Home Improvement

14 Common HVAC & Air Conditioner Issues You May Run Into

There you are, enjoying a nice evening at home with a cup of lemonade and a good book, when all of a sudden, the room grows hot. When you finally can’t stand sweating for a moment longer, you get up to check the AC. It’s 80 degrees in your house!

That would explain why you’re burning up.

Turning down your AC doesn’t do any good. It’s still blowing warm air. Believe it or not, this is one of the most common air conditioner issues that you can come across.

It’s not the only one that you should be on the lookout for, though. Check out this guide to learn how to troubleshoot your cooling and heating system before calling in the professionals.

1. Your AC Doesn’t Want to Turn On

There are many reasons why your AC isn’t sending cool air throughout your home. The first thing that you should check is your circuit breaker. If something tripped it, that will affect how your system runs.

If resetting the circuit breaker doesn’t work, it’s time to move on to the more obvious solutions. There’s a chance that one of your plugs simply came loose. Check and make sure that everything is connected the way it should be.

When was the last time that you changed the batteries in your thermostat? If you can’t remember, they might have gone dead. Go ahead and replace them to see if that fixes the issue.

If you still can’t get the cool air that you need after that, you’ll need to call the professionals at  https://armstrongairinc.com/locations/tampa-fl/. They’ll be able to perform further troubleshooting steps to get to the bottom of the situation.

2. It’s Blowing Hot Air

Going back to our example at the beginning, let’s say that your AC is working, but instead of cooling you off, it’s blowing hot air in your face. During the summer, this will quickly turn your entire house into a sauna.

The most common reason why this happens is a dirty air filter. Replacing it should get the cool air working again. If it doesn’t, there might be debris inside the unit or a blockage in one of your ducts.

You may need to put more refrigerant in it. This is a simple task that you can handle yourself, but we still recommend seeking out the help of the professionals.

The reason being is that low refrigerant is a telltale sign that you have a leak somewhere. If this is the case and you go ahead and replace the liquid, all your time and money will become a puddle on the floor.

3. It Doesn’t Cool Consistently

Here lately, you can’t sleep at night unless you curl up on the couch in the living room. It stays nice and cool there during the summer. The bedroom, on the other hand, turns into an oven.

In this situation, your AC isn’t cooling consistently. This problem can be tricky to spot just because it might not be the fault of your HVAC system. The issue could be the age or design of your home.

Instead of wasting time by doing an inspection yourself, get a repair company on the phone. They’ll find out for sure if you’re dealing with a duct leak or if you need to get some work done on your home.

4. Refrigerant Leak

We’ve mentioned refrigerant before, but what is it? Think of it as the blood of the entire machine. If it doesn’t have enough coolant, it won’t be able to function the way that it should.

Your system will try to compensate for the lack of fluid by using up more power to cool your home. As you can imagine, this will send your power bill through the roof.

You’ll notice that certain rooms in your home get a lot hotter than others, and the coils that make up the machine could start to freeze over.

If you ignore the problem, the compressor will blow out. Over time, it could even lead to total system failure. Seek out help before it comes to that.

Don’t try to fix the problem on your own or pour more coolant into the machine to compensate for the loss. That will end in a huge mess.

5. Nasty Smells

You’re sitting on the couch watching a movie when you catch the familiar smell of something burning. Your eyes widen as you remember that you had a batch of cookies in the oven!

You jump to check on them, but they’re fine. So, where is the smell coming from? As you sniff around, you realize that it’s strongest around your AC unit.

Luckily, fixing your burning problem isn’t too much of an issue. Most of the time, it’s caused by a clogged air filter. At worse, you’re dealing with a wiring issue.

Burning isn’t the only smell that you may get a whiff of if there’s something wrong with your HVAC system. Musty odors indicate mold and mildew growth. This usually happens due to improper draining.

6. There’s No Air Movement

You haven’t heard your system turn on for a while. When you press your hand up against it, you realize that there’s no air movement going on whatsoever. The strange thing is that the power is on.

There’s a chance that your system is trying to do its job, but it can’t because it has a busted fan. The good news is that it’s pretty easy to tell if your fan is working or not.

If it’s not the culprit, you could be dealing with a wiring issue or a broken blower belt. Both of these problems will need a professional touch. Don’t try to fix them on your own.

7. The HVAC System Is Making Strange Noises

If your unit is making a low humming noise, that’s normal. This is the machine’s way of letting you know that it’s working. If the system is clicking, hissing, rattling, buzzing, or squeaking, however, that’s not normal.

The interesting thing is that each of these sounds means something different. If your unit is buzzing, it indicates an electrical mishap.

Clicking means that you’re having some relay problems. Rattling means that there’s something wrong with the motor and hissing is a sign that you have a leak somewhere. Squeaking indicates that you have a bad belt.

It’s a good idea to let the person doing AC repairs know what kind of noise you’re hearing. This way, they’ll know what to be on the lookout for.

8. The System Cycles Often

As the day goes on, your machine will cycle on and off several times. This is the system adjusting itself according to the temperature in your house. This being said, it should be taking a break, at least at some point during the day.

Everything, living, and machine need to rest at some point. If not, the constant running will put so much unneeded stress on the AC that the compressor will blow. Before you call a professional to find out why your air conditioner is short cycling, clean out the air filter.

If it continues turning on and off at a rapid rate, you might have a bad thermostat. Change out the batteries to see if this solves your issue.

9. Your Outdoor Unit Is Frozen

If anything restricts your AC unit’s airflow, it will result in ice cycles forming around the machine. Like many issues on this list, you might be able to solve this one by cleaning your air filter. A blocked duct can also pose a problem.

If you haven’t cleaned your outdoor unit in a while, all the debris could be clogging things up. If your fan or blower motor stops working, that can put a stopper in things as well.

If you inspect all these areas, and everything seems clear, there’s something more sinister at work here. Have a professional look things over.

10. Bad Thermostat Sensor

Your thermostat has a huge job. It’s in charge of keeping up with the temperature of your home. It uses the readings that it gets to tell the HVAC system when to turn on and off.

It does this via a sensor. If this sensor breaks, the HVAC system will cut on willy nilly because the numbers are off. Fixing this issue is pretty easy.

The reason why it’s getting bad numbers is probably that it wasn’t installed correctly. An air conditioning repair company will be able to stop the problem by running a few simple calibrations.

11. You Haven’t Been Scheduling Regular Maintenance

You can avoid most of the problems on this list by performing regular AC system maintenance. It’s recommended that you change your air filter, at least once every three months to stop your air conditioning from clogging up.

Since your outdoor unit stays outside, it’s exposed to leaves, dirt, and various other debris. To keep it in good working order, you’ll have to clean it. Taking a broom to it every other week or so will make a huge difference.

Most large air conditioning problems can be solved if you catch them before they become too major. That’s what routine inspections are for.

You should schedule one every year. It will cost money, but not as much as it would to buy a new unit.

12. Your Ignition Isn’t Working

This is less of an air conditioning issue and more of a furnace one. If your ignition goes out, it can cause problems across your entire system.

There are several reasons why this happens. You could have a dirty pilot or a broken flame sensor. If your unit is short cycling, that can trigger it.

Like a car, if your furnace begins running out of gas, it will come to a stop. A piece of your ignition system might have stopped functioning.

Either way, you shouldn’t try to get to the bottom of the issue on your own. Handling gas and electricity won’t end well if you don’t have the right training.

13. Dirty Condensor Coils

Remember what we said about cleaning being important? Debris can clog up the coils on your unit, which pulls the plug on efficiency. Over time, this can put so much stress on the machine that it stops functioning.

Cleaning the coils can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, but it’s not hard. First, you want to shut off power to the entire system. You can do this via your electric panel.

Once there’s no more power flowing into the machine, you can take a water hose and wash the debris away.

14. Regular Wear and Tear

Your AC is full of complicated moving parts. As time moves on, the regular wear and tear on these parts will begin to take its toll.

This will show in the form of airflow problems and overheating. If you schedule regular maintenance, you’ll know when it’s time to replace these parts.

Common Air Conditioner Issues to Lookout For

Has your AC stopped blowing cold air? Is your furnace beginning to act up? There are a million and one reasons why you might be having problems.

For the most part, you can solve these air conditioner issues without calling a maintenance person out. The simple act of cleaning out your air filter can do wonders.

If these troubleshooting steps don’t work, don’t put off repairs. If you do, it could mean the end of your entire machine. Don’t let that happen to you!

Are you looking for more ways to keep your house working like a well-oiled machine? Check out our blog daily for all the latest tips and tricks.

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