When you hear that unidentifiable “thud” or “ping” and it seems to be coming from your heating system, what should you do? You get that sinking feeling that it’s going to cost you time and money. But don’t procrastinate. At the first sign of trouble, call your HVAC professional.
As heating and cooling systems age, the mechanical parts loosen up, motors wear out, the blower runs excessively and the system works harder overall to do its job. Your professional heating and cooling specialist will evaluate the problem and should give you a choice: either fix it or replace it. Both of these options come with costs, of course. Get a clear understanding of the costs and benefits. After that, it’s really the homeowner’s decision. As with any major purchase or repair, ask questions like, “How long will the repair last if we choose to fix it?” “What new system would you recommend for this home, and why?” The newer systems are more energy efficient and will save money in the long run, but they can seem costly up front. In today’s economy, the repair may be the better value for you once you’ve analyzed the numbers against your own financial situation. Going for the repair isn’t a bad choice. The only bad choice is not doing anything at all.
Once you’ve made the decision, resolve to put your heating and cooling system on a regular maintenance plan. These plans include check-ups twice a year by trained technicians who will anticipate those “thuds” and “pings” even before they materialize. The technician will replace them before it’s an emergency and let you know when you should begin to plan for a new unit.