While some HVAC issues are simply a matter of cleaning coils and filters, many of the 10 most common heating and cooling systems problems will develop into much bigger concerns if not services early on. Most of these can be avoided with regular maintenance and service calls. It is a wise decision to have your system checked annually to prevent outages during extreme hot or cold weather.
1 – Lack of Maintenance
Scheduling regular maintenance by a licensed service contractor is a must to keep your system in proper working order. Many of the most common furnace repairs can be avoided with proper maintenance by a certified service contractor. You likely have invested thousands of dollars into your home heating system. Why not protect that investment by having regular maintenance? If you neglect to perform regular maintenance you will most likely experience an unexpected costly breakdown, increased energy costs, performance issues, and lots of frustration. You can take the steps to avoid the most common HVAC problems!
Look to us for help! Protect your investment and gain peace of mind by calling Brad at 519-884-6366 to book a certified technician to inspect your HVAC system today!
2 – Dirty Filters
If you want to extend the life and efficiency of your furnace, one of the easiest things to do is to replace the filters regularly. If your filter is dirty it will restrict the airflow. This will cause your unit to work much harder to circulate the air through the home. This puts unnecessary strain on your furnace’s blower and will result in comfort issues as well. A dirty filter can also cause the furnace to overheat and possibly shut down. There is a list of Spring Maintenance Tips that we have put together that you may also want to take a look at! Simply setting up a filter replacement schedule can help you avoid one of the most common HVAC problems that homeowners face!
3 – Ignition or Pilot Problems
Ignition problems can result from a number of different causes. A dirty pilot, flame sensor, or burners can cause a pilot outage, short cycling, furnace lockout, or delayed ignition of the burners. It could also be a result of a gas supply problem or simply wear and tear of an ignition component that needs to be replaced. For example, the hot surface ignitor or thermocouple. Either way, it is best to have these problems handled by a trained service technician since this deals with dangerous elements like natural gas and high voltage.
4 – Malfunctioning Thermostat
There are many different types of thermostats – both programmable and non-programmable. There are also many digital thermostats that are easy to use. Frequently, when a homeowner believes that their furnace is not operating properly, we suggest checking the thermostat. It could be a simple issue with the thermostat itself, or how it was set. Referring to the owner’s manual and reviewing the operating instructions may prevent you from having an unnecessary bill or service call. For instance, programmable thermostats may have batteries that need to be replaced periodically. If the unit is still not functioning properly, problems can be quickly diagnosed by a service technician.
5 – Mechanical Wear and Tear
Your heating system relies on a number of mechanical components. Your unit’s performance can be negatively impacted by the normal wear and tear of these components. These include belts and bearings, which may result in overheating, poor heating, or even airflow issues. Regular maintenance should include checking for worn or stretched belts and oiling bearings and motors (if necessary).
6 – Experiencing Funny Furnace Noises?
Some furnace noises are part of normal operation, while others may be a warning sign! Or it could be the sound of a mechanical problem. A whining or squealing motor can be an indication that the bearings in an inducer motor or blower motor are failing. Replacement of the motor may be required to avoid a furnace failure. Otherwise, you may need a whole new furnace installation. Other noises may be caused by airflow issues or dirty burners, Either way, it is best to not ignore these funny noises as they may be giving you the warning sign that will save to money in the long run. The noises can also be a sign of a dangerous operating condition that needs immediate attention.
7 – Blown Fuses or Tripped Breakers
The most common reason the furnace trips a circuit breaker is that the blower is overworking. If something is blocking the airflow to your system, your blower has to work much harder to compensate. The most common cause is simply a dirty air filter. If the air filter is dirty, your blower has to work harder to force air through the filter. This will increase the blower’s energy consumption and can sometimes trip the circuit breaker. Check your filter and replace it with a clean one before resetting your circuit breaker. If the problem continues, it is best to contact a professional who can safely determine if the issue is caused by a furnace problem or if the circuit breaker itself may have malfunctioned. Other issues that can make the blower overwork include duct leaks, closed or blocked-off air registers, or dirty coils.
8 – Dirty Evaporator Coils or Condensers
Dirt and debris can clog the coils of your system significantly reducing the efficiency. This will also cause the unit to wear out sooner. You can hose off the outdoor coil after shutting the power to the condenser. Power can be shut off at the electrical disconnect near the condenser or at the electrical panel. The indoor evaporator coil can become dirty, especially if the furnace filters are not replaced frequently. A dirty evaporator coil can reduce the efficiency of both your furnace and your air conditioner and make your system work harder. Extremely dirty coils that have been neglected will need to be cleaned by a trained service technician. This is why we suggest regular cleaning to avoid these common HVAC problems.
9 – Blower Running Continuously
There are a few reasons a furnace blower may run constantly. Before calling for service, check the fan switch on the thermostat. This is a very common HVAC problem. The motor will run continuously when the thermostat is set to the “fan on” position. Often times this switch has just been moved or bumped and can simply be put back into “auto” mode. There is a fan relay in the furnace that turns the blower on when there is a call for heat. If the relay sticks, the bower will not shut off. There are several types of safeties and limits on the furnace. If activated, the circuit board may bring on the furnace to cool it down. If the limit or safety does not reset, the blower will not shut off. A trained service technician can evaluate this common HVAC problem with you and offer repair options if required.
10 – Water Leaks
Both air conditioners and high-efficiency furnaces produce condensation. Drain pipes are used to ensure proper water drainage. Furnaces can leak water if the drain lines are either clogged or cracked. A homeowner can help keep the drain lines clean by pouring bleach down the drain periodically. Other possible leak sources could be the collector box, heat exchanger, or evaporator drain pan. A service technician should be called if you can not locate the leak.
If you have any other questions that you would like us to address in future blog articles, feel free to contact us at ATN Mechanical Systems. Our team of experts are here to help!