Your HVAC system does more than keep temperatures consistent. It can impact productivity levels, safety, and energy bills – not to mention tenant comfort and happiness.
There is no such thing as a good time for your HVAC system to fail, and the winter months are a particularly bad time to be left without heating. It is important to routinely get professional maintenance for your HVAC system, but even the best-maintained system can fail at the worst time.
While you should call in the experts for routine maintenance and any needed repairs, there are a few things you can do yourself to help keep your HVAC system running smoothly and help troubleshoot any issues if they occur.
1. Is your HVAC unit getting enough power?
It is not uncommon for power switches and breakers to be accidentally turned off when other appliances are being installed. The lack of power could be something as simple as a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker, which means you’ll have to reset the circuit breaker or replace a blown use. Another common cause is a direct electrical short in the wiring or equipment. This is identified by the breaker tripping instantly, once the unit attempts to start. In this situation, do not even try to reset the breaker again. Call for service immediately.
2. Clogged/Dirty Filters:
If the air coming out the vents seems dusty or humid, or it has been a long time since your system has received maintenance, it may be time for a new filter. Dirty and worn filters can force your air conditioning unit to work harder, which increases energy costs and reduces the life of your system.
While you may be able to replace air filters yourself, it is best to have an expert perform the maintenance. An HVAC service technician will be able to properly maintain your system and spot potential issues when they change the filter.
3. Check the Thermostat:
Thermostats are often the cause of many HVAC problems. A faulty thermostat can lead to many different results, including the system turning on at the wrong time or not turning on at all. One of the first steps is making sure that the thermostat has power. If it is battery operated, try changing the batteries, even if it seems to be working fine.
If the thermostat is getting power, check and make sure your temperature settings haven’t been changed. Incorrect temperature settings could be caused by resetting the thermostat, or simply buttons being pressed accidentally. Make sure all your settings are right before moving on from your thermostat.
4. Leaking refrigerant:
If the air isn’t as cool as it should be or it has a “sticky” feeling, your system could be low on refrigerant. This is what’s responsible for pulling heat and humidity from the air. It’s the lifeblood of your HVAC system.
If you check the refrigerant and notice that it’s low, you might get some temporary relief by topping it off, but this is a temporary solution. Low refrigerant is often caused by a leak, which needs to be repaired by a professional. If your system has multiple leaks, then it likely needs to be replaced.
5. Check the coils:
The condenser coil is responsible for pushing the heat that’s removed from the air out of your home and into the outdoors. Since it’s part of your outdoor unit, it’s exposed to the elements, including dirt and soot. When dirt and debris collect in the coils, this heat can’t transfer as efficiently as it should. This will often result in air that’s not as cool as it should be and extra wear and tear on your system.
The evaporator coil on your HVAC unit contains refrigerant that absorbs heat. Diminished airflow can cause a layer of ice to form on it. This leads to warm air (or no air) coming from your air supply registers. There are several things that can cause restricted airflow, including low refrigerant, dirty air filters, or problems with your ductwork.
6. Leaking Ducts:
This brings us to our next troubleshooting recommendation – check your ductwork. The ductwork in your home carries airflow throughout your home. If your AC isn’t keeping up or some rooms are warm while others are cool, then your ducts could be to blame.
Sometimes, they end up with tears in them, either from rodents or from improper work that was done in the area. These holes allow the cooled air to escape inside your walls. It will also make your system work harder, putting more wear and tear on it, and will raise your electric bills.
Diagnosing problems with your HVAC system can sometimes be simple, but often it is better to leave it up to the professionals. If the cause of a problem is unclear, or the fix is complicated, it’s time to call in the experts. Contact the HVAC experts at Oasis AC Services today for help with any heating or cooling issue you may be having. Our friendly and experienced HVAC technicians are ready to help you get your air conditioner or heater back up and running in no time.