How To's

HVAC Troubleshooting for Homeowners

By October 19, 2022 No Comments
HVAC troubleshooting for homeowners

Climate control is one of the greatest inventions but when it’s not working properly your HVAC system can become a massive source of stress and worry. Before you panic, consider doing a little troubleshooting. There are several easy things you can check before you call a repairman.

Is Your HVAC Powered and Set Properly?

Sometimes when HVAC systems go awry it’s simply because the system is not powered. This might seem like an obvious problem but your HVAC system likely has at least two breakers in your breaker box – it can be easy to miss that a switch has been flipped. Reset both your air conditioner and your furnace, then try to kick the system on again.

Another major source of headaches for homeowners is the thermostat. Thermostats go bad from time to time (even smart thermostats), and can sometimes be finicky. Check that your thermostat is set to a temperature that will turn your system on, and that the right mode is enabled. Thermostats can sometimes randomly change your programmed settings and may have changed the program in an attempt to help.

Are Your Filters Clean?

It might sound like a small thing but your filters determine how much air makes it from the interior of your home to your air handler and back out the vents, at the temperature meant to help you achieve your desired comfort level. If your filters are dirty, they can drastically reduce how much air is moving through your home.

Change your filters monthly, even if they only look slightly dirty since today’s high filtration filters can get clogged quickly. You can also swap paper filters for custom built electrostatic filters, so you only need to vacuum and hose your filters once a month.

Are Your Ducts Leaky?

If your HVAC is blowing air, hot or cold, but it doesn’t seem like it’s as hot or as cold as it normally is, your problem might be in your ducts. Ductwork can work loose over time or may be pulled down by animals who sneak into your crawlspace or attic. When there’s an opening in ductwork, you can lose both air pressure and the temperature treated air that you’re trying to keep inside your house.

To check your ductwork, you’ll need to go to where it’s hanging and start at one end. Make sure the HVAC system is blowing so you can feel for leaks with your bare hands. When you find one, reconnect the ductwork. Some systems fit together with screws, while others use clamps. Once reconnected, you can double-secure your handiwork by winding aluminum tape around the seam where you made the repair. You may also need to add additional support to hold the ductwork in place, if there isn’t adequate strapping.

If your ductwork is in good shape but it still feels like you’re not getting enough treated air, check your windows and doors for leaks and seal them tight. You can do this by feeling around them for drafts, or waiting until after dark and going outside to look for light peeking through cracks in doors and around trim.

Need an  Expert?

If you’ve done all you can on your own to figure out what’s keeping your heating or air conditioning from being its best, it may be time to call an HVAC expert. Not only will they have all the right tools to properly diagnose your problem, their experience can help find the issue right away. Not sure where to find them? Ask Rooted&Co for a recommendation.

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