As with any major home appliance, the day that it starts to malfunction is inevitable. And, your home’s HVAC system is no exception. It’s estimated that American homeowners spend, collectively, $29 billion a year in maintaining, repairing, or replacing their home’s heating and air conditioning units. But, in some cases, homeowners can troubleshoot issues with their HVAC systems by knowing a few key things that could be the real culprit.
When most people hear thermostat issues, they think there may be an underlying electrical issue at play. However, simple things like changing the batteries on your thermostat, making sure it isn’t dusty or blocked can all be easy things to do to get your system up and running again. If you have a programmable thermostat, you’ll want to make sure that it is programmed correctly — and is timed to come on at specific times to help better regulate your home’s temperature. You’d be surprised how many HVAC issues have been corrected by reprogramming the home’s thermostat.
The air you breathe in your home is critical to your health. Maintaining good air quality starts with your HVAC unit, and more specifically, the air filters. If you notice that air is not blowing out of the vents, or some parts of your home have more circulation than others — it could be an issue with your air filters. You want to keep air filters clean and change them at least every six to eight weeks at most, if not monthly. Also, make sure that the air filters are the proper size and are installed correctly. Ill-fitting air filters can easily block air flow which will result in your HVAC unit having to work harder to cool and warm your home.
If water is leaking from your HVAC unit, that’s one problem. However, if refrigerant is leaking from your unit, then you will need to call in an expert ASAP. Water leaks can often point to a blocked drain line that could be cleared out with a wet vacuum. Refrigerant leaks, on the other hand, point often to a much larger system malfunction.
By keeping air filters cleaned, vents unobstructed and by programming your thermostat to run efficiently, you can easily lengthen the life of your HVAC system. In many cases, when your HVAC unit starts to go awry, you can (at a minimum) try to troubleshoot the problem. However, if you ever notice smoke, strange odors coming from the vents, refrigerant leaks, or other out of the ordinary things happening, you will want to consult with an HVAC professional rather than trying to troubleshoot on your own.