Many homeowners are not aware that their HVAC systems require annual inspections and tune-ups. Skimping on these services increases the likelihood that your HVAC system will have trouble operating. HVAC problems also might occur as your system nears the end of its 15 to 25-year lifespan.
Is your home experiencing uneven heating or cooling, or is your unit making strange sounds? Troubleshooting HVAC problems can help you determine if you can repair it on your own. If not, you should rely on a professional team of HVAC service technicians to do the job for you.
Here are the most common HVAC problems homeowners face, and what you can do to handle them.
1. The Condenser Unit is Blocked
HVAC airflow problems typically occur when the condenser unit is blocked, jammed, or otherwise obstructed. This device is located outside your home and uses a motorized fan to move air throughout the system.
But since this unit is located outside, it’s one of the most vulnerable components of any HVAC system.
If your HVAC is struggling to regulate the temperature of your home, your best bet is to check the condenser unit. Look for leaves, dirt, and other debris that may be blocking the device. During winter, it’s a good idea to check the unit for ice buildup, which can also jam the condenser’s airflow.
2. Has Your Air Filter Been Replaced?
Did you know that your HVAC’s filter is a necessary component? Most people maintain their HVAC filters because it improves the air quality of their home. However, the filter plays an important role in preventing your system from clogging.
An air filter should be replaced every one to three months, depending on your model and allergies. If you forget to replace the filter or choose not to, air contaminants will damage your system and restrict airflow.
3. Liquids Are Leaking From the HVAC
When your air conditioning unit isn’t blowing cold air, the first thing you should do is look for leaks. Refrigerants are an important component inside your device, responsible for chilling the air inside your home. As the liquid refrigerant leaks from your unit, its cooling performance will gradually decline.
But your AC may be leaking more than refrigerant. Water condenses in the system as part of the heating or cooling process. Normally this water is drained, but the lines are susceptible to cracks or clogs. If you spot a leak in your system and noticed reduced AC airflow, you should contact an HVAC technician.
4. Maybe It’s the Thermostat
Remember that your HVAC doesn’t work alone. When your system is running at odd times — or not at all — your thermostat may be the culprit. A typical thermostat has a lifespan of about ten years, so it’ll likely need a replacement before your HVAC system.
If the timing of your heater or AC is on the fritz, but the airflow and air temperature seem to be fine, take a look at your thermostat. The problem may be that your thermostat needs its batteries replaced. Change the temperature setting of your thermostat to see if it’s properly activating your HVAC system.
5. Your Condenser Coil is Filthy
A condenser coil resides within your outdoor condenser unit. This piece is responsible for dissipating heat from your home. Just like the unit itself, dirt and grime can gather on the coil and impact its performance. This is especially troubling since the condenser coil will run dangerously hot.
You can clean the condenser coil by disconnecting your condenser unit from the power and disabling your HVAC system. Once done, you can hose it off. Since this could damage your system, it’s best to leave the work to a trained HVAC professional.
6. HVAC Problems Come With Strange Noises
An HVAC system is one of the noisiest devices in your home. Thankfully, this means that when HVAC problems occur, you can usually hear them. If anything sounds different about your system, it’s time to troubleshoot the cause.
Squealing often occurs in failing fans and blowers. When belts snap or come loose, you may hear clanking or rattling in the heart of your system. These are some of the most worrying noises that definitely require a professional inspection.
Noises such as hums or whistling tend to be minor HVAC problems, usually related to debris. If you can’t detect the debris or cause, you should also opt for an inspection before the problem becomes worse.
When your HVAC acts up often, it may be time to replace the AC unit completely.
7. Clogged Ductwork Causes Unbalanced Temperatures
Clogged ducts hamper your system’s airflow. It may just be dust buildup, but sometimes insects and other pests make their homes in your ductwork. Cracks in old ducts could also be hampering the effectiveness of your HVAC system.
If the temperature is not consistent across the rooms of your house, your ducts may be to blame. Take a brief look at your ductwork and inspect it for blockages or holes, or have an inspector do the job for you.
8. Reduced Airflow? Could Be the Blower Fan
Responsible for circulating air throughout your ducts, the blower fan is a susceptible piece of equipment. It’s the main reason why you want to keep your air filter maintained.
Even with good air quality, dust can still accumulate on your fan as years go by. Cleaning a blower fan can be hard work, and it’s a job best left to professionals.
When It Comes to Your HVAC, Don’t Wait
Every homeowner encounters HVAC problems from time to time. The damage — and repair costs — will worsen until they’re repaired. If you’re having difficulty troubleshooting or repairing it yourself, trust in your local HVAC professionals.
Our service technicians have been serving the Santa Fe area for over ten years. Contact us by phone or email to set up your HVAC inspection or repair.