Regardless of the age of your home’s HVAC system, you may occasionally notice unusual odors while running the air conditioning or heater. Strange smells are sometimes part of a normally functioning HVAC system, but they may also point to problems that need to be addressed. Here are three common odors you may notice and a look at their possible causes.
Electrical or Burning Odors
When you turn on the heater for the first time in months, you’ll likely notice a burning, electrical smell as dust burns away from the heating elements. In this case, the odor isn’t a cause for concern, but if you notice a burning smell that persists or appears out of nowhere, you may have an electrical problem that requires professional repair. Simply turn off your system until a technician can inspect and diagnose the issue.
Moldy or Musty Odors
Moldy and musty odors are common issues with residential HVAC systems. While running, air conditioning units create a lot of condensation. If that water doesn’t drain properly, it can seep into ducts and quickly cause mold or mildew buildup. Such issues should be addressed as soon as possible, as mold and mildew can cause a range of respiratory and allergy problems.
Gassy or Rotten Egg Odors
Natural gas is naturally odorless, but many utility providers add a sulfurous scent that alerts homeowners to a dangerous gas leak. A gassy smell similar to rotten eggs coming from your HVAC system could indicate a gas leak. If you suspect this to be the case, act quickly. Open several windows and leave your house until the gas company arrives to address the problem.
HVAC odors are sometimes harmless, but they can also indicate dangerous functional problems. Since 1979, American Energy Air and Solar has been addressing a wide variety of residential and commercial HVAC issues in Greater Sacramento, as well as offering HVAC installations, commercial refrigeration services, and solar energy systems. If you notice strange odors from your system, call us at (916) 782-3139 for a free estimate or emergency assistance.
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The compressor is one of the four basic parts of an air conditioner. The system works by replacing warm indoor air with outdoor air that has been cooled by a refrigerant. When air coming from the vents does not feel cool, it could indicate a problem with the compressor.
How Does a Compressor Work?
Air conditioner compressors must maintain a consistent pressure level, use the correct amount of refrigerant, and release pressure safely if necessary. Refrigerant is a liquid or gas that cools system air before it is released into your home. The compressor starts the cooling cycle of an AC unit by drawing the refrigerant from inside the home and pressurizing it so it heats up. The compressor pushes the resulting substance to the condenser coil. This apparatus pushes the gas out of the unit, where fans cool it. This extracts the heat and transfers it out of the home. After the heat has been extracted, the refrigerant is pressurized into a warm liquid that passes through a special valve that removes pressure and heat. This liquid enters the evaporator coil and becomes a gas that enters the home to cool its ambient air.
What Are the Different Compressors?
A home AC unit will likely have one of these four compressor types:
- Rotary compressors: Inexpensive and long-lasting, these are less efficient than other options and most commonly used in window units and some central air systems.
- Reciprocating compressors: An affordable model found in split-air systems, but may not last as long as durable compressor models.
- Scroll compressors: A more efficient model found in high-end AC systems that has a long lifespan but is on the expensive side.
- Variable speed compressors: The most expensive system, but also the most efficient and durable.
Is My Air Compressor Broken?
When an air compressor needs to be repaired, the homeowner may notice strange sounds coming from the HVAC unit. Rattling, clicking, or rumbling sounds are causes for concern that should be serviced. Other signs of a compressor issue include leaking refrigerant fluid from the unit, blown fuses when the AC is running, limited airflow, and air that feels warm rather than cool. American Energy Air and Solar provides air conditioner replacement and repair services for homes and businesses in Sacramento and surrounding areas, including emergency services. If your AC is giving you trouble, contact us at (916) 782-3139 for your free estimate.
When it comes to saving energy, upgrades like installing double-pane windows, switching to high-efficiency appliances, or adding extra insulation in the attic can take a big bite out of the utility bill. But it’s not always necessary to make a big change to see a big difference. Minor adjustments to behaviors and habits can have incremental benefits that add up. Unfortunately, there are several misleading “tips” for saving energy that actually do the opposite. Closing off rooms to improve efficiency is a persistent myth that can end up increasing energy bills.
The oft-repeated tip states that a home’s HVAC system continuously cools all of the air inside of the structure. Closing the doors of rooms that aren’t in use reduces the overall volume of air that the HVAC system needs to keep cool, meaning it doesn’t have to work as hard. This theory has some logic to it but overlooks critical information on how HVAC systems work.
What actually happens is that the air in the room that’s closed gets trapped, which blocks airflow. That air won’t stay blocked for long. It will find ways to escape through cracks in doorframes, floorboards, windows, and anywhere else it can seep out. That means conditioned air is being pushed outdoors, where it’s wasted, rather than being allowed to circulate and cool the whole house. It’s better to keep doors open or install a transfer grill to allow airflow throughout the home.
At American Energy Air and Solar, we can help you separate fact from fiction and stick to methods and machines that are proven to save money. For example, if your HVAC system is dropping in efficiency, our maintenance plans can help keep it running at peak capacity while prolonging its lifespan. If your air conditioning system stops working, our repair services can have it back up and running in no time. To get an idea of what we can do for you, read testimonialsfrom our satisfied customers in the Greater Sacramento area.
Whether it’s for a simple seasonal tune-up or a complete system replacement, homeowners seeking an HVAC company want to know that they’re working with a trustworthy business who will provide value for their hard-earned money. These are the five questions potential clients should ask before hiring an HVAC professional.
Do You Have a License and Insurance?
HVAC companies are required to hold a state license on public record with the state’s board of contractor licensing. Homeowners should make sure this license is in good standing before signing a contract.
What Models and Brands Do You Service?
For repairs, the HVAC contractor should ideally have experience servicing the home’s make and model. Some technicians even receive factory training for certain brands. Finding someone who is familiar with the system in question can save time and money. We are trained on brands including American Standard, Goodman, Rudd, Carrier, Rheem, and many more.
Can You Provide References?
A good contractor should be able to provide names and contact information for satisfied clients who are willing to serve as references. Potential clients can also read online reviews and testimonials and check customer protection agencies such as the Better Business Bureau.
How Experienced Are Your Workers?
Homeowners should look for companies staffed with technicians who have been working in the industry for several years or more. Companies who use subcontractors can’t always vouch for the quality of their work. Employees who are entering clients’ homes should also have background checks on file. Also, trained and educated technicians are a viable resource for our customers and can help in any situation.
Do You Offer Free Consultations?
Most trustworthy HVAC service providers will give you a quote on the required work. Homeowners shouldn’t have to pay upfront until they know what the problem is and how much it will cost to fix.
American Energy Air and Solar has been serving clients in the Sacramento area since 1979. Contact us online today or call (916) 782-3139 to request your free estimate.