A technician holding an HVAC testing gauge below the words "Emergency HVAC Repairs"

When your heater or air conditioner breaks down or starts acting up, it doesn’t always happen before 5:00 PM on a weekday. HVAC problems that occur during off hours can be annoying and even worrying, but before you call for immediate assistance, you should ask yourself: Does this problem require emergency repair?

You’re no HVAC technician, so you may not be sure of the answer to this question. To help you out, here are some signs that you need to call for emergency HVAC repairs:

Signs that you Need Emergency A/C Repairs

An air conditioner that stops working can make you uncomfortable, but discomfort is not a reason to call for immediate repair. When your A/C cuts out during a mild spring day or a cool night, you may be able to wait until business hours to get it fixed. However, these signs indicate that you need emergency air conditioning repairs:

Is There Ice On the Indoor Unit?

Your air conditioner should of course be cold, but it should never get cold enough that it forms ice. If you spot ice near your indoor unit’s evaporator coil, it’s a sign that your system needs immediate repairs. This ice is a sign that the evaporator coil is not working correctly, which may be due to a clogged filter, grime, or a loss of refrigerant. If you let this problem go unchecked, it will eventually spread until your A/C gets further damage and breaks down completely.

Can You Hear a Mechanical Grinding Noise?

Not all noises coming from your A/C unit are necessarily signs that you need emergency repairs. However, mechanical grinding noises definitely require immediate attention. These noises are signs of motor problems or the compressor burning out. If not addressed quickly, these issues can cause your entire outdoor unit to require replacement.

Can You Hear a Hissing Noise?

Another sound to look out for is a hissing noise. If a hissing noise is coming from your air conditioner, it likely means that refrigerant is leaking out. This is another problem that could eventually damage the whole system if not addressed quickly.

Did the Circuit Breaker Get Tripped?

Circuit breakers can be tripped by many things – including your air conditioner. If your outdoor unit has faulty wiring or compressor issues, it may trip the circuit breaker every time the compressor kicks on (in other words, every time the outdoor unit begins to hum). Whether the issue is electrical or is due to a failing compressor, it needs to be addressed immediately.

Are the Outdoor Temperatures in Your Area Dangerously High?

Of course, if it’s over 90 degrees outside, you should call for emergency A/C repairs. A house that gets too hot can lead to heatstroke or other dangerous conditions, so HVAC technicians know the importance of fixing air conditioners quickly on very hot days.

Signs that you Need Emergency Heater Repairs

Your heater is one of the more dangerous appliances in your house. That’s why it’s important to monitor for these signs that you need emergency heater repairs:

Can You Smell of Rotten Eggs?

If you have a gas furnace, then your heater runs on natural gas. Natural gas has an additive that smells like rotten eggs; that way, people will be able to tell if there’s a gas leak in their home. If you detect this rotten egg smell, get out of the house immediately, call the gas company, and then call for emergency heater repairs.

Is There a Yellow Flame in Your Furnace?

If you paid attention in Chemistry class, then you likely remember that white flame is hotter than blue flame, which is hotter than yellow flame. The flame in your furnace should always be blue; if it is yellow, it means that the gas in your furnace is not burning hot enough. While this means that your home will likely be too cold, it is also often a sign of a much more serious issue: a carbon monoxide leak.

Like natural gas, carbon monoxide is dangerous to breathe in. Unlike natural gas, however, carbon monoxide is completely odorless. So if the flame in your furnace’s burner is yellow, you need to call for emergency heater repairs.

Are There Steam or Puddles Around Your Boiler?

If you have a boiler heating your home, you need to look out for steam or puddles around it. Both may indicate that your boiler has a leak or a broken valve. A broken boiler can cause extensive water damage, so it should be repaired immediately.

Are the Outdoor Temperatures in Your Area Dangerously Low?

Just like with your A/C unit, certain weather conditions may impact how quickly you need heater repairs. If the weather has dipped to near or below freezing, a heater breakdown needs to be addressed immediately.

If you’re experiencing any of the above issues (or any others that seem exceptionally alarming), contact Comfort Masters Heating & Air Conditioning for emergency repairs. With a team of experienced HVAC technicians and no overtime fees, you can count on them to keep your system running 24/7.