7 Most Common HVAC Issues and How to Solve Them
HVAC systems are generally extremely reliable in performance, although there can be problems arising with time. Some of these issues can be fixed by AC owners themselves while others are more complex and need the assistance of a technician. Know about 7 most common issues that plague HVAC units and how to solve them.
Regular replacement of filters is essential for improving the efficiency and extending the lifespan of HVAC units. Dirty filters can restrict the flow of air and compel the unit to work harder in circulating air throughout homes. This can put needless pressure on the unit, and also compel you to breathe contaminated air. Soiled filters can also lead to overheating of the system.
AC units come with various types of thermostats – programmable as well as non-programmable. However, when the indoor temperature is not as comfortable as you would want it to be, it could be attributed to how the thermostat is set or some other internal problems. Technicians refer to the owner’s manual that comes along with the AC units and review the operating directions to be able to prevent costly repairs in the future. Programmable thermostats might come with batteries that require periodic replacement. If these still malfunction, a service technician can diagnose these issues quickly.
Unusual noises from AC units are indicative of mechanical issues. These could occur due to connections being loose, airflow issues or even other problems such as improper ventilation due to the air conditioner being installed in a spot where proper ventilation is affected. It is important not to ignore problems such as whirring sounds, as these could spell danger for the safety of every member in the home.
Insufficiency of cold air can also indicate damage or blockage of the condensing coil present outside the cooling unit. If the filters are not frequently replaced, blocked indoor coils may become a big issue. The coil might have to be replaced in case it is impossible to clean the coil. Reactivating a circuit breaker can help solve this issue. The unit could also be low on refrigerant. In some cases, refrigerant can be added to resolve the problem, but it may also indicate a leak somewhere in the system which will need to be located and repaired.
Sudden stoppage of AC operations
If your air conditioner suddenly stops working, it could be due to blocked or dirty coils. You need an HVAC technician to make an emergency visit, particularly in case a smoky smell also accompanies the breakdown of the AC unit. An HVAC technician can usually replace damaged/bad parts or a bad compressor without needing to replace the entire unit.
Loss of air pressure
If the flow of the air conditioner gets reduced abruptly, this could occur due to two problems. An overloaded circuit is the easier solution. In case the pressure loss is related to the defect of the duct system, it might need a more complex and very urgent fix. Over time the tape and mastic used to seal your duct system can fail resulting in leaks and openings that leak air into unconditioned spaces. Rodents can also be a cause for damage in duct systems. They chew holes in the ductwork and use the insulation for nests. In either of the later two cases you will need to have an HVAC technician assess the damage and give you options for repair.
Blocked drain lines
It is common for the drain line to get clogged with algae or dirt. In case it gets clogged, there can be overflowing of the drain pan and leakage of water – thus causing water damage. Most systems have a safety overflow switch which will shut the entire unit down if water starts to build up in the primary or secondary drain pan. Many times, this can be resolved by taking a shop vac and sucking out the drain line to remove any debris that might be blocking the normal flow of water in the condensate line. In extreme cases where the blockage cannot be cleared using a shop vac, you will need to contact a trained HVAC technician to clear the condensate drain for you.