Your home’s HVAC is one of those areas that probably doesn’t get much attention until you have to troubleshoot a problem.
And that’s OK – a little knowledge upfront, though, can help you diagnose the issue before deciding whether to tackle the problem yourself or call in an HVAC professional.
Common HVAC Problems
Both your home and workplace is undoubtedly fitted with an HVAC system – HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Let’s get started:
Blown HVAC Fuses
Probably the most common HVAC problem that people encounter is a blown fuse. This can happen when the motor in your HVAC unit starts to overheat. Fuses can also blow when your HVAC’s compressor gets too hot.
To let you in on a little secret – an HVAC technician often checks a homeowner’s breaker for signs of a blown fuse. Why? Because a blown fuse is a surefire sign that your HVAC’s motor needs repair.
So, you can get a pretty good indication of the problem (i.e., a motor or compressor in need of repair) by taking a trek down to your circuit breaker and seeing if there’s evidence of any blown fuses. If there is evidence of a blown fuse, then it might be time to get an HVAC professional of the phone.
If a chugging noise is coming from your air conditioner, then it might be time to troubleshoot to see whether your compressor is in working order.
The compressor is the hub of your air conditioner and it runs alongside your AC’s condenser coil. Although a lack of refrigerant in your air conditioning can cause your air conditioning to seize, often a malfunctioning compressor boils down to faulty power.
Especially in old buildings with chronically poor wiring, you may have noticed a lack of activity from your compressor when you tried to get your air conditioner going. Try many different outlets and ensure that your power supply is staying within a fifteen percent range of the voltage recommended by the manufacturer.
If you notice a loud noise as your compressor is getting ready to kick in, then you might have an issue with your start gear. Listening to your unit and noticing the time at which the problem occurs can clue you into the problem.
Low Refrigerant Levels
This is an area that needs constant attention, yet many homeowners lack the proper equipment to check their own refrigerant levels.
You should call an HVAC professional if you notice leaking around your unit, although if refrigerant leaks onto your evaporator coils or condenser then those might need to be replaced.
In the same way that you car engine can experience locking from a lack of oil, the motor on your compressor needs a certain amount of refrigerant to function properly and keep your home nice and cool.
If your unit runs for awhile with low levels of refrigerant, your compressor could periodically stick and fail to perform at its best.
Harmful Indoor Odors
This area can be a bit of a catchall for homeowners. A noxious electrical odor, for instance, could tip you off to an overheating blower motor or, more likely, an unclean air filter causing internal electrical resistance in your unit.
If you notice a gassy odor coming from your unit’s supply vents or heat exchanger, this could be a quick cleaning fix or indicative of a more serious problem.
You should contact an HVAC professional if you are unable to trace a harmful odor in your home. A leaky unit or faulty compressor should also warrant a service call to an HVAC professional.