PART 1-How to Troubleshoot Common HVAC Problems Before Calling a Professional

August 10, 2023

When your HVAC system is experiencing issues, it’s tempting to immediately call a professional for help. However, there are several common HVAC problems that you can troubleshoot and potentially fix yourself, saving both time and money. Let’s walk you through step-by-step troubleshooting techniques for addressing these common issues.

Woman trying to cool down in front of a fan because her air conditioning isn’t working properly

Poor Airflow

One of the most common HVAC problems is poor airflow, which can lead to insufficient heating or cooling. Start by checking the air filters, as clogged or dirty filters can restrict airflow. Replace or clean the filters if necessary, and ensure that they are properly installed. Additionally, inspect the vents and registers throughout your home to ensure they are not blocked or obstructed.

Uneven Heating or Cooling

If some areas of your home are significantly warmer or cooler than others, it may indicate an issue with your HVAC system. Begin by checking the thermostat settings and ensuring they are correctly set for the desired temperature. Next, inspect the dampers in your ductwork to ensure they are open and allowing proper airflow to each room. If the issue persists, it may be due to leaks or insufficient insulation in certain areas, which may require professional assistance.

freezing couple wearing hats and gloves, wrapped in plaid blanket, watching tv while sitting in cold house

Noisy HVAC System

Unusual or excessive noise coming from your HVAC system can be a cause for concern. Start by examining the outdoor unit for any debris or obstructions that may be interfering with the fan. Clean the unit and remove any debris if necessary. If the noise persists, it could indicate a problem with the blower motor or other internal components, in which case it’s advisable to contact a professional for further diagnosis and repair.

HVAC System Not Turning On

If your HVAC system fails to turn on, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take. First, check the thermostat batteries and replace them if needed. Ensure that the thermostat is set to the appropriate mode (heating or cooling) and that the temperature is set correctly. Next, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure that the HVAC system is receiving power. If these steps do not resolve the issue, it’s recommended to contact a professional to assess the electrical connections and internal components.

Another cause may be a clogged condensation drain line. Your air condition systems main function is to dehumidify and it can produce 3-5 gallons or more of water per day. Because of this your system has a drain line and those drain lines can easily clog. Many systems have emergency shut off switches that prevent the system from running in the event of a clogged drain line. Check to see if your emergency drain pan has water in it and if your drain line has water coming out of it where it exits your home. This can also be the case with high efficiency condensing gas furnaces and boilers that produce condensation in the winter.

Woman is checking to see if her thermostat is working properly

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant leaks can lead to inadequate cooling and potential damage to your HVAC system. If you suspect a refrigerant leak, look for any signs of oil stains or refrigerant residue near the unit. However, handling refrigerant requires specialized knowledge and equipment, so it’s crucial to contact a professional HVAC technician to detect and repair the leak safely.

Constant Cycling

If your HVAC system frequently turns on and off, it may be experiencing constant cycling. This can be caused by issues such as a dirty air filter, an oversized or undersized unit, or a malfunctioning thermostat. Start by replacing or cleaning the air filter and ensuring that it’s the correct size for your system. If the problem persists, it’s best to consult a professional technician who can diagnose and resolve the underlying cause.

Closeup of man relaxing on couch at home

By following these troubleshooting techniques, you can potentially resolve common HVAC problems before needing to call a professional. Remember to always prioritize your safety and consult a licensed HVAC technician if you are unsure or uncomfortable with any troubleshooting steps. Regular maintenance and preventive care can also help prevent future issues with your HVAC system.

Kelleher’s professionally trained HVAC technicians can repair (or install) all major brands in any home or light commercial business. We also offer energy audits, maintenance plans, and more to ensure that your home or business is running safely and efficiently. We even offer financing on new HVAC units, so give us a call today!