HVAC systems are worth their weight in gold during the dog days of summer and the cold nights of winter in the Midwest. Of course, such systems must be replaced from time to time. Learning to recognize the signs of a fading HVAC system can help homeowners replace their units before they cease working, saving everyone the uncomfortable ordeal of being stuck at home without the proper heating or cooling.

Weak airflow

An HVAC unit operating at peak capacity produces a strong flow of air through the vents of a home. The experts at Select Home Warranty note that when the air flow from the vent is weak, this could be a warning sign of a damaged AC compressor or blocked or damaged vents. Damaged vents might be replaceable, but issues with the AC unit might require a replacement. That’s especially so if the unit is old. Repairs might be possible, but it might be more cost-effective to replace an aging unit rather than commit to costly repairs.

Interior temperature

If your home is not quite the respite from the cold or heat that you need it to be, then this could be indicative of a fading system that may need to be replaced. However, the home warranty firm American Home Shield® notes that hot interior temperatures also may be indicative of clogged ductwork. Qualified HVAC technicians may be able to fix clogged ductwork without replacing the AC unit. If the issue persists even after ducts have been cleaned and unclogged, then a new unit might be homeowners’ best bet.

Foul odor

Sometimes the nose knows best when an HVAC unit needs to be replaced. Unusual odors emanating from the vents when your unit is running could suggest the unit is distributing mold or mildew throughout the home. A moldy or mildew-like smell coming from the vents could indicate a host of issues, including a dirty evaporator coil, a clogged drain line or leaky air ducts. Each of these issues can be fixed, but homeowners must weigh the cost of fixing them versus the cost of replacing an aging unit.

It’s always a good idea to have your unit inspected by a local HVAC professional if it is acting up. A professional can easily pinpoint the problem and safely fix it for you.

When it’s time to call on it, homeowners want a reliable HVAC unit for their homes. Recognizing signs of a malfunctioning unit is a good first step toward ensuring homes remain comfortable and relaxing.

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