Picture this: you switch on your heater on a freezing winter day, and nothing happens. What do you do?
If you’re like many Americans, you might be tempted to do nothing. Research suggests that fewer than half of us have an emergency fund, so the bill for those heating repairs may seem pretty unappealing. Given Texas’s mild winters, you might think it’s better to pocket the repair costs, at least for a few weeks.
However, getting fast HVAC repairs can be more important than you might think. Delays can impact everything from your system’s lifespan to your health. If you’re reluctant to call a professional, let’s look at why you should consider it and what to watch out for.
Why You Need Heating Repairs Fast in Winter
There are two crucial reasons to get winter HVAC maintenance: preserving your wealth and your health.
We get it: HVAC repair costs can be expensive. Depending on the issue, you could end up spending anywhere from a hundred to a few thousand dollars. If you need a total system replacement, the bills can get even higher.
Because few of us enjoy paying for unexpected costs, it may be tempting to procrastinate your repairs. After all, if your unit is still providing some amount of heating, even if it’s unreliable or uneven, why not run it without calling for maintenance?
Avoid this temptation! If you neglect repairs, what starts as a minor issue may snowball into major headaches. You might have to shell out for higher energy costs and expensive breakdowns, all while your home remains uncomfortable to live in. It’s often far less expensive to get a repair now than it is to run your system into the ground and replace it later.
Another common urge is to shut the heater off altogether. Winter temperatures here in Texas are often milder than they are in the rest of the country, so you might be tempted to think you can squeak by without an HVAC tune-up.
While this might not be an issue in late fall, it’s not a great idea once the temperatures drop in earnest. Research suggests that cold weather can be hazardous to your health for several reasons.
First, our blood vessels contract in cold weather, leading to increased blood pressure. This increases the risk of cardiac issues like heart attacks and strokes, especially for people with pre-existing heart conditions.
Cold air also affects our respiratory performance, irritating the airway and triggering coughing and breathing difficulties. This is even worse for anyone with conditions like allergies, asthma, or COPD.
Last, cold temperatures make it easier for certain viruses to spread, including both the flu and COVID-19.
Experts recommend keeping indoor temperatures at 64 degrees or higher for better health.
Common Winter HVAC Issues to Watch For
Breakdowns can happen any time of the year, but a few issues are more common than others. Here are some of the problems our team sees most often during winter repairs:
- Frozen or burst pipes or coils, especially after a severe freeze
- Uneven airflow or heating between rooms
- Malfunctioning thermostat
- Clogged or dirty heater filters
- Increased energy bills
- Low heat pump refrigerant
- Yellow or flickering pilot light in a gas-burning system
- Fouled fuel in an oil-fired system
It’s also crucial to mention that carbon monoxide is more of a risk during the winter months as well. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your home or you haven’t checked your batteries recently, make sure to find and test one! This odorless gas is a major health hazard.
How to Avoid Emergency Heating Repairs
If you’re hoping to avoid last-minute HVAC winter repairs, there are a few things you can do to decrease your risk.
Take Your System for a Test Drive
The switch from mild to freezing can be sudden in the Point Blank area. To make sure your system is ready to go, do a furnace test drive before you need it. This ensures that you don’t first discover major problems when you start your system on a cold winter night!
During your test drive, do some DIY maintenance. Check for strange noises or smells, and look for signs of wear and tear. If you have a gas furnace, examine the color of the pilot light: you’ll want a blue flame.
Maintain Your Airflow
One key task for every homeowner’s to-do list should be checking the system’s airflow. A heater that can circulate air with ease will always perform better than a system that struggles. Better circulation can also decrease your risk of part failure or other repair issues.
To maintain proper airflow, change your filter once every 30-90 days or as recommended by your system manufacturer. Check the vents and registers in your home to be sure no furniture pieces have blocked them, and clear away any dust or debris. If you notice any leaky ducts, be sure to address them.
Improving your home’s insulation can help as well. Things like insulating your attic and basement or stopping drafts around your doors and windows can keep air inside where it belongs. This keeps your system from working so hard to heat your home.
Get Winter HVAC Maintenance
Professional maintenance keeps the repair bills away. If you want to be sure you won’t need a last-minute repair this winter, the best thing to do is schedule seasonal maintenance. An HVAC technician can check your system for any issues, lubricate moving parts, and inspect electrical components.
Get Fast Heating Maintenance and Repairs
The bottom line is that you should never wait for heating repairs or maintenance. Ensuring that your system is in good condition can extend its lifespan, ensure your comfort, preserve your health, and even help you save money.
If you’re hoping for fast, professional service from a team that Point Blank has trusted since 1983, Best Air Conditioning & Heating, LLC. is here to help. We know system breakdowns don’t always wait for a convenient moment, which is why we offer weekend service for your emergency repair needs. To schedule a heating repair with us, call (936) 213-5116 today.