8 Common HVAC Issues (and How to Troubleshoot Them)
As summer draws near, temperatures are rising rapidly. Because many stay home right now, it’s more important than ever that our houses are comfortable. For people with allergies, it’s vital to tell the difference between allergies and being sick. Both of these problems might not seem to have much in common, but they share one simple solution: an HVAC system.
One big advantage of an HVAC system is that it doesn’t just cool, but also filters the air. Unfortunately, this more complex system means that there are some common HVAC issues. Most of these issues can be prevented by taking good care of your system, but it’s good to know the facts so that you can quickly fix problems when they come up.
Here’s a list of eight common HVAC issues and how to troubleshoot them.
1. One of the Most Common HVAC Issues
If you’re reading this, you probably want to know the most common HVAC problem. While there’s no data on what the number one issue is, one of the biggest is simple: a lack of maintenance.
How do you troubleshoot a lack of maintenance? The best thing you can do is look into residential air conditioning services that can regularly come out and make sure your HVAC is running in tip-top shape.
2. Pilot Light Went Out
If your air conditioning isn’t running at all, no matter how much you fiddle with the settings, then it’s possible your HVAC pilot light went out.
There are a few reasons a pilot light might go out, like a blocked sensor or an issue with the gas supply. Because a pilot light problem deals with fire and dangerous gases, this is one the pros should handle.
3. Dirty Filters Restrict Airflow
Filtration makes HVAC perfect for allergies, but it’s easy to take the feature for granted and forget to change the filters. When that happens, filters become clogged and restrict airflow, making the system work harder. So, a clogged filter doesn’t only make your HVAC useless for allergy management—it can also break your system altogether by overheating the furnace. Thankfully, this is a super easy fix: just replace the filter.
4. Unpredictable Broken Thermostats
One frustrating common air conditioner problem is a broken thermostat. If your thermostat is off, this is a pretty easy problem to identify, because you’ll be too hot or too cold.
If you think your thermostat is broken, look at the unit’s manual and see if any of the tips written there solve the issue. Programmable thermostats use batteries, so check to make sure that’s not the problem. If none of those things apply, then unless you have a lot of practice, this sensitive equipment should be handled by a professional as well.
5. Airflow Sensor Problems
Have you ever wondered how your air conditioner knows when to turn on and off? Your HVAC’s thermostat interacts with airflow sensors to turn the fan off when the temperature is right. So, if the airflow sensor is broken, your fan will run too much or not at all.
Some HVAC manuals have tips on troubleshooting airflow sensors, so you can check yours, but you’ll probably need to call a professional to fix it.
6. Running Low on Refrigerant
If your air conditioner isn’t cooling enough, then your system may be low on refrigerant. Because there could be a leak and the chemicals are dangerous, it’s best to call a professional to test the system, fix any leaks, and replace the fluid.
7. Dirty Air Conditioner Coils
One of the most missed types of maintenance is cleaning the condenser and evaporator coils. The coils transfer heat out of your home, so when they aren’t cleaned, your air conditioner can’t cool your house as well. This is something you can do yourself if the coils aren’t too dirty: That means regular maintenance. If you shut the condenser power off outside, you can hose the coil down.
The indoor coil can get dirty as well. To clean it, turn the system power off and remove the access panel. From there, there are a few methods of cleaning the coil: compressed air, brushing, wiping down with mild detergent, or the use of a commercial air conditioner coil cleaning spray. There are a few precautions to take before doing this maintenance, though.
Always check your HVAC system manual to make sure that you don’t do anything to damage the coils when cleaning them. If either coil is so dirty that it needs a deep cleaning, it’s time to step back and call a professional because an amateur could do serious damage when trying to do the job.
8. Clogged Drains Cause Cooling Issues
Sometimes, an HVAC system seems to run perfectly fine, but the house isn’t cooling. There are a few things to check on in this situation. First, look at your HVAC’s filter, coils, and thermostat. If the filter and coils are clean, and the thermostat is working well, then your drain may be clogged. Clearing HVAC drains is another thing that a professional should handle, as mistakes can lead to water damage in your house.
Trying to Stay Comfortable at Home?
Now that you know about these eight common HVAC issues and how to troubleshoot, you and your family can have air conditioning throughout the warm season. AC issues are one of the most common spring and summer nuisances, but your air conditioning is hardly the only thing that keeps you comfy in your house.
Maintaining your home means learning it inside and out, and a house has a lot of parts. We know getting used to this responsibility is challenging for new homeowners doing repairs for the first time. That’s why we have all the information you need to get your house into shape right here on our website.
Check out some of our other articles for more useful home maintenance tips and tricks. With these skills in your pocket, you won’t have to worry about the little things anymore.