A well-installed and regularly maintained HVAC unit keeps your home cozy and helps with air quality and energy costs, too.
Image via Flickr by Miia Sample
These comfy systems are quite complex, however. Prevent problems by learning about the top 4 most common HVAC issues.
Top Four Most Common HVAC Issues
1. Improper Use of an HVAC
It’s a beautiful day outside, so you open a window to enjoy the breeze. Did you turn off the heat or air conditioning first? Does it matter? Yes, it does!
Professionals select your HVAC unit size based on the amount of airflow needed to keep the room temperature consistent, also called load. Running the HVAC while the windows or doors are open changes this calculation drastically. Especially in summer, windows open may cause the compressor to run constantly, wearing parts out sooner. That “fresh air” also doesn’t have a chance to go through the unit’s intake, so it won’t be filtered for particles and allergens or dehumidified, affecting family health and home comfort.
2. AC Blows out Room Temperature Air
If air is coming out of your vents but isn’t cooled, you may have a refrigerant issue. Refrigerant is the substance that pulls the heat out of the incoming air, as it travels through your HVAC unit. If you notice that your system is blowing out room temperature air, there’s a good chance that you’re low on refrigerant. That occurred either because it was not filled enough during install or a leak. A professional technician will be able to diagnose the difference and either fix the leak or refill (also called “recharge”) the unit. Buying and using refrigerant is usually tightly regulated because it can be hazardous, so it’s always best to let the pros handle it.
3. Equipment Not Working
Because of the complex nature of an HVAC system, any number of parts can fail from improper use or normal wear and tear. Many homeowners call for service when they notice “funny noises” from the unit, which is often a sign that bearings for an inducer motor or blower motor are failing.
Another common service call is when the system continues to trip the circuit breaker, which may be caused by the blower overworking. Homeowners can check if anything is blocking air intake in the home, but the most common cause is reduced airflow from a dirty air filter. A professional maintenance plan always includes air filter checks and replacement.
Other common equipment that can fail include sensors, compressors, and fan controls.
4. Not Enough or Untimely HVAC Maintenance
Just like a vehicle, timely maintenance allows a professional to inspect the system and notice issues before they lead to costly replacement repairs. Within a professional HVAC preventative maintenance plan, a technician looks over the integrity of the ductwork, the refrigerant level, the accuracy of the thermostat, airflow capacity, and inspects for leaks and wear and tear. Early identification is the best way to prevent any of these issues from becoming costly repair bills.
You invested in a home heating and cooling system to make your home more comfortable. Avoid the stress of dealing with emergencies by continuing to properly maintain your HVAC unit. Focus on all the little joys that life brings instead!