No one wants to deal with problems that are causing their HVAC system to malfunction, especially homeowners! Homeowners have a lot of other costs they may be dealing with and with a malfunctioning HVAC system comes costly fixes and stress. Here at American Comfort Experts, we want to alleviate the cost and stress as much as possible. That’s why we have put together a list of troubleshooting tips with common HVAC issues, that you may be able to catch or fix yourself before calling in the big guns.
If You Have a Bad Smell Coming from Your HVAC Unit
If you notice a bad smell coming from your furnace or air conditioner, you want to find the cause as soon as possible. Most of the time, the odor is caused by mold, which can pose a risk to your health. It’s also important to check if your unit is leaking. Moisture can turn your home into a breeding ground for mold, so be sure to spot the leak (if there is one) and seal it off.
Foul smell from your HVAC system can also come from burnt electrical connections. If you don’t find a leak, or visible mold, then you may want to call a professional to deal with electrical issues to avoid a dangerous accident.
Figuring Out a Basic Diagnosis
If your HVAC system is acting weird, the first thing you need to determine is that the system has power. To do this you have to find the service panel and make sure the circuit breaker isn’t tripped. Your furnace or air conditioner will have their dedicated circuit breaker, which is probably labeled! Turn the breaker off and wait 10-15 seconds and turn it back on.
If the problem you’re experiencing persists, contact American Comfort Experts to come take a look!
A Clogged Air Filter
This is the easiest troubleshooting step and solution that can be done yourself! You probably know this, but your HVAC system has an air filter that traps dirt, dust and particles that can affect the airflow. When that filter is clogged up with dust and dirt, it’s forced to work harder to cool down your home. The solution…change your air filter once a month! The filters are cheap and can be stored in a closet or garage, ready for use. If you have a reusable filter, take it out and clean it, and put it back in.
A Clogged Outside Unit
If your HVAC system has an outdoor unit, be sure to check it occasionally. It is not uncommon for homeowners to overlook their HVAC system’s outside unit, which is the main point of airflow into your home. Debris like leaves, and branches can cause your unit to struggle for air. When checking your unit, remove anything that can block the airflow to your outdoor unit and use a garden hose to rinse away the extra dirt and debris. Also, keep the area surrounding the outdoor unit clear from outdoor clutter and vegetation. This helps provide a healthy airflow and an efficient working system.
Your System is Short-Cycling
When the airflow to your HVAC system is compromised, your system will experience short-cycling, causing the unit to shut down before the heating or cooling cycle is completed. Most of the time, cleaning or replacing your air filter resolves the problem.
However, if the issue remains, check the evaporator coils, usually found inside the air handler. In some units, the coils are attached to the furnace. If there is ice or frost on the coils, shut the unit off and let it thaw before turning it back on.
Another possible reason for an HVAC system to short-cycle is a faulty thermostat that doesn’t get the correct temperature reading. If this is happening, then you will notice that the room does not reach your desired comfort levels or warms or cools quicker than normal.