Are your energy bills suddenly getting higher than normal? If so, your HVAC system may be the culprit. Unless it’s an emergency, the best course of action isn’t to immediately call in a technician but to do some troubleshooting first.
Below is a guide that will help you through all the steps you can take to try to diagnose problems with your HVAC system before calling in professionals for costly repairs or replacements. After reading this, you should have a checklist of things you can easily inspect.
1. Check the Filter
A clogged filter can cause various problems, from insufficient heating or cooling to strange noise from the system. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to check your air filter and ensure it isn’t impeded by an accumulation of dust. You need to replace your filter regularly. How often depends on the type of filter you have installed in your HVAC system.
So, what do you look for when examining your filter? You should visually check to see that it’s clean and free of dust, dirt, and other debris. If you can see through the filter, then it’s all right. When you find it badly clogged, it’s past time for a replacement. If replacing the filter doesn’t correct the situation, call a professional immediately. At Black-Haak, we provide HVAC repair and maintenance services for residents of Greenville, WI and the surrounding areas. We’ll be happy to perform a more thorough inspection.
2. Check for Leaks
Leaks in your ductwork can lead to various problems, such as inefficient heating and cooling, humidity issues, and even mold. Even the smallest leaks can cause big problems over time, so it’s important not to dismiss any possible leaky areas, no matter how small.
To check for leaks, use a flashlight and look around your ducts for areas where air could escape. Pay close attention to the seams and joints, as these are the most common places for air leaks. You may have a leaky duct if you find any abnormal dust or dirt around the area.
3. Inspect the Thermostat
The thermostat ensures that your HVAC system is providing the correct temperature. If it needs to be fixed, you may find that your house is too hot or too cold regardless of the setting you’ve picked. When your troubleshooting steps isolate this as the problem, it’s time to call in a technician. They can check the thermostat to ensure it’s properly calibrated and that all the wiring is secure. They will be able to diagnose the issue quickly and advise you on any necessary repairs or replacements needed to get your system running smoothly again.
4. Tripped Breakers
Sometimes, a tripped breaker can cause issues with your HVAC system. Checking the breaker box should be easy, and it could save you time and money. See if breakers are tripped by examining them individually to determine if they’re in the ‘On’ or ‘Off’ position. If they’re off, switch them back on. This should get your system running; however, it won’t clear up the issue that caused them to trip in the first place. You’ll need a technician for that.
5. Check for Obstructions
To work properly, your HVAC system must push air through your ducts and vents. If there’s an obstruction, the system won’t be able to do its job properly. To check for this, look around your vents and make sure that nothing is blocking them. If you find anything obstructing your airflow, remove it immediately so the system can work properly again. Remember to keep objects such as furniture away from your vents, as this could cause similar issues.
6. Excessive Vibration
When your system is vibrating, it could be an indication of a much bigger problem. If you notice that the unit is shaking or vibrating more than usual, you should call in a technician right away to investigate further.
Several issues can cause excessive vibration, including loose parts or worn bearings. It’s important to get these problems looked at immediately, as they can lead to other malfunctions. A qualified technician will be able to determine the cause and quickly let you know what needs to be done to fix it.
7. Open the Registers
Your registers are the portals through which air is pushed into and around your home. If they’re blocked or closed, this could cause problems with your HVAC system. To check for this, open up each register individually and make sure that nothing is blocking it.
The size of the opening in each register is also worth consideration. If it’s too small, it could be restricting airflow and causing issues with your system’s efficiency. If you feel this might be the case, it’s best to reach out to a technician who can inspect the registers and advise you on any necessary replacements or repairs.
8. The Drain Line
Your HVAC system should have a drain line that collects excess moisture and keeps it away from the unit. If this gets blocked or clogged, it can cause serious problems with your equipment. To check for this, look at the drain line and ensure no debris is blocking it. If you find any, clear it out as soon as possible.
If your drain has not improved after you’ve attempted to clear any blockages, it’s time to bring in a specialist to finish the job. With their expertise and skills, they will be able to identify the underlying issue and completely clear the drain line from one end to the other so your system can resume running efficiently once again.
9. Check the Fan
The fan inside your HVAC system plays an important role in its functionality. If it’s not running correctly, this can lead to various issues with the unit itself. To check for any problems with the fan, feel around the unit and see if you can hear or feel it running.
You can also open up the panel that covers the fan and check its blades. If they’re bent or damaged in any way, that could certainly be causing problems with the system’s functionality. It’s important to resolve these issues as soon as possible, so call a technician immediately if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
10. Switches and Controls
Finally, you should check your system’s switches and controls. These are responsible for turning the unit on and off and controlling its temperature and fan speed. If any of these aren’t working properly, it could be causing issues with the system’s performance. To check whether these are operating correctly, all you can do is set them to various positions and see if they comply. If they don’t, a professional will be required to correct the problem.
For units with digital controls, you should also check the display screen and ensure that all settings are correct. If you notice any issues, a technician would be the best person to call for further advice. This way, you can be sure that your system will be back running correctly in no time.
If you’re having problems with your HVAC system, there are a few checks you can do before calling in a technician. This can help you eliminate small, easily corrected issues and identify more serious problems that require technical assistance. Don’t attempt a complex repair on your own. It could endanger you and worsen the system’s condition.
At Black-Haak, we provide heating, cooling, and indoor air quality equipment installation, repair, and maintenance for homeowners throughout Fox Valley. Our experienced technicians are dedicated to providing excellent customer service and ensuring that all client needs are met. We also perform a complete range of electrical and plumbing services. Call us today if you need assistance with your HVAC system.