5 Common HVAC Problems (And How to Fix Them)

The importance of indoor air purity’s been in sharper focus than ever before this year. 

One way to ensure your buildings have the best indoor air quality is by installing HEPA filters in your HVAC system. However, regular maintenance of these systems also goes a long way toward keeping your HVAC functioning properly and maintaining good air quality in your home and business.

Find out more about the most common HVAC problems, what you can do about them, and how to prevent them.

Identifying Common HVAC Problems

For starters, you can’t know when something’s wrong with an HVAC system unless you know what it’s meant to do in the first place. 

What does HVAC stand for?

The acronym stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. These systems ensure both residential and commercial buildings retain a pleasant atmospheric environment regardless of the weather outside.

Usually, HVAC systems run around the clock, so it’s easy to see how they can eventually start to malfunction and break down entirely. A broken HVAC system can spell disaster in a commercial setting and create health issues, unnecessary expense, and discomfort at home. 

That’s why it’s important to know the warning signs of pending problems with your HVAC before it stops doing what it’s designed to do.

1. Unusual HVAC Noises

Clattering air vents and unusual furnace noises are a sure sign that something’s amiss with residential or commercial HVAC systems

Clattering air vents and unusual furnace noises are one of the most common problems in both residential and commercial HVAC systems.

Rattling and clamoring noises most often result from loose ductwork connections. It’s easy to stop the noise and prevent disaster by wrapping them with metal tape.

When your ducts expand and contract they can cause loud bangs and pops. This is a sign of poor insulation. Get a specialist to check out your ductwork before your building develops serious air quality problems.

A squealing or whining sound emitting from your HVAC motor means the bearings on your HVAC’s inducer motor or blower motor are on their way out. Act quickly if you hear these sounds as they can indicate that your furnace motor’s about to fail.

Other strange sounds coming from the motor are usually a sign of dirty burners or restricted airflow.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with the normal operating sounds of your HVAC system, so you know the warning sounds. If the motor fails, you may need to replace your entire heating and cooling setup.

2. Failure to Cool

If you’re HVAC’s running but it’s stopped cooling your rooms, it could be a sign of dirt-build up resulting in ice accumulating on your evaporator coils.

Cleaning your evaporator with self-rinse oil cleaner may help, but it’s advisable to get a qualified maintenance technician to check it out.

Following a regular HVAC maintenance schedule, especially concerning changing the filters, is a sure-fire way to avoid this problem.

3. The Blower Runs Non-Stop

There are a few things that cause your HVAC blower to run continuously.

Check the fan switch on the thermostat. If it’s set to the ‘fan-on’ position, the blower won’t shut down when the room reaches its optimum temperature setting.

The fan relay that switches the blower on and off could’ve jammed. The circuit board on your HVAC’s programmed to cool down the furnace when it starts overheating. If this safety feature malfunctions, your blower keeps running indefinitely.

If the thermostat’s temperature indicator shows a temperature that doesn’t correspond with the ambient temperature of your room, it’s probably malfunctioning.

Sometimes, you can remedy this easily by changing the batteries and resetting the thermostat. If this doesn’t work, call a technician right away. You may need a new thermostat.

4. Leaking Water or Refrigerant

Every HVAC system produces a lot of condensate during its operation, especially during the warmer months.

When this condensate spills over, your HVAC will leak. Often cracked or clogged drain lines cause this overflow, but it could also be the collector box, evaporator drain pan, or heat exchanger.

A shop-vac may resolve the problem, but it’s best to get expert help in discovering the cause.

Leaking refrigerant’s another source of cooling issues in homes and businesses. Low refrigerant levels mean your HVAC can’t perform efficiently. Check for condensate on the ground near the furnace and ice build up the copper lines running from the HVAC.

You’ll also notice a sharp increase in your electricity bill if your HVAC’s leaking refrigerant, so check this your refrigerant levels regularly.

Call a technician for assistance before this costly problem gets out of hand.  

5. Dirty Air Filters

Air filters are easy and inexpensive to maintain, yet so many people neglect this simple task.

Dirty air filters can contribute to all the above problems and more, so make sure you change your HVAC’s air filters regularly according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Usually once every 30 to 60 days does the trick.

A clogged air filter blocks airflow, affects the cooling abilities of your HVAC, and causes undue strain on the motor. It also sends allergens and dust spiraling into the air inside your building.

Avoid Unnecessary Expenses

The best way to prevent common HVAC problems is to ensure you get a professional HVAC technician to inspect and service your system regularly. 

Don’t leave it until it’s too late, a simple inexpensive fix can often escalate into a major repair if it’s left too long. 

For more advice on how to make the best use of your resources both at home and in business, keep browsing our website.