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Most Common Causes of HVAC Emergencies

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Your HVAC system is vital to your health and comfort in the home. From filters to temperature control, you rely on your unit to work well and not cause you to stress. Unfortunately, while maintenance can delay the problem, eventually your system will fail.

Luckily, with the right knowledge, you can catch problems quickly and get ahead of an emergency before damage is irreparable.

Remember these most common causes of HVAC emergencies so you can recognize a problem before it gets out of hand.

Dirty Air Filters

Not only is a filter caked in dirt gross, it makes your air unhealthy to breathe. Air is constantly being cycled through your HVAC unit and if you have a dirty filter, it’s like cleaning your dishes with dirty water. It actually makes things worse.

With the current times, air filters are more important than ever. While they can’t reliably capture and kill the coronavirus, it can make the air more healthy to breathe which may help with recovery.

It is essential that you replace these filters every month for optimal filtration. If you don’t remember when the last time you changed your filters, just go ahead and buy some new ones and start switching them out!

Poor Maintenance

Maintenance, as we mentioned, can delay an HVAC emergency. If you’re not regularly maintaining your system, this can cause problems. We recommend professional maintenance of your system about twice a year. This will allow a thorough sweep of your system to catch any problems before it gets worse.


HVAC systems can sometimes fail from “natural causes” like simple wear-and-tear. This is typically limited to particular parts such as belts and bearings. However, many of these can be replaced to allow your system to continue working.

If you are unable to catch these, it can cause more significant issues that can end in the replacement of your system. So be aware, inspect your system, and schedule maintenance.

Strange Noises

Your HVAC unit shouldn’t be making loud noises! If you hear humming or an occasional rattle, you’re probably fine. However, clangs, hissing, or clicking are definitive warning signs that something is wrong.

Don’t dismiss these noises when it can be a sign that something is seriously wrong with your system. Remember that noises can be signs of some of the other things we’ve listed. For example, a grinding or clicking noise is a sign of a frayed belt or a ball bearing problem.

Dirty Condenser

Ideally, your HVAC unit would be squeaky clean at all times. Unfortunately, that’s a fantasy. However, it’s important to give at least a cursory cleaning when you inspect your unit. One thing to watch out for is your condenser or evaporator coils. These things can get caked in dirt and dust and inhibit airflow to your system. This ultimately leads to uneven heating and cooling and potentially more serious issues.

Leaking Water

Air conditioners typically rely on materials called refrigerants to cool the air. One of the major byproducts of this process is water condensation. If everything is in working order, your unit can easily get rid of this buildup before it causes issues. If, however, there is a significant buildup of water, you might have a leak or other issue.

If you find yourself struggling with any of these common HVAC issues, contact the experts at Sunset Heating & Cooling today at (503) 500-5866 or you can fill out a convenient online contact form. We are taking the COVID-19 crisis very seriously and are taking the utmost care to keep you and your family healthy and protected while we work.

What Our Clients Say

Eduardo provided excellent service when he repaired our AC. I felt his effort was over and above expected. Polite and professional at all times. Good job!

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Sunset went out of their way to help with my project and David was amazing. Great job and look forward to future projects.

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Jeremy was prompt and friendly. He did a great job of servicing our ac and explaining what he did. Great customer service!

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The Sunset team who sold and installed a new furnace and AC unit in my condominium were wonderful. They were knowledgeable, professional, thorough, respectful and friendly. They went the extra mile to be sure other residents were not impacted and I was happy. They took special care to leave no trace of their being here, except for new and vastly improved heating and cooling system.

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