HVAC Troubleshooting Guide: What to Do Before Calling a Pro
Given the complexity of your AC system having an HVAC troubleshooting guide could prove helpful. With the combined costs and complexity of fixing an HVAC system, it would seem you’d always need a professional when things go wrong. However, there are many ways to solve air conditioning, heating, and ventilation issues on your own. For these simple issues, not only are you wasting your money, but also the time of a technician, who could be solving more complex issues.
Ideal Temp’s HVAC Troubleshooting Guide
Following these HVAC troubleshooting tips before calling a pro can save you time and money:
1. Check the Air Filter
A dirty or clogged air filter is one of the most common reasons for AC problems. Look for a dirty filter and clean or replace it, depending on the type (the thinner the filter, the more often it should be changed). A clogged filter can limit cooling ability, restrict airflow, and strain the system. Therefore, check the filter every month or two and replace it when necessary.
2. Check the Circuit Breaker
When your HVAC troubleshooting, checking whether the circuit breaker has tripped or been intentionally turned off seems like a no-brainer. In this case, just turn the circuit breaker back on. It should be in the basement or garage, although, in some homes, you might find the panel in a storage closet or hallway. After resetting the breaker, check that the AC is working.
3. Determine If There’s Been a Power Outage
A local power outage can cause irregular airflow and stop your HVAC system from working. Check around your home, business, or office, whether the lights are on and other electrical devices are working. If you’re on the job and/or rely on natural lighting, this might not be so obvious, but an outage is certainly something to look into.
4. Look for Vent Blockages
If dust, an object, or furniture is blocking HVAC vents, air flow may be interrupted. Examine your HVAC vents and grills and clean away any dust or dirt you find. If any plants or furniture are nearby, make sure they’re at least two feet from any vent opening.
5. Check the Batteries
Go to the thermostat and see if it is lit. If not, it may have dead batteries, which you can easily change on your own. The system won’t work properly if the thermostat isn’t powered. There’s nothing a tech can do unless a set of fresh batteries is installed.
6. Contact the Owner/Manager of the Property
Call the property manager before ever calling an HVAC technician. They might not be able to repair your system without the proper consent. Plus, it’s common courtesy to inform all responsible parties.
7. Look for Debris on the Outside Unit
Out of sight, the outside unit is often overlooked. However, leaves, branches, and just about anything else can literally suffocate it. Objects and materials are drawn by a suction force. But they can be hosed away to remove the debris and restore airflow. Just make sure the power is off before you start spraying the unit with water.
8. Thaw Out the System
Frost can form on pipes and coils even in the summer. It might take a couple of hours, but thawing out the unit can help, especially if the freezing occurred due to overuse (turn it off at the thermostat but leave the fan on). Repeat the process again if freezing occurs during the next a day or two. Contact an HVAC pro if the problem continues for several days or more.
Other Important Things to Know
It’s important to know how your HVAC system works, and to use it properly, before deciding you need the help of a pro.
- Don’t set the thermostat below 70℉; this could freeze the system instead of getting your home or business any cooler.
- There’s typically a 20℉ temperature difference between the outside and inside of any property; realize that in hot temperatures, any AC can struggle to provide cooling.
- Close blinds and curtains on the west side of your home, which is where sunlight is strongest. Blocking the excess heat can keep your AC running smoothly.
Contact Ideal Temp
If you’ve performed HVAC troubleshooting and have determined you need a pro, we’re here in Kansas City, MO, to address any issues you are experiencing. We can inspect, repair, and tune up your cooling and heating system. Call 816-720-7857 today to book an appointment.