April 7, 2023

Avoid These 8 HVAC Problems With Regular Maintenance

Your furnace and air conditioner are vital components of your home. A malfunctioning HVAC can make your home uncomfortable and even dangerous to your health.

However, regularly maintaining your HVAC system and scheduling routine checkups with a certified technician can avoid common HVAC issues.

This article will look at routine maintenance that can help you avoid common HVAC issues. These can be as simple as replacing an air filter regularly or hiring an HVAC technician to perform regular maintenance.

Why Is HVAC Maintenance Important?

Like a car, an HVAC system requires proper care and maintenance to function correctly and extend its lifespan. A properly functioning HVAC system will efficiently keep your home warm or cool. However, maintenance is essential to extend your HVAC unit’s lifespan.

Households that fail to perform twice yearly HVAC maintenance have a higher chance of system failure. And if that happens, you might need to replace components or worse, the HVAC system.

If this occurs, the cost to replace your damaged system can be expensive. The cost of a replacement system is determined by:

  • Unit size
  • Unit efficiency
  • Installation contractor
  • Your selection of features and technology

HVAC financing options are available to help with limiting your out-of-pocket expenses and have affordable monthly payments spread out over time.

1. Dirty Filters and Coils

One of the most important things you can do to extend the life and efficiency of your HVAC is to replace your filter at least every three months, or monthly if you have pets or high traffic. Airflow will be restricted if your filter is clogged, forcing your unit to work harder to circulate air throughout your home, resulting in shorter equipment life.

This puts undue stress on your system’s blower and causes discomfort. The system can also overheat and unexpectedly shut down if the filter is clogged.

The evaporator coil in your heat pump or air conditioner is important for your HVAC system. The efficiency of your units will be significantly reduced if the coil is dirty. A dirty evaporator coil can be wiped or hosed off, but a trained technician should chemically clean the coil.

2. Duct Leaks and Dirty Ductwork

The ducts that distribute warm or cool air throughout your home are frequently overlooked as a potential source of problems. If air escapes from your ductwork, your air conditioner and furnace will have to work harder to cool or heat your home.

Regularly cleaning and inspecting ducts is recommended. If you have pets or live in a dusty area, you might want to do it once a year. You’ll have a cleaner, healthier home while also saving money on energy.

3. Refrigerant Leaks

The operation of your HVAC system’s air conditioning is dependent on chemicals known as refrigerants. Refrigerant leaks are a common cause of service calls because low refrigerant levels cause your air conditioner to malfunction.

Leaks can be caused by corrosion in the system’s coils, loose fittings, or holes in refrigerant pipes. Regular inspections of your HVAC units are the most effective way to detect low refrigerant (possible leaks) and prevent system failure. A certified service technician will perform the inspections and cleaning to avoid unnecessary service calls and possible damage to your system.

4. Clogged Drain Pipes and Water Leaks

Drain pipes are used to ensure that water drains properly. The HVAC system may leak water if the drain lines are clogged or cracked. Regular maintenance will be needed, and in some ways, you can keep your drain pipes clean.

Pouring white vinegar down the furnace drain regularly can help keep drain lines clean and unclogged. Possible leak sources are the collector box, heat exchanger, or evaporator drain pan. Call an Air Doctor service technician to determine the source of the water leak and repair options.

5. Pilot or Ignition Problems

Pilot outage, short cycling, furnace lockout, and delayed burner ignition can result from a dirty pilot, flame sensor, or burner. These could also be caused by a gas supply issue or damaged ignition component, such as a hot surface ignitor or thermocouple. Because these issues involve dangerous elements such as natural gas and high voltage, it is best to let a trained service technician take over.

6. Thermostat Issues

When your furnace isn’t working properly, it’s usually due to a problem with the thermostat or settings. You may avoid an expensive or unnecessary service call by consulting your owner’s manual and reviewing the operating instructions.

Batteries in programmable thermostats may need to be replaced. If the problem persists, a service technician can diagnose the issue.

7. Tripping Circuit Breakers

Overworking the blower is the most common cause of a circuit breaker trip in a furnace. If something obstructs your system’s airflow, your blower will work harder to compensate. When your air filter is clogged, your blower will have to put in more effort to push air through it. This increases the blower’s energy consumption and may cause the circuit breaker to trip.

Before resetting the circuit breaker, check your dirty air filter and replace it with a clean one. If the problem persists, you should consult a professional who can safely determine whether the problem is due to a furnace malfunction or a faulty circuit breaker. Duct leaks closed or blocked-off air registers, and dirty coils can force the blower to overwork.

8. Blower Motor Running Excessively

A blower motor may run continuously for a variety of reasons. Before calling for help, check the fan switch on the thermostat. The motor will run continuously when the thermostat is set to the fan position. Homeowners tend to turn on the fan accidentally.

When there is a call for heat, a fan relay in the furnace turns on the blower; if the relay sticks, the blower will not shut off. The furnace has a variety of safety features and limits. The circuit board may turn on the furnace to cool it down if activated. The blower will not shut off if the limit or safety does not reset. A qualified service technician can assess the situation and provide repair options.

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