Troubleshoot Your HVAC

Posted on: August 2, 2016

Troubleshooting your HVAC system can save you on maintenance and repair costs, but it’s important to know the ABC’s of HVAC systems to safely and efficiently evaluate it. Your home HVAC system typically includes both central heating and central cooling which are two separate systems that share ductwork.

Commonly, the central cooling system includes a cabinet outdoors that contains a condenser coil and compressor and an indoor evaporator coil that is usually installed with your furnace or air handler. The compressor is the piece of equipment that moves refrigerant through the system.

The cooling part of the HVAC systems works by moving warm air across the indoor evaporator coil which transfers heat from the air to the refrigerant to cool the air. The refrigerant is cycled back to the compressor to repeat the job and the cool air is blown inside your home. The heat transferred to the refrigerant is removed to outside the home.

The heating system has a primary heating appliance which is usually installed in your garage or basement. A furnace is one type of heating appliance and it can run on either gas or oil, or on a hybrid system, depending on your region and needs. The furnace generates combustion gases that are passed through a heat exchanger. Air from your home is blown across the heat exchanger, which warms the air to be transferred through the ductwork and distributed back into your home. You should be especially careful when troubleshooting old furnaces considering the outdated parts, and hazards of CO2 and fires.

Most often, HVAC issues are related to one specific part of the system, such as the duct system, heat pump, or vents, to name a few – which makes troubleshooting a relatively methodical task. Start by inspecting the visible equipment and work towards the less conspicuous parts.

The first step of your diagnosis should be to confirm that your system has power. The furnace and air-conditioner will have separate fuses or circuit breakers. The thermostat will also have its own power source, either electrical or battery powered.

If cold air is blowing from your heater, there are a couple things you can troubleshoot to identify the issue. First, check the thermostat to see that it is set to “auto” instead of “on.” If it is set to “on,” the fan will blow continuously even if the furnace isn’t heating the air, causing the air coming out of the vents to feel cool. Next, check your air filter and change it if it is dirty. A dirty filter can restrict airflow and cause other equipment to malfunction.

Other causes of HVAC failures can include an outdated HVAC system/parts, poor drainage, frozen coil, a pilot light or ignition problem, inadequate fuel supply, large leaks in your ductwork, or a clog in your condenser. These type of issues are best identified by calling your local certified HVAC professional.

If troubleshooting your HVAC system doesn’t solve the issue, call the fully Nate certified staff at Action Air Conditioning, Heating and Solar today to schedule a maintenance and repair appointment to get your system working at optimal performance!