It’s a fact of life that everything eventually breaks or has issues, including your HVAC system. Troubleshooting your heating and cooling system can be one of the most challenging things to deal with as a homeowner. When this crucial equipment isn’t working right, you need it fixed as quickly as possible.
But how do you know what to tell your local HVAC company so they know how best to repair it? Here are some tips for pinpointing common issues with HVAC systems so you can schedule a repair before it becomes a more significant problem.
Signs You Have an HVAC Issue
When you aren’t sure what to look for, you might not know you have an issue with your HVAC system. You should recognize these essential problems to keep your system in top-notch shape:
- Constantly rising energy bills
- Unpredictable temperatures
- Unpleasant odors
- Loud, unusual noises
- Outdated system
Understanding these signs will help you address issues before they escalate into more significant problems.
Troubleshooting Your HVAC Issues
Sometimes, resolving a problem with your HVAC system is simple enough for you to do. Follow these tips to troubleshoot yours and restore comfort to your home.
Change the Air Filters
If it’s taking longer to heat or cool your home, one of the most likely culprits is your air filter. The primary purpose of the air filter is to stop dirt and debris from entering your home, but it can become clogged, causing an increase in your utility bills.
Clogged air filters cause your HVAC system to work less efficiently, increasing the energy needed to keep the unit operating. This takes a toll on your system, forcing you to replace it sooner than expected.
It’s important that you change your air filters regularly to protect your heating and cooling system. You should replace them every 90 days, but replacing them every 30 days will keep your unit working at peak efficiency, improve indoor air quality, and save money.
Test the Thermostat
Issues with the thermostat are more common than most homeowners expect. But if you notice a constant temperature shift, higher than average utility bills, or a system that is short cycling, check the thermostat before anything else.
You may need to replace the batteries to resolve the problem. If the indoor temperatures do not eventually match the reading on the thermostat, there is a more significant problem requiring the service of a professional.
Clear Dirt and Debris Away from the Outdoor Unit
Since the outdoor unit is usually surrounded by grass and trees, branches, leaves, and other debris accumulate near your HVAC unit. These items can block the flow of air inside, affecting the air quality and how well your system works.
Removing any physical items around the unit will prevent these blockages and keep your home comfortable. The standard recommendation is to keep a three-foot radius around your outdoor components free of all debris. This will ensure an ample supply of air and prevent future complications.
Check the Circuit Breaker
If your HVAC system has no power, check that the electrical supply cords are plugged into the outlets. If they are, check the circuit breaker. Sometimes your system gets overloaded, forcing the circuit breaker to cut the power supply. A simple flip of a switch will have your HVAC system working again.
Schedule a Duct Cleaning
Have you noticed an odor coming from your air ducts? Or does your home become dusty very quickly? Then you most likely need a professional duct cleaning.
When the ducts are filled with dirt, dust, pet dander, and other particles, it lowers the HVAC system’s efficiency and indoor air quality. Scheduling a professional air duct cleaning will boost its performance, keep it operating smoothly, and save you money.
Schedule Routine Tune-Ups
Routine maintenance is vital to the overall health of your HVAC system. This service allows a professional HVAC technician to inspect and clean your system to prepare it for use during the cooler or warmer seasons. All electrical connections will get checked and tightened, if necessary.
Routine tune-up appointments will save you money in the long run by catching problems in the early stages rather than when it requires a full-blown repair or replacement of your system.