What Constitutes And AC Emergency?

Some HVAC companies offer 24-hour air conditioner repair. You may think air conditioner problems aren't the same as, say, plumbing issues, which can result in major flood damage if left alone. Indeed, an AC emergency probably isn't quite that dire. You might, in fact, be able to go for years without having to call for emergency service.

Just because you can sweat it out — literally — doesn't mean you should shy away from emergency AC service. Below are some times calling the 24-hour hotline might make sense.

Strange Smells

The air coming out of your HVAC registers shouldn't smell like anything. If it does, you likely have an issue. A musty smell probably doesn't herald a big problem. You might have excess moisture or some mildew, which doesn't signify an AC emergency. The following smells might, though:

  • Rotten egg
  • Burning
  • Gun powder
  • Exhaust

Any of the above smells can signify a major issue with your air conditioner that can damage the unit or even your house.

New Sounds

Air conditioners do make a slight whirring sound. New sounds beyond that typically indicate a problem with the unit. For most sounds, you can schedule a repair rather than call for emergency service. You shouldn't keep running the AC, though.

One sound does require emergency service — a screaming or high-pitched whistling noise. One of two issues can be causing the sound, and neither can wait. Either you have a refrigerant leak, which can be detrimental to your family's health, or the compressor is under high internal pressure, which is dangerous.

No Cooling

An air conditioner should circulate cool air, not lukewarm air. If your AC unit no longer blows cool air, you might have a simple problem such as a dirty air filter or blocked compressor. You can solve both problems yourself on your own time.

According to Bob Vila, though, dirty coils can also negatively impact the output of cold air. Conversely, if your unit doesn't blow out any air at all, your blower fan or motor might be out. If you're in the middle of a heat spell, you'll need emergency service.

Sudden Breakdown

Speaking of heat spells, you're more likely to suffer an AC breakdown during especially hot periods than at other times. The reason isn't just Murphy's law. Rather, the more you use your air conditioner, the sooner small issues become mechanical breakdowns.

Several issues can cause your AC unit to stop functioning. Typically, the problems relate to the motors or circuitry. Excess heat in your home can be dangerous for vulnerable family members and highly uncomfortable for anyone. So, you should call for emergency service in such cases.

Don't hesitate to call for 24-hour emergency AC repair in any of the above situations.