How To Check If Your HVAC System Needs Repair
In any establishment, either residential or commercial, people should always prioritize comfort and safety above everything else. These fundamental requirements can be achieved by adjusting the level of heating, air conditioning, and ventilation. These components are collectively known as the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, which accounts for 30% of a structure’s total energy consumption.
Because of HVAC’s importance, having misalignments and issues with this system can cause a ton of inconvenience on the part of the residents. In case this happens, you should know how to assess the condition of your HVAC system before calling a professional contractor, such as Modern PHE.
How Will You Know If Something’s Wrong With Your HVAC System?
HVAC systems usually show a few signs that they’re already past their capabilities. Typically, they succumb to failure, especially during extreme weather conditions when they need to work double time. To avoid putting your HVAC system at risk, prevent activating the heat pump emergency as much as possible.
Prior to any HVAC system repair, here are some of the most common indications that there might be something wrong:
- Hot air is released instead of cool air
- Strange, abnormal noises, such as grinding, squealing, and grating sounds
- Leakage around the AC unit
- Poor airflow
- Pungent smell due to bacterial growth
If you notice any of these signs in your HVAC system, it most probably needs immediate repairs.
Moving on to the crucial part of checking the HVAC system, discussed below are some diagnostic tips to help you confirm whether or not you should seek repair services for your HVAC system:
Homeowners tend to skip this essential part because they’re in a hurry and don’t know what they’re putting themselves into. When checking any part of your home for defects, always prioritize your safety and eliminate potential hazards. After all, this is what technicians always do.
With this in mind, wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Since you’ll be dealing with an HVAC system, wear insulated gloves to avoid electric shock and electrocution when handling electrical equipment. Also, protective eyewear and mask can prevent small particles of debris and dust from getting inside your eyes and nose.
Mechanical Or Electrical?
One of the first things you should do is to observe if the problem lies within the mechanical or electrical components of the system. Generally, the HVAC system is an intricate mechanical arrangement, but it undeniably is an electrical configuration as well.
Identifying if the potential problems are either coming from the mechanical or electrical aspect will be beneficial in finding the root cause.
Examine Air Filters
When homeowners encounter any malfunctioning indications of an HVAC system, their instinct is to contact repair services immediately. What if the reason for the failure is just clogged, dirty air filters? It would be such a waste of time and money to contact professionals instead of simply cleaning the filters yourself. A responsible homeowner should know how to clean them appropriately, as well as know when they need replacement.
Therefore, check your air filters first and confirm if these are the ones responsible for the malfunction. If filters are clean enough and were only replaced recently, then, you might be dealing with a more complex problem that needs professional attention.
Look At The Outside Unit
Often overlooked, the outside unit of your HVAC system is vital in keeping things in their proper places. The external unit experiences harsh weather conditions. Snow, falling leaves and branches, and debris are some of the things that can suffocate the outside unit of your HVAC system. Check the outside unit for any of these objects and remove them carefully. Pick up bigger objects, such as leaves and branches, then, utilize a hose with a spray nozzle to wash away dirt and debris. Of course, don't forget to shut off the power first.
Check Your Furnace’s Thermostat
The HVAC's thermostat is like the master gland of the endocrine system--it controls other HVAC components, signaling them when to turn on or off themselves. Once the thermostat is malfunctioning, the HVAC system will not deliver the ideal temperature for your home.
Fortunately, troubleshooting a thermostat is easy and can be possibly fixed in a few minutes:
- Check if the thermostat is receiving power from circuit breakers.
- Attempt replacing the thermostat batteries, in case the batteries have run out and caused the problem.
- Nicotine, dust, and animal fur can accumulate on the thermostat's internal system. First, remove the batteries and cut power from the circuit. Clean it through gentle brushing using a clean paintbrush or any soft tool. If you want to use compressed air for cleaning, make sure to follow safety instructions.
Last but not the least, airflow and ventilation issues are common HVAC problems that can come from many components. Thus, it could be more challenging to track where the issue may be coming from. If you're experiencing ventilation problems, these are usually associated with hot and cold spots, weak airflow, warm air release, and pressure imbalance.
Once you've encountered these problems, you should quickly troubleshoot the HVAC system, or, else, it will lead to compressor failure. Compressors are the core of an AC, and if it stops functioning, you might need a new unit.
Besides cleaning the air filters mentioned previously, you can include cleaning the air duct to minimize future issues. Suggestively, hire professional cleaning services to target all possible roots of malfunctioning.
Troubleshooting is a special skill that homeowners can learn without attending formal education.
HVAC systems are complex puzzles that differ from household to household, thus you should know how to deal with your specific type of unit when issues arise. Knowing how to identify if your HVAC system needs some repairs is paramount to prevent your HVAC from worsening, which can lead to more costly repairs or, worse, replacement. When troubleshooting your HVAC system, take note of the tips mentioned above so you can address any issue as soon as possible. But, remember to always observe safety precautions when troubleshooting your HVAC system to avoid untoward incidents.