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air quality issues

Five Ways Your HVAC System Is Trying to Get Your Attention

It's easy to take our comfort for granted, to get used to the smooth operation of our HVAC system, day in and day out. You may not even think about your heating or cooling system on a regular basis, but it's important to pay attention to unusual symptoms, like smells, noise and sudden temperature changes, as these can indicate common problems with HVAC systems. You can always contact your local Lennox® dealer with questions, especially if you notice one of these signs below.

1.You're smelling something strange

Make note of any unusual smells around the house, for instance musty smells or the scent of decaying debris. If these smells linger, and especially if they appear to come from your vents or your outdoor compressor, it may indicate a problem with your HVAC system that requires attention. Of particular concern are chemical smells, which could be evidence of a leak that's toxic.

2. Your room's temperature is inconsistent or doesn't match the thermostat

Assuming you don't own a multi-zone system, temperatures that seem to change dramatically from one area of the house to another could indicate a malfunction. To rule out a thermostat that's not programmed correctly, turn it all the way down. If that starts up the system, it's likely the problem isn't with the thermostat.

3. You're hearing unusual noises

Strange sounds coming from your system—for instance clanking, banging, squealing, or prolonged hissing—could indicate a serious problem that calls for immediate attention by an HVAC professional. While you're waiting for their arrival, it's best to turn the system off so you can prevent what may be a small issue from turning into a bigger one.

4. You're noticing increased power bills

An increase in the energy your HVAC system is consuming can be an early indicator that eventually leads to one of the symptoms listed above. But in the early stages, when that increase may be small and gradual, the waste of energy may escape notice until it becomes a shocker of a surprise. Worst of all, it can result in unnecessary wear and tear that causes your entire system to fail.

5. Your HVAC system starts and stops repeatedly

A system that turns on and off for short periods of time may be telling you that normal operation is being interrupted before it can complete a heating or cooling cycle. This is called "short cycling," and while the cause could be as simple as a dirty part, it could also mean there's a critical problem in the system. Either way, besides the inconsistent temperatures and higher energy bills you may experience, short cycling makes parts wear out earlier than they might have otherwise.

Now, doesn't it feel good to know you're better prepared to spot problems early on? But even better is knowing those problems are less likely to sneak up on you, and you can know that by scheduling regular preventive maintenance checks ahead of time. Find a local Lennox dealer near you to schedule seasonal maintenance or to look for signs that either your furnace or air conditioner are not working as they should.

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