20 Jan 2013

Facing an HVAC Emergency – the Benefits of 24-Hour Service

Atlanta, Georgia – It’s probably happened to you, or at least someone close to you. It’s the middle of the night on the coldest or hottest day of the year and your heating or air conditioning unit fails. There’s no need to be left in an uncomfortable position, says Phil Montgomery, owner of a Decatur air conditioning and heating business.

The best way to head off an emergency is to be proactive – and that means keeping a regular maintenance schedule for your heater and air conditioner to avoid repair during the middle of the night, the dead of winter, or the hottest day of the year. Each year, homeowners should have thorough inspections of their heating and cooling units performed by licensed contractors. Inspections will discover leaks, rust, built-up soot, frayed wires and other potentially dangerous issues. Homeowners should also regularly replace air filters to ensure proper air flow.

“Even with routine maintenance, we’re all aware that emergencies can happen,” says Montgomery, whose business replaces furnaces throughout the Atlanta area, including Lawrenceville. “That’s why Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning is dedicated to providing 24-hour service to our customers. We can help get your home comfortable again. But until we can get there, there are some things homeowners can do.”

Check the power source. Often, the power source is the reason behind the outage. Check for tripped breakers or blown fuses. It’s always a good idea to keep a working flashlight near for emergencies that happen in the middle of the night.

Check the pilot light. If the pilot light has gone out, follow the instructions on your unit to restart it. Be sure adults are the only ones allowed to restart the pilot light.

Be sure your thermostat is set correctly. If you have a digital thermostat, check to see if the batteries need to be replaced. Do you have an accurate thermometer in your home? Hold it up near the thermostat – it should register within a couple of degrees of the thermostat. Adjust the thermometer temperature to see if the unit comes on. If the unit does not come on, have someone stand by it. Turn it off, then back on. You should hear a loud click from the relay after turning the thermostat back on. If you do not hear a sound, the thermostat might be the problem.

If you have a gas unit, know the source of your emergency gas shutoff valve and be sure you can easily get to it.

But the most important thing to remember is to call your HVAC technician as soon as you realize the problem is beyond what you can fix.

“Always keep the number for your HVAC company close,” says Montgomery, whose heating and air business has been serving Atlanta for more than 40 years. “Establish a relationship with a company, and always, always be sure whatever company you hire offers 24-hour emergency service.”

Always keep the area around your furnace clean and accessible in case of an emergency. A technician will need to inspect the unit to know how to fix it, and he won’t be able to if he can’t access it.

Having an established relationship with an HVAC company can help in several ways should an emergency happen. First, you’ll already know the standard of work to expect. There’s nothing worse than having an emergency and not being able to shop around to find the best work. Don’t let an emergency allow you to hire someone whose work may be subpar.

Second, even though the company may employ technicians whom you have not yet met, if you trust the company, you’ll no doubt trust whomever they employ. If an emergency happens and you have to hire a company with whom you’re unfamiliar, you may wonder about who is on their way to your home. Familiarity with the company can also lead to safety and peace of mind for you.

And finally, you’ll know you can rely on the company. If you’re calling in the middle of the night on the coldest night of the year, you want to know the technician will be there to help you when he says he will.

Don’t let an emergency make your home more uncomfortable than it already is. Maintain regular service appointments, follow the advice of your technicians, and most importantly, establish a relationship with an HVAC company you can trust who provides dedicated 24-hour service.

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