What to do When Your Heating or Air Conditioning Stops Working Suddenly

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There’s no such thing as an HVAC problem that’s “no big deal.”

Sure, there are problems that are affordable and easy to solve, but there isn’t a single problem we can think of that you shouldn’t try to resolve as quickly as possible. When ignored, minor HVAC problems can quickly turn into big trouble—not to mention requiring more expensive repair or replacement work.

But what if you’ve been keeping your HVAC system well maintained and it stops working suddenly? While an annual maintenance appointment will reduce the likelihood of this happening, it’s possible. Sudden problems can range from being inconvenient to being dangerous, especially given the potential for extreme weather and temperatures here in Colorado.

Best Buy Heating and Air offers emergency services. This means that we’ll come to your location immediately to resolve your problem. We’re also often able to offer same-day appointments, which aren’t quite as fast as emergency services but are more affordable. Finally, we offer regular appointments which can take place on a day and time of your choosing.

In this post, we’ll explore when you should take advantage of our emergency services or same-day appointments, and when you might be able to make it until you can get a regular appointment.


Let’s begin with the most important part:

Risk Assessment: What’s the Temperature Like Outside?

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When your HVAC system stops working without warning, the first thing to assess is the temperature and weather outside. For much of the year in Colorado, we enjoy temperatures that are quite nice—but then, as you know, we can also have temperatures of below zero in the winter and over one hundred in the summer.

If the temperature outside is in an extreme range, going without a functioning HVAC system can be potential dangerous, especially if you have children, elderly, or pets in your home. Don’t take the risk, instead, call us and schedule an emergency service.

If the weather is mild and you’re more likely to be comfortable (enough) while you wait for a same-day or next day appointment, you don’t have to get an emergency service. Use your best judgment on what kind of appointment is necessary and all will be well.

Signs That You Might Need Emergency Air Conditioning Service

The first thing to know is that anytime your air conditioner stops working and you start smelling a burnt odor, particularly the smell of burning plastic or electrical components, this is a very serious situation. It’s potentially very dangerous—so dangerous in fact that you should evacuate your home and call the fire department. Burning electrical components are a risk for a house fire. While uncommon, it is possible, so be aware and be prepared.

Other than that, you may hear strange sounds like clicks or clunks. These kinds of sounds usually indicate that a part is broken or damaged. The best thing you can do is to immediately turn off your air conditioning system, even if it’s not currently blowing any air through the vents. This might prevent more expensive repairs later on.

Another common problem, especially in Colorado, is when ice forms on the evaporator coil of the A/C system. If this happens, you’ll usually be able to spot a puddle of water below the unit, which might indicate that it’s leaking refrigerant. Until that leak is repaired and the ice can be removed, your air conditioning won’t work—but the good news is that you probably aren’t using your air conditioning in the weather required for ice to form, so you likely won’t need an emergency service.

Signs That Your Heating System Needs an Emergency Service

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Just like with your air conditioning system, one of the biggest things to look out for with your heating system is any burning smell or burnt plastic odor. As we mentioned in the previous section, this can indicate an electrical problem. Don’t take risks with an electrical fire!

Other, less immediately dangerous (and scary) signs might include things like loud noises coming from the furnace. Loud knocking or clunking sounds usually indicate a broken or loose part. Just like with your air conditioning system, sounds like this should prompt an immediate shutdown of the system.

If the furnace or heat pump appears to be blowing cold air, you may have a failing furnace. In this case, disable the furnace and, if it’s excessively cold outside, call us to schedule an emergency service appointment.

Learn More About Emergency HVAC Services and Same-Day Appointments at Best Buy Heating and Air


Nobody wants to have to call in an emergency service call, but when the temperatures are extreme, it’s a necessity—and we’re happy to be here to help. If you’d like to learn more about our emergency services or if you need us to come out on a same-day appointment, please feel free to contact us.

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