HVAC problems can be frustrating and inconvenient. Even if you take excellent care of your system, you can still experience issues from time to time. Yet, before you call in the professionals at B&L Ott, there are some troubleshooting steps you can take to try and resolve the issue on your own. Below are some common HVAC problems as well as some helpful tips on how to troubleshoot your HVAC system. By following a few simple steps, you may be able to solve the problem yourself and save yourself the hassle and expense of calling in a professional.
Common HVAC Problems
Dealing with HVAC problems can be a real headache. It’s never fun to come home to a house that’s too hot or too cold. It’s even worse when you’re not sure what’s causing the problem. HVAC issues can be caused by a variety of factors, from simple wear and tear to more complex issues with the unit itself. The good news is that most HVAC problems are fixable, and many can be prevented altogether with regular maintenance. The descriptions below can help you in diagnosing HVAC problems as well as help you learn how to troubleshoot these common heating and cooling problems.
Dirty AC Unit – A dirty HVAC system can cause a multitude of problems including reduced airflow, decreased efficiency, higher energy bills, and poor indoor air quality.
Reduced Efficiency – Reduced HVAC efficiency can happen for several reasons including wear and tear, dirt accumulation, the unit being the wrong size, poorly designed ductwork, or a malfunctioning thermostat.
Uneven Heating – Uneven heating and cooling problems are typically caused by factors such as poor insulation, leaky ductwork, blocked/closed vents, or an improperly sized unit.
Dirty Filters – Dirty air filters can cause a range of problems for your HVAC system including reduced airflow, functional problems, and reduced air quality.
Wear and Tear – As HVAC components age and become worn, they can cause reduced efficiency, increased energy usage, and potentially even HVAC failure.
Blown Fuses/Tripped Breakers – If you have a blown fuse or a tripped breaker, your HVAC system may not have the power to run.
Ignition Problems – HVAC pilot and ignition problems can prevent your system from heating or cooling your home. They may be caused by issues with the pilot light, thermocouple, ignition control, or other components.
Thermostat Malfunctions – Thermostat malfunctions can cause your HVAC system to run inefficiently, resulting in increased energy bills and decreased comfort in your home.
Strange Noises – Strange noises coming from an HVAC system may indicate problems with the unit’s motors, belts, bearings, or other components.
Weird Smells – Weird smells coming from an HVAC system can be caused by mold, mildew, or bacterial growth in the system.
Dirty Condensor/Evaporator Coils – Dirty coils in an HVAC system can cause reduced efficiency, higher energy bills, and potentially even system failure.
Blower and Fan Issues – Blower and fan issues in an HVAC system can cause reduced airflow, decreased efficiency, and potentially even HVAC failure. These issues require prompt repairs to prevent further damage.
Refrigerant Leaks – Refrigerant leaks in an HVAC system can cause reduced cooling capacity, increased energy bills, and potentially even system failure. These issues also require prompt repairs to prevent further damage.
Water Leaks – Water leaks in an HVAC system can indicate issues with the condensate drain line, evaporator coil, or other components, and can cause water damage to your home, mold growth, and potentially even HVAC failure if left untreated.
Ways To Troubleshoot Your System
If you’re experiencing issues with your HVAC system, it can be tempting to immediately call on a professional like B&L Ott to take care of the problem. However, there are a few simple steps you can take for troubleshooting your HVAC system yourself before calling.
Make Sure Your HVAC System Has Power
One of the first things you should check if your HVAC system isn’t working is the power. Start by checking the thermostat to ensure that it’s turned on and set to the right temperature. If the thermostat seems to be functioning correctly, then check the circuit breaker or fuse box for the HVAC system. If you find a tripped breaker or blown fuse, reset or replace it as needed.
You should also inspect the HVAC system’s power switch, which is typically located near the unit itself. Make sure it’s turned on and functioning properly. If your system still doesn’t have power after checking these components, then it’s time to call in B&L Ott.
Reset Your HVAC System
Resetting your HVAC system is another way to troubleshoot your heating and air conditioning when experiencing issues. Start by turning off the thermostat and then turning off the power to the HVAC system at the circuit breaker or fuse box. Wait a few minutes, and then turn the power back on and the thermostat back on.
This can sometimes reset the system and resolve any minor issues that may have been causing it to malfunction. However, if resetting the system doesn’t resolve the issue, it’s important to call B&L Ott to inspect and diagnose the underlying problem.
Make Sure the Furnace Door is Closed Properly
If your HVAC system isn’t working as it should, another HVAC heating troubleshooting step to take is to ensure that the furnace door is closed properly. The door of your furnace is designed to cover and protect the internal components of the unit, and if it’s not properly secured, it can cause the system to shut off.
Start by opening the furnace door and inspecting the components inside. Check that there’s no debris or other objects blocking any of the components, and then close the door securely. If the door isn’t closed properly, the system will not function correctly. If the furnace door is closed correctly, but you’re still experiencing issues ], don’t hesitate to reach out to B&L Ott for help.
Test Your Thermostat
Testing your thermostat is another important HVAC troubleshooting step you can take if your system isn’t functioning properly. Start by turning the thermostat to a temperature that’s different from the current temperature of your home. If you hear the system turn on, then you know that the thermostat is functioning correctly. Next, inspect the thermostat for any signs of damage or wear, and replace the batteries if they’re low. If you have a programmable thermostat, ensure that the settings are correct and programmed to fit your schedule. If you’re still having issues after testing and inspecting the thermostat, then it’s time to call B&L Ott.
Change the Filter
One of the most important steps you can take to keep your HVAC system functioning properly is to regularly change the air filter. A dirty air filter can cause your system to work harder than it should, resulting in reduced efficiency and higher energy bills. Plus, it can lead to poor air quality in your home, which can be harmful to your health.
To change the air filter, start by turning off the HVAC system, then locate the air filter and remove it. Inspect the filter for any signs of damage or wear, and replace it with a new one if necessary. Be sure to choose a filter that’s the correct size for your system. Changing your air filter regularly can help you avoid some of the most common HVAC problems.
Check for Obstructions In the Vents
Another step to take when troubleshooting your HVAC system is to check for obstructions in the vents. Obstructed vents can cause uneven heating or cooling problems. Start by checking all of the vents in your home to ensure that they’re open and unobstructed. Remove any debris or objects that may be blocking the vents, and then test the airflow by placing your hand over the vent to feel if air is coming out. If the airflow seems weak or nonexistent, it’s possible that there may be a blockage somewhere in the ductwork. In this case, it’s best to call on B&L Ott for air duct cleaning.
Check The Wiring
Wiring is another aspect to check when HVAC troubleshooting. Start by turning off the power to your HVAC system at the circuit breaker. Then carefully inspect the wiring for any signs of damage or wear. Look for loose connections or frayed wires, and check that all of the wires are securely connected.
If you find any issues, you may be able to fix them yourself, but it’s important to use caution as you are dealing with electricity. Be absolutely sure the power is off so that you don’t get hurt. If you’re not comfortable working with electrical components, it’s best to call in a professional technician to handle the repairs.
Check Outdoor Unit for Issues
When troubleshooting your HVAC system, it’s important to check the outdoor unit for any issues that may be affecting its performance. Start by making sure that the unit is clean and free from any debris, such as leaves or branches, that can obstruct airflow. Then, inspect the unit for any signs of damage, such as bent or dented fins, or damage to the refrigerant lines. If you notice any issues, B&L Ott in Reading, PA can help you diagnose and repair the problem.
Thaw Your Frozen AC Unit
If you notice that your air conditioning unit is frozen over, it’s important to take action right away to prevent further damage. Start by turning off your HVAC system and letting the ice melt on its own. Don’t try to scrape or chip away at the ice, as this can damage the unit.
Once the ice has melted, check the air filter to make sure it’s clean and replace it if necessary. Next, check the refrigerant level to make sure it’s not low. If it is, you may have a refrigerant leak that needs to be repaired by a B&L OTT professional. Thawing a frozen AC unit can be a simple fix, but it’s important to address the underlying issue to prevent the problem from happening again.
Improve Your Air Flow
Improving airflow is an important part of troubleshooting heating and air conditioning issues. It can help improve its overall performance and efficiency. Start by checking and replacing your air filter if it’s dirty or clogged, as this can restrict airflow. Next, make sure that your vents and registers are open and unobstructed, and that they’re not being blocked by furniture or other objects.
It’s also important to check the ductwork for any leaks or damage, as this can also affect airflow. You can also consider adding a ceiling fan or portable fan to help circulate the air in your home. This can help improve comfort and reduce your reliance on your HVAC system.
Look For Mold and Mildew
If you notice strange smells coming from your HVAC system, it’s important to investigate the cause to prevent any potential health hazards. One possible cause of these odors is mold and mildew growth, which can occur in areas with excess moisture, such as around your HVAC system.
Check the areas around your unit, including the ductwork, for any signs of mold or mildew growth, such as discoloration or a musty smell. If you do find mold or mildew, it’s important to take action right away to prevent further growth and potential health hazards. Call a professional mold removal service for help eliminating the mold. You may also want to call B&L Ott to make sure your HVAC system is ready to function properly.
When Is It Time to Call In the Experts?
While troubleshooting your HVAC system can help you identify and address some common issues, there are times when it’s best to call in the professionals. If you’re unsure about what’s causing an issue, or if you don’t have the necessary tools or expertise to make repairs, it’s always a good idea to seek professional assistance from B&L OTT.
Additionally, if you’re dealing with more complex issues, such as refrigerant leaks or blower motor malfunctions, it’s important to have a trained HVAC technician handle the repairs to ensure that they’re done safely and effectively. By working with a reputable HVAC company like B&L Ott, you can have peace of mind knowing that your system is in good hands and that any issues will be properly diagnosed and addressed. If you’re experiencing HVAC problems that are beyond your capabilities, don’t hesitate to call.