What to do before you call an emergency HVAC technician

If you are sitting in your home or office either sweating in the summer or freezing in the winter, there are a number of steps that you should take before you call an HVAC technician to see if your system needs repair.  Taking these steps will save you money on a wasted service call.


First, you need to determine when the air filter was last changed, if the new one was installed correctly, and if the filter that is installed is the right size and shape.  If the filter looks dirty, then it is time to replace it.  Be sure to take the old filter with you when you go to buy a new one.  There are dozens and dozens of filters sold at the local home improvement warehouse.  Each is a different size and shape.  If the filter noisily vibrates every time the unit kicks on, it is not installed correctly and needs to be adjusted.

The next thing that you need to do before you call the emergency HVAC number on the unit is to ensure that there is power being supplied to the unit.  If the building recently had electrical work done of if there was a power outage, the circuit breaker and/or the power switches for the unit may not have gone back on.  Even if there was no power interruption recently, you should check the switches and breakers anyway as this may be a sign of a bigger underlying issue.


If you still are not having any luck getting comfortable, find the vents in the room and see if there is anything that has been moved in front of them and/or is blocking the air from coming through them.  If there are no objects in front of them, shine a flashlight at the vent and see if you can see anything on the other side that may hinder air flow.  It is not uncommon for small animals to get trapped in the vents.


If it is winter time and your building’s heater runs on oil or propane, before you call a commercial HVAC technician, be sure to check and see how much, if any, is left in the tank.  If it is empty, call the supply company first and then call the HVAC tech out to bleed the line and look for any leaks that may have led to it being run dry.


If none of this works and you are still either freezing or melting, then it is time to call in a professional.  However, if you are in an office building or apartment complex, it is best to get in touch with either your landlord or the property management company prior to making a service call.  Not only will the tech need owner approval to work on the property, the owner or management company may have a service contract or history with a specific company that they prefer you work with.  Furthermore, it is also best to check your leasing agreement to see who is responsible for paying for HVAC repairs.

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