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9 Common HVAC Problems You Can Avoid With Regular Maintenance

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Your air conditioner and furnace are important parts of your home. A furnace problem or issue with your air conditioner can not only make your home uncomfortable but can also be detrimental to your health.

But many common HVAC problems don’t have to occur. If you perform regular maintenance on your HVAC system and schedule regular checkups with a trained technician, many common HVAC issues can be avoided.

HVAC systems require regular maintenance

In this article, we’ll examine some of the regular maintenance work that will help you avoid common HVAC problems. These can be as simple as changing an air filter on a regular basis or having regularly scheduled maintenance performed by an HVAC technician.

Here are the common HVAC problems you can avoid with regular maintenance.

Table of Contents

  • Dirty filters
  • Dirty coils
  • Refrigerant leaks
  • Duct leaks and dirty ductwork
  • Clogged drain pipes and water leaks
  • Pilot or ignition problems
  • Thermostat issues
  • Tripping circuit breakers
  • Blower motor running excessively

Let’s examine all of these potential HVAC problems and the solutions you can employ.

Dirty filters

A dirty air filter is one of the most common issues affecting the performance of household HVAC systems. Fortunately, a dirty filter is one of the easiest problems to fix. Your air filter should be changed on a regular basis. In some cases, depending on your local air quality, and whether you have pets, you may need to change a dirty filter every month.

What kind of air filter should you use? There are many different grades, so look for the MERV rating on the filter. The higher the number, the better it will filter the air. 

Dirty coils

The evaporator coil of the heat pump or air conditioner in your HVAC system is an important component. If your units have a dirty coil, their efficiency will be decreased by a significant amount.

A dirty evaporator coil on an exterior unit like a heat pump can simply be hosed off, while a trained service technician should clean coils on indoor units like air conditioners.

Refrigerant leaks

The air conditioning in your HVAC system relies upon chemicals known as refrigerants to operate. Refrigerant leaks are a common reason for service calls since your air conditioning will not operate properly if the refrigerant levels are low.

A refrigerant leak can be caused by many things. Corrosion in the system’s coils, loose fittings, holes in refrigerant pipes – these can all cause leaks. The single best way to prevent leaks is to have regular checks performed on your HVAC units. A trained service technician will perform the necessary inspections and cleaning required to avoid unnecessary service calls.

Duct leaks and dirty ductwork

The ducts that carry warm or cool air throughout your home are often overlooked as a cause of trouble. But if air escapes from your ductwork your air conditioner and furnace will have to work harder to cool and warm your home.

It’s a good idea to have your ducts and registers cleaned and inspected on a regular basis. If you own pets or live in a dusty area, as frequently as once a year may be appropriate. You’ll have a cleaner, healthier home, and save on energy costs, too.

Clogged drain pipes and water leaks

Have you ever found puddles of water near your heating or cooling units? That’s because each HVAC unit produces condensate as a byproduct of heating and cooling the air in your home. Drains are used to move the condensate away, but if they are clogged you can experience leaks or musty odors.

If you experience musty odors by your unit’s drain, some bleach or vinegar poured into the drain can help. Clogged pipes can sometimes be cleaned easily with a small brush or pipe cleaner. But if you are experiencing leaks that you can’t track down and fix, it’s time to call for service.

Pilot or ignition problems

If you have a gas furnace, ignition problems can leave you without heat when you most need it or create a potentially dangerous situation. A dirty pilot light, blocked gas supply, or several other issues could be at the root of the problem.

Regular service visits by an HVAC professional will check the ignition component condition and look for other potential problems. This preventative maintenance is a smart investment in your HVAC system.

Thermostat issues

Today’s smart, programmable thermostats can help you save on energy costs and keep your home more comfortable. But getting the correct thermostat settings for your home may take a little effort on your part. Be sure to read the manual for your thermostat to ensure that you’re getting the most out of it.

Even the best thermostats can malfunction, however. If you’re having trouble maintaining the correct temperature in your home, a service call may identify thermostat sensor problems or other issues.

Tripping circuit breakers

If the circuit breaker for your HVAC unit needs reset regularly, be sure to call for professional help right away.

In many cases, the reason your circuit breaker needs to reset often is that the system is working too hard. That can be the result of a dirty air filter or a more complicated problem. Regular checkups and maintenance can often catch these problems before they become a headache.

Blower motor running excessively

Is your blower motor running all the time? Check your thermostat first. If you’ve set the fan switch to ON, the fan will continue to run. AUTO is the best setting to use most of the time.

In some cases, the furnace’s blower motor will run because of a defective relay. Call your HVAC technician to set up an appointment for an evaluation.

Keep your HVAC system in tip-top shape

As we’ve seen, not all your HVAC issues are hard to fix. In fact, by performing regularly scheduled maintenance you can head off many common problems. Some of these tasks, like changing an air filter, can be performed quickly and easily by the homeowner. Others require the knowledge, expertise, and specialized tools of an HVAC technician.

Count on Team Enoch

It’s wise to have regular inspections of your home’s HVAC system done by qualified professionals. At Team Enoch, we take pride in our workmanship and have the experience and know-how to find and fix HVAC issues before they become a major problem. Check out our membership plans. They offer preventative maintenance and inspection programs to help you keep your system in top condition.

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