HVAC Troubleshooting Guide: How to Find Out What’s Wrong With Your System

hvac troubleshooting guide

hvac troubleshooting guideOh, no! It happened again. Your HVAC system is on the fritz, and you’ve got to fix your HVAC somehow.

You don’t want to call for help. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars. But, what else can you do?

Luckily, if you’re having trouble with your HVAC system, you’ve already taken the first step: clicking on this article. Yay! You’re one step closer to getting the problem fixed already.

Now, all you have to do is keep reading to figure out what your next steps should be. Whatever the problem, our HVAC troubleshooting guide has you covered. Let’s get started.

  1. Check Your Power

Your HVAC could have a simple problem.

Be sure to try to manually turn on your AC and check for any blowing air or noises that tell you that it’s actually on before you try to troubleshoot the situation.

Your AC could be on even if it’s not working well, but – as long as it’s on – it shouldn’t be a power issue.

Once you’re convinced that it is indeed not turning on, you should start troubleshooting. You could have blown a fused or tripped the circuit breaker. If it is your furnace that is not turning on it could be the switch to the furnace is in the off position.

The worst-case scenario would be some loose or broken wires in your system.

If the power was the issue, you should be able to fix the problem by switching off and on the breaker and resetting your home’s electricity. If this doesn’t fix the problem, check out our other troubleshooting tips for more things to try.

  1. Check Your Thermostat

Your thermostat could be the problem.

Try putting your thermostat on a lower setting for your AC or a higher setting for your heat.. If this kicks the system back on, it’s most likely a thermostat issue. You may simply need to replace your batteries.

We would be wary of a thermostat problem if you have an old dial-type thermostat. They’re known for being difficult to calibrate and are less efficient than the newer kinds of thermostats.

If your old thermostat is busted, it’s time to make an appointment to get an upgrade.

  1. Check Your Refrigerant

If the air in your home isn’t as cool as it should be, you may have to fix your HVAC. There might be a sticky, hot, and/or humid feeling in the air.

All of these feelings can be caused by a low refrigerant level in your HVAC system. Refrigerant is the gas that your HVAC uses to pull heat and humidity from the air.

The good thing is that we can top off your current supply of refrigerant to solve the problem. However, this is only a temporary fix.

A low refrigerant level tells professionals that there’s a leak somewhere in your system. If there are multiple leaks, you may need a new system entirely.

  1. Check Your Condensor Coil

Another potential reason for your air being warmer than it should be is a problem with the condenser coil. Unfortunately, the condenser coil is outside of your home. Therefore, it is exposed to the outside elements.

When all kinds of dirt and debris get stuck in the condenser coil, heat can’t transfer to the system like it usually can. This is what causes a warm or even hot feeling in the air.

The worst part is that – over time – this can cause wear-and-tear to your HVAC system. This can lead to long-term consequences if the problem isn’t solved quickly.

Luckily, the fix isn’t that complicated. All you need is a garden hose and condenser cleaner. Use the condenser cleaner – which you should be able to find at a local store – and a garden hose to clean your condenser coils spraying water from the inside to the outside and solve the problem.

Your air should be back to normal in no time. If not, there may be something else going on.

  1. Check Your Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is what contains the refrigerant for your unit. As we discussed, refrigerant absorbs heat.

If there isn’t enough airflow to this piece, a layer of ice could form on top of it. This causes your air to become warm since the heat isn’t being drawn out by the refrigerant that’s stuck underneath the layer of ice.

If you’re looking to solve the problem immediately, you need to shut off your AC. The coils will thaw out during this time. You may need to leave the system off for 24 hours to ensure that the ice has completely melted off.

While you’re waiting on the ice to melt, you can take the time to figure out why you’re evaporator coil isn’t getting enough airflow. There are several reasons why you may have restricted airflow:

  • Low level of refrigerant
  • Dirty air filters
  • Issues with the existing ductwork
  1. Check Your Blower

Your HVAC system has a blower to help blow  the air over the evaporator coil. If you find that your AC is really loud, you may want to take a look at the blower.

If your blower has worn belts, deteriorating bearings, or debris, you need to fix this as soon as possible. The more the dirty blower runs, the more they’re going to damage your HVAC system. Start by turning off your AC system.

You can try cleaning the fans, greasing bearings or tightening housing. However, if none of these things work, you need to call us. We can help identify and fix the issue without causing further damage.

Should you see any ice on the unit turn it off and call us. A great way to avoid simple problems is to ask for a Planned Maintenance Agreement to keep you running safe all year.

When the HVAC Troubleshooting Guide Fails

If you’re at a loss, it’s time to call the professionals in. It’s likely that you’ve got a bigger, more dangerous problem on your hands.

Calling in the professionals like those on our team at Connell’s Appliance Heating & Air is the smartest decision for you and your home. You don’t want to ignore the problem and cause more problems.

Call us today!

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