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Common HVAC Problems and How to Fix Them

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HVAC units are lifesavers when you wish to avoid the extreme temperatures of the summer and winter months. You might be tempted to call on a technician any time you experience an issue with your unit, but many common HVAC problems may be fixable without a professional by your side.


Common HVAC Problems Involving Cleaning

Sometimes you think your system is having a serious problem, when in reality you just need to examine and clean certain parts:

  • Filters-These will get dirty over time and eventually need to be replaced. Your filter needs to be replaced if you hold it up to a light and cannot see any light through it.
  • Drain Lines-Lines can become clogged over time, causing leaks. Once cleaned out, they should operate smoothly.
  • Condenser Coil-Since these are exposed, they require cleaning at least once a year. Just hose it off while the unit is turned off. If seriously dirty, call a technician for professional cleaning.
  • Evaporator Coil-Cleaning may not be required frequently depending on where the coil is located, but dirty coils can affect efficiency and lead to cracks. A cracked coil will need to be repaired by a technician.

Problems Requiring Replacement

Certain HVAC issues may require you to replace a worn or broken part:

  • Fuses-Blown fuses can indicate a problem with the motor and lead to overheating in the compressor or motor itself. Fuses may need to be replaced, but you also might want to examine the motor.
  • Capacitors-Your HVAC unit has start capacitors and a run capacitor. If any stop working, they need to be replaced.
  • Contactors-There are usually up to three contactors in a single HVAC unit that allow the unit to engage. A worn contactor needs to be replaced before the unit can properly function.
  • Gas Valves-You will want to inspect the gas valves for corrosion before the heating season. Corroded valves need to be replaced.

Observational Problems and Solutions

Other problems around your unit may only require a quick look to identify and fix the issue:

  • Thermostat-The thermostat basically tells your system what to do. Make sure the thermostat is turned on if you are experiencing problems.
  • Refrigerant Levels-Although it is common to find some leaks around your unit, excess refrigerant could indicate a crack somewhere. You can fix this yourself, but if the crack is in a coil, a technician needs to fix it. Also make sure your refrigerant is at the proper level to avoid slugging or overcharging your compressor.

Call A Technician for Anything Else

If you have any other problems or cannot figure out why your unit is not working, call on a professional HVAC technician for assistance. When in doubt, it’s probably wise to have a certified technician there to help.

Image courtesy Jesus Rodriguez via Flickr

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