wait longer for repairs than you would in the fall or pay a premium for HVAC emergency repairs at this point.

What to Do in an HVAC Emergency

If you do experience an HVAC emergency at any point this winter, it’s important to know what to do. Not every situation that appears to be an HVAC emergency actually is, and if you know what troubleshooting steps to take, you’ll be able to restore heating right away rather than wait for professional repairs. If you ignore heating problems, temperatures could drop indoors, creating an unsafe environment.

  • Troubleshoot power sources for the thermostat, indoor unit, and outdoor unit (if using a heat pump). Check and replace thermostat batteries, make sure circuit breakers are not tripped, and check that all ON/OFF switches on equipment are set properly.
  • Make sure you’re using the correct thermostat settings. HEAT mode should be selected. Temperature needs to be set higher than the current room temperature to cause the heating system to kick on. If the fan is set ON, it will run all the time, forcing cold air through vents while the heating system is between cycles.
  • Make sure your air filter is clean. Check it regularly and replace as needed, which may be more often than during the fall as the HVAC system runs more in colder weather. Dirty air filters can cause the system to overheat and shut down.

Contact Grove for HVAC Maintenance and Repairs

If you are unable to get the heat back on through troubleshooting your system, you may have a true HVAC system emergency on your hands. In this situation, call Grove Heating & Cooling to request HVAC emergency service. Our heating and cooling system technicians will respond as quickly as possible and work to restore heating in your home through emergency HVAC repairs or temporary heating solutions that will keep you safe until a new heating unit can be installed.