HVAC Troubleshooting: 5 Things to Try Before Calling a Repairman

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Having trouble with your HVAC system can be frustrating and stressful, especially when you need it the most. However, before calling a repairman and spending a chunk of money on a repair, there are a few things you can try to troubleshoot the problem. Here are five things to check before you call in the professionals.

Check Your Thermostat

Make sure your thermostat is set to the proper temperature and that it is on the desired heating or cooling setting. If your thermostat is malfunctioning or has a dead battery, it could affect the HVAC’s performance. Replace the battery if necessary and try adjusting the settings to see if it makes a difference.

Another potential issue with your thermostat could be a wiring or connection problem. If you have an old thermostat, the wires may have become loose and need to be re-connected. If that doesn’t work, there may also be a more serious electrical issue that needs to be addressed by a professional. Additionally, if your thermostat is digital, you should check to make sure it’s programmed correctly and that all of the settings are accurate. If everything appears to be in working order, then it may be time to move on to the next step.

Check the Air Filters

A dirty or clogged air filter can block airflow and cause the HVAC system to work harder than necessary, which can lead to issues. Check the air filter and change it if needed. A clean air filter will aid in the system’s effectiveness and energy efficiency.

Air filters are typically located in the return air duct or near the blower motor. Depending on your HVAC system, they may be located inside the unit, behind an access panel, or accessible through a filter grille at the supply register. If you’re not sure where to find it, check your owner’s manual or contact a professional.

It’s important to replace air filters regularly in order to keep your HVAC system running properly.  Check with the manufacturer’s guidelines for recommendations on how often to change them. Additionally, using higher-grade air filters can help improve air quality and reduce strain on the system.

Check the Circuit Breaker

If the HVAC system isn’t turning on at all, check the circuit breaker. It’s possible that the breaker tripped or flipped, which would cut off the power supply to the HVAC unit. Locate the circuit breaker and check to see if it’s been tripped. If so, reset it, and see if the HVAC system turns back on.

If the circuit breaker is malfunctioning, it could be due to an electrical problem or because of a faulty component in the HVAC system. If resetting the breaker doesn’t do anything, you may need to call in an electrician or a professional heating maintenance technician to inspect and repair any underlying wiring issues. Additionally, if the HVAC system is still not functioning properly after resetting the breaker, it’s possible that something inside the unit has malfunctioned and may need to be repaired or replaced.

When your circuit breaker is on the fritz, there are a few signs you can look for. You may notice that the breaker trips or flips more often than usual. Additionally, if you hear odd noises coming from the HVAC unit when it’s turned on, this could be an indication of an electrical problem that needs to be addressed. If the breaker trips while your HVAC system is on and you’re unable to reset it, this could be a sign of an overloading circuit and should be inspected by a professional. 

Finally, if all the other lights in your home are working as normal but your HVAC system isn’t turning on, this may also be a sign that the breaker is malfunctioning. It’s best to have a professional inspect and repair any underlying wiring issues or faulty components in the HVAC system.

Check the Ducts

Leaky ducts can cause the HVAC system to work harder than it needs. Check ducts for leaks or damage. If you notice leaks or issues, contact a professional for duct sealing and insulation.

If you suspect your ducts are leaking, there are a few signs to look for. Keep an eye out for air escaping from the seams or connections of your ductwork, as well as any visible gaps in the insulation material. Additionally, check for unusual noises coming from the system. Leaks can cause whistling and other loud sounds when the air is forced out of them. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to contact a professional for repair.

It is not recommended to try to patch a duct leak yourself since the repair process requires specialized tools and knowledge of how to properly seal the ducts. If the leaks are not sealed correctly, it could cause further damage or decrease system performance. In addition, any repairs done incorrectly may void your HVAC system’s warranty. It is best to leave the repairs to a professional who is certified in repairing HVAC systems. They will take the necessary steps to ensure that your system is running efficiently and safely.

Check for Obstructions

Check your outdoor HVAC unit and make sure that there are no obstructions affecting the airflow. Remove any debris or objects that might be preventing proper ventilation. Clearing the area around your HVAC system can help improve airflow and keep it running smoothly.

Common HVAC obstructions to look for include overgrown vegetation, piles of leaves and other yard debris, and large objects blocking the unit. If your outdoor HVAC unit has a protective cover, make sure it is not damaged or preventing proper airflow. Remove any garbage or hidden items that may have been blown into the area by wind, and make sure that the outdoor unit isn’t blocked by furniture or other items.

Before you ever place any objects near your HVAC system, be sure to consult a professional so you can avoid potential damage or safety hazards. Keeping the area around your HVAC system free of obstructions is key to maintaining its efficiency and performance.

Troubleshooting your HVAC system can feel overwhelming and daunting, but it’s important to remember that there are simple solutions to many common problems. Before calling a repairman, it’s always a good idea to try these few things on your own to avoid unnecessary costs and repairs. Keeping up with regular maintenance checks will aid in the longevity and efficiency of your system. If all else fails, call in the professional HVAC repair who will diagnose your problem quickly and efficiently.

About the Author:

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves to write for business, health, and women’s interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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