It is not always easy to determine whether an HVAC unit needs to be repaired or completely replaced. Because most sit on the outside of the house, they rarely get any owner attention until they have already moved beyond the point of the simple fix. There are some indicators that signal it may be time to call a professional for a rescue.
If the unit starts to make noises that are unusual, it has earned a closer inspection. When the unit is on, it should make a consistent hum. If the hum starts to modulate or make loud click noises that can be heard from inside the house, the unit likely needs repair. A typical problem is a broken compressor, but any number of functions inside the unit can cause the unit to malfunction.
Home owners should also pay careful attention to units that do not seem to be running in cycles with a shut-off period. No unit should run constantly without a break. In some cases, this happens because of a change inside the house. The windows could be left open and significantly drop the temperature in the house, for example. In this case, the windows should be closed to see if the HVAC unit returns to proper function. If it does not, it is time to call a technician for repair.
To avoid some of these challenges, it is important to practice reasonable maintenance routines. These can range from changing the filter inside the house every month to purchasing a regular check-up plan from a local repair business. Simple preventive care can save a lot of headache down the road.