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Nose Knows Best: Identifying Troublesome Heating Smells in Virginia Beach, VA

Problematic Heating Smells

In Virginia Beach, the scent of our homes becomes a note of comfort in the brisk fall air. But what if that comfort is disrupted by an unexpected odor emanating from your heating system? It’s not just a matter of unpleasantness, as certain smells can be harbingers of underlying issues. 

Join Galactic Air Heating & Cooling as we guide you through identifying problematic heating smells that could indicate the need for a professional touch.

A Preemptive Approach to Heater Health

A peculiar smell from your heater often serves as an early alert to potential problems. Unusual odors can indicate the need for heating repair in Virginia Beach, VA. Quick recognition and response, with the help of Galactic Air, not only clears the air but also ensures your heating system’s longevity and safety.

Decoding Problematic Heating Smells

A well-functioning heating system should circulate warmth without any noticeable odors. However, when the air carries a hint of something foul or strange, it’s time to be vigilant. Here are five common problematic heating smells and what they might mean:

  • Burning Dust Smell
  • Musty or Moldy Odors
  • Electrical or Metallic Smells
  • Rotten Egg Smell
  • Smoky or Oily Odors


Burning Dust Smell

When you first activate your heating system, a burning dust smell is typical, especially after a period of disuse. 

This usually indicates that dust has settled on the heat exchanger over the warmer months. If this smell does not dissipate quickly, it could suggest a need for heating repair in Virginia Beach, VA, as accumulated debris can force your system to work harder and decrease efficiency. Regular maintenance checks can prevent this issue.

Musty or Moldy Odors

A persistent musty or moldy scent when your heater is running can signal the presence of mold within your ductwork or on the heating system itself, requiring immediate attention for both health and operational efficiency. Scheduling a heater maintenance check can identify and remedy these concerns, improving the air quality in your Virginia Beach home.

Electrical or Metallic Smells

An electrical or metallic odor emanating from your heating system is a telltale sign that should never be ignored. It often indicates worn components or a potential electrical malfunction, which could lead to system damage or even pose fire risks. 

Promptly contacting Galactic Air for heating repair in Virginia Beach, VA, can ensure potential electrical issues are professionally addressed.

Rotten Egg Smell

The distinct smell of rotten eggs is a serious red flag and typically points to a natural gas leak. For safety, it’s crucial to turn off your heating system immediately and contact Galactic Air. 

Our experienced technicians are trained to handle such emergency heating repairs in Virginia Beach, VA, with the urgency and precision required for the safety of your household.

Smoky or Oily Odors

These smells can often arise from oil furnaces and may indicate a need for cleaning or repair. If you’re detecting smoky or oily odors from your heater, it could signify incomplete combustion or an oil leak. Heating repair can diagnose and resolve these issues, ensuring your system is running cleanly and effectively.

Contact Galactic Air for Trusted Heater Solutions

Don’t let odd smells linger in your Virginia Beach home. At the first whiff of trouble, reach out to Galactic Air. We’re equipped to diagnose and resolve any heating issues, ensuring your home remains a sanctuary of warmth and safety. Contact us today to schedule a check-up and breathe easy all winter long.

5 Ways To Prepare Your AC Unit For Summer

If you reside in the Virginia Beach area, you know summers here are no joke. With temperatures averaging about 85 degrees, staying cool and comfortable during this time of the year is crucial. Whether you are planning on enjoying a nice family vacation at your summer home or hosting a fourth of July party, the team at Galactic Heating & Cooling wants you to enjoy your summer festivities to the fullest. This blog will go over five effective ways to prepare your AC unit for the warmest months of the year.

When Should I Start Prepping My Unit For Summer?

Although there is no specific date you should start preparing your AC unit for summer, it is recommended that you start as soon as possible. With spring being in full swing, right now is the perfect time to take action. Picture this: You wake up, turn the weather channel on while making yourself breakfast, and overhear your local weather channel guy saying a heatwave is on its way. Then, you decide to lower your thermostat a few degrees when BOOM! Your AC won’t switch settings and something appears to be wrong. Taking action so this does not happen at the most inconvenient time is key.

What Should I Do To Prepare My AC Unit For Summer?

With that being said, there are a few things you can do at home and with the help of professional help to prepare your unit for the warmer weather. Following these steps will ensure your unit is ready to work hard for the summer to keep you and your loved ones comfortable:

  • Clean Air Filters
  • Check For Airflow Leaks or Obstructions
  • Remove Debris From Around The Outside Unit
  • Consider Switching To A Smart Thermostat
  • Request AC Maintenance

Clean Air Filters

Cleaning or replacing your air filters is simple and can be done so in a matter of minutes. If you let your unit’s air filter accumulate dust and debris for longer than it should, this can lead to motor burnout and ultimately failure. Additionally, dirty or clogged air filters can affect your home’s air quality levels, leading to negative health side effects. Depending on environmental factors such as number of pets and the type of filter you own, technicians advise that homeowners change their air filters approximately every 90 days.

Check For Airflow Leaks or Obstructions

So, you’re aware that you should check for airflow leaks or obstructions around your unit but don’t know exactly where to look. First, you will want to return to the areas where the ductwork is accessible once your HVAC system is turned on. Then, put your hand over the metal of the connections between each section of duct to check them. If air touches your hand, this points to an air leak and the connection is loose.

Remove Debris From Around The Outside Unit

Cleaning the outside unit is another important thing all homeowners should do while preparing their AC unit for the summer. A year’s worth of dirt and debris have accumulated around the cooling fins of the outdoor unit while it has been left outside, making it less efficient. To remove debris from around the outside unit, you will need:

  • A vacuum
  • A garden hose
  • A foaming coil cleaner
  • A trash bag
  • Gardening gloves
  • Garden scissors

Consider Switching To A Smart Thermostat

Thermostats are one of the most important parts of your HVAC system because they help maintain the required temperature throughout your home. Having a thermostat that works efficiently is crucial to save you money on energy bills and keep you and your loved ones comfortable year-round. If your thermostat is old and approaching the end of its lifetime, you should consider investing in a smart thermostat which uses advanced technology to learn your preferred temperature patterns.

Request AC Maintenance

Scheduling preventive maintenance will ensure that the equipment is operating at maximum efficiency as well as it will extend the life of your unit. If you’re a new homeowner, we understand that taking any of the steps listed above may seem tricky at first which is why Galactic Air is happy to help!

Give The Pros A Call

The professional technicians at Galactic Air Heating & Cooling are happy to walk you through any of the above steps. Taking action now to prepare your unit for the upcoming warm weather will save you lots of money and trouble on unexpected breakdowns. Leave the hard work to us and go enjoy your warm weather festivities!

How To Know When To Replace Your Heating System

Picture this: It’s a fine winter night in Virginia Beach and you’re getting cozy by the fireplace while sipping on some hot chocolate and watching a scary movie. Suddenly, the heater goes off and you can’t get it to turn back on. You can already feel yourself waking up with a stuffy nose and having to blow thousands of dollars on a costly repair. That sure sounds haunting, doesn’t it? Your friends at Galactic Air are here to make sure you stay warm and free of problems with your heating system throughout the winter. This blog will go over some of the signs that might indicate it’s time for you to replace your heating system before it breaks down unexpectedly.

Signs Your System Needs Replacing

We know it might be tricky to know when exactly to replace your heating system. However, there are some very obvious signs every homeowner should be aware of when it comes to heating systems. Here are five of the most common telltale signs that indicate your system needs to be replaced as soon as possible:

  • Your Heating System Is Making Strange Noises
  • Your Energy Bill Has Been Increasing
  • Short Cycling
  • You’ve Had A Cold For A While
  • You Live In An Old Home

1. Your Heating System Is Making Strange Noises

Have you been hearing loud rattling noises coming from your heating system? If so, this could be a sign there is something wrong with it such as motor failure from old age. While a low humming sound is normal while your system is operating, any unusual sound emanating from the furnace or heat pump might indicate an underlying issue. We recommend you contact a trusted technician to take a look at your system to determine if it needs to be replaced. Other noises you should watch out for include:

  • Banging
  • Squealing
  • Whistling

2. Your Energy Bill Has Been Increasing

Is your monthly energy bill at an all-time high? Although you might think this is due to you cranking up the heater in order to stay warm, an old heating system that is about to go out might be to blame for. This is because older heating systems have to work harder in order to maintain your home warm and cozy.

3. Short Cycling

The temperature in your home is regulated by a thermostat. Short cycling occurs when your heating system cycles on and off for brief periods of time. This can be triggered by the heat exchanger overheating and shutting down the system. Short cycling reduces the effectiveness of your heating system and may indicate that something is significantly wrong with it.

4. You’ve Had A Cold For A While

Do you vividly remember being sick throughout last winter? If so, this might indicate there is a problem with your heating system. Dry air inside your home is frequently worsened by your heating system, causing you to become sick more frequently. The inability to adequately disperse heat throughout your home might contribute to you catching a cold. Another thing to consider would be to replace your air filters which might be the cause for your flu-like symptoms due to poor indoor air quality. In fact, your furnace and your AC system use the exact same filter which is why receiving a fall tune-up is so important.

5. You Live In An Old Home

We know this one is obvious but we’re still here to remind you! If you live in an older home and have no knowledge of the heating system being replaced, this might mean it’s time to contact a technician for an inspection. Your technician will be able to quickly assess your heating system and estimate its age. HVAC technology typically lasts 15-20 years. While some heating systems can survive longer than others, depending on the quality of the system and your maintenance program, it’s a good idea to be aware of when your heater is nearing the end of its life so you can plan for a more effective replacement.

Why Fall Maintenance Is Important

The temperature in Virginia Beach is starting to drop which means it’s time to prepare your HVAC system for the upcoming winter months. HVAC technicians recommend getting your HVAC system serviced twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Fall maintenance is essential because it helps prevent costly breakdowns and unwanted surprises taking over your wallet. Additionally, it will help you save money on your energy bill in the long-run. Below are four reasons why you should give your HVAC system maintenance during the fall.

1. Secures System’s Efficiency All Year-Round

Inadequate care and maintenance compromises your system’s effectiveness as well as performance. Your system is susceptible to an unexpected failure, which might be costly and inconvenient. It’s advisable to get in touch with your HVAC professional and set up a maintenance appointment right away to prevent encountering any unexpected issues with your system during these chilly months.

2. Extends System Life

Maintaining your unit is one of the most important things you can do to ensure it lives a long and healthy life. On average, most residential units last 10 to 15 years but may last less if proper care is neglected. Due to the coils, filters, and fins in your unit operating year-round, it is important to clean and replace them once in a while. If you fail to maintain your unit, this will create a snowball effect on your electricity bill that will blow a hole through your wallet in the long-run.

3. Increases Air Quality

According to the EPA, indoor levels of airborne contaminants may be up to 5 times greater than outside levels, and in some rare cases more than 100 times higher. This is especially important if you or any family members have respiratory conditions like asthma or recurrent allergies. Air quality is important for your overall health and should not be overlooked. If your HVAC system isn’t operating correctly or isn’t frequently maintained, it will carry indoor pollutants from the outside in, where they may remain and contribute to respiratory issues.

4. Minimizes Danger of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Although carbon monoxide sounds like some strange chemical that only scientists are exposed to in a lab, it is actually way more common than you imagine! In fact, you can get exposed to carbon monoxide in your own home. According to the CDC, Approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency department each year due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases once temperatures start to drop, as this type of poisoning correlates with your home’s heating system. Turning on your heating system might be harmful due to issues like short circuits or heat exchanger fractures which is why it’s important to ensure that your system or furnace is working properly by maintaining it regularly.

How To Tell If Your AC Unit Needs Repair

Does My Air Conditioner Need Repair?

Even your AC system will need repair from time to time, much like your car or a doctor’s visit. Typically, your unit will show signs it needs repair before it completely breaks down. We want you to be prepared for any issues you may have with your system, so below we have provided common signs on how to tell if your AC unit needs repair!

Warm Air Blowing From Your Vents

If you notice warm air blowing from your vents, it could be a warning sign that your system is not working properly. Make sure your thermostat is on the correct cooling setting and a temperature lower than your home’s current temperature. If your vents are still blowing warm air, it could be a variety of issues such as the compressor or duct leakage. 

Insufficient Airflow

Lack of air completely from your vents is an immediate sign something is wrong. Insufficient airflow could be a serious cause or could mean a simple blockage. Either way, we suggest having your Galactic tech evaluate the issue as soon as you notice the lack in airflow. 

Unusual Noises

It is normal for your HVAC unit to make some noise, but if you hear noises such as grinding, squealing, or scraping, you may have a problem on your hands. To truly understand the issue, we recommend calling your technician to get ahead of the problem. 

High Humidity

Wet and sticky weather should stay outside. If you notice higher humidity inside your home, this could also be a sign you need to repair your system. Air conditioners moderate humidity levels inside your home to keep you comfortable. Purchasing a dehumidifier can be a short term fix for the moisture levels, but if this warning sign is ignored it can cause more issues for your HVAC system. 

Water Leaks

If your air conditioner is leaking water, it could be caused by many issues. One of the most common reasons why air conditioners leak is due to a clogged condensate drain line. These leaks can not only cause issues to your AC unit, but your home as well. Much like most signs you need repair, we recommend double checking this is the issue with your technician before performing a DIY fix. 

Your Thermostat Isn’t Working

Your thermostat is the command center for your air conditioner. Although this could be a simple fix with new batteries, this warning sign is still something to pay attention to. Your thermostat could have lost power or need cleaning, but not operating correctly could also mean an issue with your HVAC unit. 

Together we can catch an air conditioning repair before the breakdown. Pay attention to these signs this season, and do not wait until you have a broken unit in the Virginia heat, call us today at (757) 575-5334. We want you to stay cool and comfortable in your home all summer long! 

The Importance of Getting Your Heating System Tuned Up

As we begin to enter the cooler months in fall and winter, homeowners across Virginia Beach will begin shifting from AC to heat in their house. Often times, when your heater or furnace goes a period of time without operation, it may encounter some issues when you turn it on. So it’s important to have a professional HVAC company come out and do a proper tune-up on your system before the cold weather arrives.

Benefits of Getting Your Furnace Tuned-Up

Aside from having a warm cozy home during the cold winter days, there are several benefits of routine maintenance to your residential heating system.

  • Improved efficiency
  • Increased lifespan of system
  • Lowered utility costs
  • Less repair costs
  • Improved indoor air quality

Don’t wait until you attempt to turn the heat on for the first time to get your system tuned-up!

Contact Galactic Air Today!

If you are interested in getting your heating system tuned-up and ready for the fall and winter months, contact Galactic Air today! Our team is standing by ready to help you out. You can schedule your service by calling (757) 575-5334 or you can request service online.

Summer HVAC Maintenance Tips

5 Summer Maintenance Tips

Memorial day just passed which means it’s a straight shot to the summer months!

Yippie! With summer on the horizon, we’d love to share our five favorite maintenance tips that will keep you cool all summer long.

1. Replace/clean your air filter

Air filters allow your HVAC system to work efficiently and effectively. Cleaning or replacing it will make sure your HVAC can produce the coldest air to keep your home cool this summer.

2. Upgrade your thermostat

Smart thermostats like nest allow you to control your home’s temperature from your phone, allowing you to turn it on and off when you need it. Smart thermostats allow you to turn it on and off from anywhere, which could save you $ on your next energy bill–and who doesn’t like saving some cash?

3.  Clean up the area around your unit

Clear and clean out any mulch, leaves or other yard debris. When you are cleaning and prepping your yard for those summer barbeques–don’t neglect your HVAC.

4. Seal up those leaks!

Check those windows and doors to see if/where that precious cool air may be leaking! Make sure your insulation is adequate–without correct insulation, your unit will have to work much harder to cool down your home.

5. Schedule with the Professionals

HVAC systems are complex and require skilled and trained professionals to diagnose and treat issues. We will make sure your home is cool all summer long!

The Importance Of Routine HVAC Maintenance

Proper maintenance saves you money and keeps you comfortable!

Our maintenance agreement is once a year. We will inspect your equipment from top to bottom. We test and inspect electrical components, check the equipment operation, and clean the coils when needed. Clean equipment equals more efficiency. Galactic Air Inc. does more to keep your system running properly than most other companies! Also, you get a 10% discount on all repairs as long as you are a maintenance member!

Maintaining HVAC equipment is essential to ensure peak performance at all times. Manufacturers advise that your HVAC system is efficiently maintained or serviced by professional techs at least once yearly. Occasionally, equipment warranties may be declined or voided if you fail to maintain or service the equipment. Having your HVAC system examined routinely also reduces the number of breakdowns experienced.

Underlying Issues
The HVAC system works more during scorching or freezing temperatures. For this reason, if there are any hidden problems with your system, it might not pop-up until the system is working its hardest for a long period. By maintaining your HVAC system on a regular basis, problems or underlying issues can be discovered and resolved instantly. This will avert any additional problems.
It is vital that you have your HVAC system serviced regularly to make sure that it is working properly. It is best to service the system before extensive use mounts pressure on it throughout the season.

Below are reasons why it is important to maintain your HVAC system regularly:

HVAC Maintenance Saves You Money
Changing the air filter is among the essential parts of preserving or maintaining HVAC systems. If your HVAC system can not take in or release air freely (breathe) it can stop working, freeze and leak water, or lead to a complete system breakdown.
HVAC coil cleaning and changing your system’s air filter is advisable by the supplier and will also help to keep your HVAC system working at peak performance and extend the life of the equipment.

Keeps you Comfortable Longer by Extending Service Life
Proper maintenance of your system on a regular basis will extend system service life. When your system gets professional yearly maintenance, it will cut down wear and tear and possible problems before they cause breakdowns.

Enhances the Efficiency
System maintenance ensures your system is working at its best, enhancing its performance. When your air conditioner, furnace, or heat pump is consuming less energy, you’ll see a savings in your utility bills.

Reduces Repair Needs
Another benefit of regular yearly maintenance is less time without heating or air conditioning. We check electrical components for wear and tear and can see when they are working harder than they should and need to be replaced before they break down. This we do during the maintenance so there is no need for a diagnostic fee. Saving you money and keeping you comfortable.