Across the United States the weather map is showing hot, hot, hot! It is definitely not a great time for your HVAC system to break down during summer. Not sure if your system is getting ready to break down or are you having “normal” HVAC problems?
Here are some of the most common issues, to help you understand your HVAC system better.
Do you see water leaking near your unit? A little bit of water around your system is perfectly normal. The conditioning process causes a certain amount of condensation. However, if there’s a huge puddle leaking out from the unit, you should call your HVAC technician.
Is the unit turned on and plugged in? One of the most common HVAC problems is that power simply isn’t running to the unit. Is the issue as easy as the thermostat’s batteries need replacing? Does the circuit breaker need to be reset? These are all quick, easy fixes that can get you back up and running in no time. This is a good checklist of possible power issues before calling for repairs.
Check the air filter if air isn’t flowing through your home as well as it should, or if it’s taking too long to heat or cool it properly. If it’s opaque and grey, it needs to be replaced. Checking and replacing your filter regularly can save energy and help your system function more efficiently.
It’s perfectly natural to smell a bit of burning the first time you start up your furnace at the beginning of the season and it should subside quickly as the dust that’s accumulated throughout the year burns off. If it doesn’t subside, or if you notice any other HVAC smells, call an expert to take a look.
If you hear loud banging, rattling, or clanging sounds that may indicate that you have a big problem. Today’s modern HVAC systems make very little noise, so especially if you’ve just upgraded, you may worry it’s “too quiet”.
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 airflow to your system, your blower has to work harder to compensate. The most common cause is a dirty air filter. When the air filter is dirty your blower has to work harder to force air through the filter. This increases 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 recurs, 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.
Blower runs continuously
Do you hear your blower running all the time? There are a few reasons a furnace blower may run continuously. Check the fan switch on the thermostat. If the fan is set in the on position, the motor will run continuously. It often happens that homeowners accidentally switch the fan switch to on. 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 blower 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 problem and offer repair options.
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