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The 8 Most Common HVAC Problems and How to Fix Them

The 8 Most Common HVAC Problems and How to Fix Them

HVAC systems can be highly complicated, and it can be challenging to know where to start when you’re trying to troubleshoot a problem. There are many moving parts to an HVAC system, and even the slightest problem can have a significant impact on your whole home’s comfort.

HVAC problems can be as simple and benign as a dirty filter (easily fixed with a new one). Or they could mean that there is significant damage being done to your system.

There are a lot of moving parts to an HVAC system, and even the slightest problem can have a significant impact on your whole home’s comfort.

Because of this, it’s crucial to always work with a professional HVAC repair service. A well-trained technician will be able to assess the issue quickly and fix it for you.

The first step to solving any problem is knowing what you are up against, so the following are all problems that our HVAC repair technicians have experienced.

Unit isn’t turning on: If you have a brand new HVAC system or if it has been running fine for years, there’s a chance that you may run into issues that relate to the thermostat. One of the most common problems is that the thermostat may be set to the wrong temperature. If it’s set somewhere that’s too high or too low, your unit will run less efficiently, and at the same time, it won’t be able to heat or cool your home adequately. This results in higher utility bills and reduced comfort.

When possible, it’s best to check the thermostat early in the morning before the temperature changes much. On average, your thermostat should be set around 78F, but it’s important to remember that everyone has a different comfort level, so it may need to be adjusted for you and your family.

Your HVAC Blower Motor Isn’t Working

Perhaps the most common problem we’ve seen with HVAC systems is a malfunctioning blower motor. A few things can go wrong with a blower motor, and there are a few ways to check it out. First, disconnect the power going to the unit and remove the access panel. Then check for any wiring issues or loose connections. Finally, test the motor itself by swapping it with a working unit. If it’s still not working, you’ll probably need to replace it.

Muffled Noises and Strange Noises

This is typically caused by a problem with the blower fan, which is responsible for circulating the air throughout your home. The blower fan draws in outside air through the return ducts and pushes air through the supply ducts to the specific rooms of your house. However, if the blower fan isn’t working correctly, it can result in many strange noises, and the cooling or heating system might not work. There are several different reasons why the blower fan might be malfunctioning. Here are a few:

  • The motor has burned out or is short-circuited.
  • The protective grill has come loose.
  • The blower wheel has become seized.
  • The belt that connects the motor to the fan has become stretched and broken.

Blocked Condensation Ducts

You might think that this might be due to a build-up of material in the ducts, but it is not. Condensing units that are not operating correctly may cause the drain lines to block up with debris and grime, which can also cause a slight odor. The best way to fix this problem is to hire an HVAC technician. Check to see if your heating and air conditioning system is operating correctly by turning it on and keeping an eye on its operation.

 The 8 Most Common HVAC Problems and How to Fix Them

Terrible Ventilation/Noisy Unit

If you are having problems with ventilation, try turning off the central air system and opening up some windows for a few minutes to let out some of the humidity accumulated inside your home. If there is a chance you have something stuck in the ductwork, try propping open a duct and turning on your system for a few minutes to see if any debris comes out.

Now that you have cleared out some of the airways, we can move on to checking for possible repairs. Check around all of your registers for any signs of drafts. If you find any, you will want to repair them accordingly.

Leaking Freon

If your HVAC system is leaking freon it’s likely due to a leak in one of the lines going to or from the outside unit. This is usually caused by the old rubber lines collapsing on themselves. This can be very dangerous since freon is a highly corrosive and potent gas. When the pipes are leaking, they can often be visually inspected, such as styrofoam insulation.

Loose Electrical Connections

Electrical connections are a leading cause of HVAC failure. Loose connections cause the unit to overheat, shut down, and possibly spark a fire due to the massive amount of energy being fed through a loose connection. Familiar places for loose connections are along the compressor and around the thermostat.

Bad Contactor

This is a device that mechanically opens and closes an electrical circuit inside your unit. A bad contactor may cause a compressor to run constantly as if it was trying to start up, or it may cause the unit to stop running altogether. Debris build-up inside the contactor can also be an issue that requires cleaning or replacement.

The AC Stops Working Suddenly

This is one of the most common issues that our team sees every single day. It is often just a simple fix — if the HVAC technician can identify the problem quickly rather than spending hours on a diagnosis only to conclude it was an issue with the filter that needed cleaning.

For instance, if the issue is that the evaporator coil is clogged, it can be easily solved by cleaning the coil or replacing it altogether. However, if there’s a problem with the compressor, it could be more expensive to fix and even need a total replacement.

Final Thoughts

HVAC repairs are one of the most common issues that cause a malfunction in a home, but countless problems can be encountered on a day-to-day basis. No matter what time of year, a homeowner will have to deal with HVAC issues and find a solution.