7 Common HVAC Problems to Look Out For
Winter is the perfect excuse to put our HVAC systems on the back burner. While we bask in the warmth provided by our cozy winter blankets. Unfortunately, failing to perform regular maintenance on our ventilation systems can easily result in an issue going completely unnoticed until it reaches a serious point.
It’s much easier to ensure that everything is running smoothly when we’re more attentive to our HVAC systems. Today, we’re going to discuss some common HVAC problems you should be looking out for.
1. Clogged Condensate Drains
A clogged condensate drain can be a common HVAC problem that often goes unnoticed until other problems start to occur. These drains tend to accumulate dirt, dust, algae, and bacteria, which causes them to clog up over time.
As a result, the HVAC system runs inefficiently and is unable to circulate the air properly. This can lead to an increase in energy costs and can even damage the system if the clogged drain is not addressed.
Regular maintenance can help to prevent costly repairs down the road. In addition, it is a good idea to inspect your condensate drain every few months to make sure it is clear. If you notice any blockages, contact a professional like this HVAC company in Tucson, AZ to have the drain cleaned or replaced.
2. Lack of Filter Changes
A dirty air filter will cause your HVAC system to run inefficiently, making the motors, pumps, and fans work harder than necessary. The air filter is also responsible for trapping dirt and dust that can cause the air in your home HVAC to become contaminated.
If the air filter is not regularly changed, the buildup of these contaminants can cause a range of HVAC problems including:
- poor air quality
- irritating odors
- excessive dust buildup
Additionally, dirty air filters will cause the HVAC system to work harder. Leading to a greater likelihood of breakdowns, higher energy bills, and reduced longevity of the system. Making sure to change the air filters regularly is essential for keeping your HVAC system running properly and efficiently.
3. Incorrect Refrigerant Levels
The improper level of refrigerant has a major impact on the performance of an HVAC system. When the refrigerant level is too high or too low, it can affect the system’s temperature regulation and overall operating efficiency.
If the refrigerant level is incorrect it can cause damage to the system and result in higher energy costs. A common problem with refrigerant levels occurs when a refrigerant line is leaking. This can cause a sudden drop in refrigerant level as the gas escapes the line.
It’s important to be aware of any signs of a leak, such as strange sounds, and to service the system as needed. Additionally, the system should be regularly serviced to ensure that the correct level of refrigerant is present.
4. Air Handlers That Won’t Turn On
Air handlers that won’t turn on can be a common HVAC issue, but it can typically be resolved with a simple inspection. Before trying to repair the HVAC unit, first check if the power switch is in the on position, or if the unit is hooked up to a power source.
If these are both in the correct positions, then the issue can typically be resolved by:
- adjusting the thermostat
- checking for air filters
- ensuring that the fan motor is operational
If these troubleshooting steps do not lead to any resolution, then an HVAC technician should be called to assess the issue. It’s important to ensure that all safety protocols are followed if you try to repair the HVAC unit yourself.
5. Blocked Evaporator Coils
This occurs when deposits of dust, dirt, or other debris build up on the evaporator coil inside the HVAC system. These deposits cause the coil to become incapable of efficiently absorbing heat, resulting in a decrease in cooling capacity.
Additionally, the accumulation of dirt and other particles may restrict the airflow, leading to a further decrease in air conditioning performance. Some of the common signs of a blocked evaporator coil include:
- insufficient cooling
- moisture buildup
- strange noises
To avoid blocked evaporator coil problems, regular maintenance and cleaning of the HVAC system are recommended. Air filters should be changed frequently, the evaporator coil should be inspected and cleaned regularly, and ductwork should be examined for any potential blockages.
6. Thermostat Settings
Poorly designed settings can lead to inadequate or uneven air distribution, poor air quality, and wasted energy. Malfunctioning thermostats may not switch on or off when temperatures are reached or may be stuck in an incorrect position or mode.
Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to adjust thermostat settings, either manually or remotely. Not setting the thermostat correctly can also lead to:
- inaccurate readings
- moisture or humidity levels
- leading to bacterial or mold growth
To avoid these issues, HVAC owners should consult their user manual, air conditioning installation services, or local HVAC technician for advice.
7. Faulty Electrical Connections
If electrical issues are not corrected, replace damaged wiring, and regularly test and inspect the electrical components of the system, serious electrical problems, and safety hazards can result. Poorly functioning electrical connections can cause the system to not heating and cooling correctly, or to be unreliable.
In addition, incorrect electrical connections can cause the system to overheat, leading to insufficient cooling of the building or overheating of the system elements. It is important to use the right type and size of wire when making electrical connections for the HVAC system to ensure safe and proper energy consumption.
Diagnosing Common HVAC Problems
Common HVAC problems can cause costly repairs and discomfort. Regular maintenance and keeping an eye out for common problems such as loud noise, unpleasant odors, and system failure can help to prevent larger issues from developing. Contact a professional HVAC specialist if you suspect a problem to ensure your system is working optimally.
We hope this article was helpful. To learn more about HVAC systems, make sure to check out the other articles on our blog.