Common HVAC Problems and How to Troubleshoot Them

HVAC technician cleaning vent

Fix Your HVAC in a Snap

HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems can experience various problems that affect their performance and efficiency. Here are some common HVAC problems and troubleshooting steps you can take.

  1. Dirty Air Filters:
    • Problem: Dirty or clogged air filters restrict airflow, reduce system efficiency, and can cause the system to overheat or freeze up.
    • Troubleshooting: Check the air filters and replace them if they are dirty or clogged. Most filters should be replaced every 1-3 months, depending on usage.
  2. Thermostat Malfunction:
    • Problem: Incorrect thermostat settings or a malfunctioning thermostat can result in improper temperature control or system failure.
    • Troubleshooting: Verify that the thermostat is set to the desired temperature and mode (cooling or heating). Replace the batteries if needed. If the thermostat is unresponsive or inaccurate, consider replacing it.
  3. Refrigerant Leaks:
    • Problem: Low refrigerant levels due to leaks can cause the HVAC system to malfunction, resulting in inadequate cooling or heating.
    • Troubleshooting: If you suspect a refrigerant leak, contact a professional HVAC technician to locate and repair the leak and recharge the refrigerant levels.
  4. Frozen Evaporator Coils:
    • Problem: Restricted airflow, low refrigerant levels, or dirty coils can cause the evaporator coils to freeze, leading to reduced cooling capacity or system shutdown.
    • Troubleshooting: Turn off the system and allow the coils to thaw completely. Inspect the air filters, coils, and ductwork for obstructions or damage. Clean the coils and ensure proper airflow around the indoor unit.
  5. Clogged Condensate Drain:
    • Problem: A clogged condensate drain can cause water buildup and overflow, leading to water damage and system malfunctions.
    • Troubleshooting: Locate the condensate drain line and check for obstructions, such as algae, mold, or debris. Clear the blockage using a wet/dry vacuum, bleach solution, or plumbing snake.
  6. Electrical Issues:
    • Problem: Electrical problems, such as tripped breakers, blown fuses, or faulty wiring, can cause the HVAC system to malfunction or fail to start.
    • Troubleshooting: Check the circuit breakers or fuses associated with the HVAC system and reset or replace as needed. Inspect the wiring for signs of damage or loose connections.
  7. Fan Problems:
    • Problem: Malfunctioning fans, including the blower fan and outdoor fan, can result in poor airflow, inadequate cooling/heating, or system overheating.
    • Troubleshooting: Check the fan blades for damage or obstruction. Lubricate the fan motor if it’s making unusual noises. Replace the fan motor or capacitor if they’re faulty.
  8. Uneven Heating or Cooling:
    • Problem: Uneven temperature distribution throughout the home can be caused by blocked vents, inadequate insulation, or ductwork issues.
    • Troubleshooting: Ensure that all vents are open and unobstructed. Check for leaks or damage in the ductwork and seal as needed. Consider adding insulation to areas with poor insulation.

Need Some Help? Give Us a Call

Some HVAC problems can be remedied fairly easily. For more complex HVAC problems or if troubleshooting steps don’t resolve the issue, it’s best to contact a licensed HVAC technician for professional diagnosis and repairs. Aire-Rite Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. is proud to offer HVAC repair in Riverside, CA. We also install and inspect HVAC units. Regular maintenance and professional inspections can help prevent common HVAC problems and ensure optimal system performance, so reach out to us at (951) 336-1541 today.