Heating and air conditioning frequently work independently of each other and with few problems. When you also have an HVAC technician perform regular maintenance on these systems, the systems can work effectively and efficiently for a long time without requiring repairs. However, there are some weird and rare occurrences with HVAC systems that are cause for concern and need immediate repairs. If your heating and cooling systems do the following, call an HVAC specialist right away.
Both Your Heat and Your Air Conditioning Run Simultaneously
One minute you feel heat blasting through your vents, and the next you need a blanket to stay warm. If your systems are attempting to steal the spotlight by running together, or running in spurts interchangeably, it could be because your thermostat keeps sending the wrong electrical signals to your furnace and your air conditioner. This is rare, but it can and does happen.
Regardless of what season or temperature it is outside, you need to shut both systems off and call for emergency repairs. If you cannot shut them off, you may need to cut the electrical power to these systems. If you still cannot shut them off, be sure to mention this fact to the HVAC technician so that the gravity of the situation is made clear.
Your A/C Is Smoking or on Fire
Considering that air conditioners have a lot of refrigerant running through them, they should not be smoking or on fire without the assistance of a pyromaniac. There is clearly something amiss with the system, such as melting or ignited plastic components or an electrical fire. If you can, and if you have a multi-purpose fire extinguisher, put the fire/smoke out. Then cut the power to the A/C and call a repair technician.
Conversely, Your Furnace is Cold or Frozen
The thermal coils, ignition switch, or heating elements in a furnace can stop working. Usually, this happens in the middle of winter when you need the heat the most. If your furnace is cold to the touch or appears to be frozen over, those affected parts may be the reason why. Signs of frost and extreme cold on the body of the furnace could happen not only because of non-functioning heating components, but also because the inhumanly frigid temperatures outside are getting to the furnace and freezing it up. While you could thaw the appliance with a hair dryer set on hot, the furnace clearly needs a repair technician to replace faulty parts and restart the appliance to avoid continued freezing.