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3 Furnace and Heat Pump Emergencies

technician-inspecting-furnaceWhen it comes to using emergency services, people are naturally a bit hesitant. After all, they don’t want to sound the alarm for what turns out to be a simple problem or a misunderstanding. So unless you’re a heating expert in Hammond, LA, it can be difficult to know what to look for when it comes to a true HVAC emergency.

That’s why we’ve compiled three emergencies you may face with your heater, regardless of whether you’re using a furnace or a heat pump.

1. Water Leaking

Water leaks, in a heater? It sounds odd, but it’s not uncommon. The typical reason that a furnace or heat pump would “leak” is due to condensation. Normally, all condensation will be directed to a condensate pan or a pump and then be sent to a drain. However, condensate pans can clog, and that’s when you’ll have an emergency on hand.

If the clog causes the condensate pan to flood, a switch will force the heater to stay off until the pan is emptied. This is to prevent the pan from flooding over completely, thus spilling water out onto the floor and onto nearby objects (this is a complete disaster for furnaces installed in the attic, as the water damage can break through the ceiling).

In the case of ductless heat pumps, these systems use a condensate pump and line that transfers water out to a drain. If the drain is clogged or the pump fails, that can result in water leaking from the air handler and onto the wall.

Although these heaters may produce condensation, they shouldn’t produce visible leaking. If so, you may have an emergency on your hands.

2. Heater Will Not Shut Off

A heater that never shuts off may sound like a great idea for those in the Midwest right about now. In reality, a heater that can’t shut off is most likely malfunctioning and could be ramping up into a severe problem.

For a furnace, it may not be shutting off due to several issues, some more harmless than others. If the furnace rapidly turns on and off and never gets the home very warm, then you’re dealing with short-cycling. If the furnace simply continues to operate without ever warming your home, you may have serious duct leaks or a broken blower motor.

As for heat pumps, it’s very possible that it’s working as it’s supposed to. Heat pumps heat the home more gradually than a furnace, causing them to run a bit longer, and this can cause alarm in new owners. But if it’s something like that the outdoor unit keeps operating even after the indoor unit has stopped, you might have a damaged contactor.

3. Burning Smell

Both furnaces and heat pumps tend to collect dust when they’re not being used. The brief periods during the year where you’re not using your heater provide more than enough time for this to happen. So, when the heater turns back on, you might smell the odor of burning dust. Likewise, an air filter clogged with dust can create the same odor.

If burning odors persist longer than a couple of days, however, you may have a problem on your hands. A likely culprit could be a problem with the electrical components, such as a motor, heat exchanger, or wiring.

We’re here to help with any of your heating emergencies. When you need it done right contact Professional Heating & Air.

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