Sep 20 , 2019

Is it sweltering outside, and your HVAC system isn’t blowing cool air? Or maybe it’s freezing outside, but your heat won’t turn on at all. 

Other common issues are constantly running systems that can never reach the desired temperature, or hot and cool spots in the house. 

It may be time to call in an HVAC contractor, but you may be able to troubleshoot these common issues on your own. What a homeowner can’t fix on his or her own is best handled by professionals, but it is still beneficial to understand or be able to diagnose issues as they arise.


Check Your Air Filter

The easiest place to begin your search for the underlying HVAC problem is your filter. This is a common issue that you can easily fix yourself. If you’re not getting regular maintenance performed on your HVAC system and aren’t regularly changing the filters on your own, this very well may be the culprit. A dirty filter can impact the performance of even the most advanced HVAC unit by restricting air flow and impeding circulation that prevents cool or warm air from getting your home to a comfortable temperature.


Check the Ignition

A very common issue that affects homeowners is a pilot light or ignitor that is faulty. Replacing these or any other electric components necessary for ignition is best handled by professionals; however, a homeowner can determine that this is the issue and tell the HVAC contractor before he arrives to the home. This can be caused by high winds and/or downdraft, a bad gas valve or loose thermocouple, a cracked heat exchanger, or even improper venting. 


Check Your Thermostat

There have been times when our contractors have arrived at a home to find that the thermostat settings were input incorrectly. It is a very common cause, but if you as the homeowner can double check this before calling in a professional, you can save a little money. It depends on what type of thermostat you have, but if you want it to be cooler, make sure heat is not selected and vice versa. Many of the modern thermostats allow you to make changes digitally, allowing homeowners to setup personal configurations.


Check for Sealing Opportunities

If you notice that certain areas of your air are always too hot or too cold, it could be due to airflow issues. While they may require a professional to evaluate your ductwork for leaks or outdated design issues, you may be able to find where the hot or cool air is escaping and seal the area yourself. This will create more efficient airflow that could solve this problem.


Check for Blocked Vents or Registers

While cool and hot air escaping is one issue, another is when the air cannot get into your home because it is being blocked by furniture, toys, or other object. This is another one of those issues that you can check before having to call in a professional. 


Check Your Condenser Unit

You may not know that those AC units located outside of your home are called “condenser units.” Because they are outside and exposed to the elements, they often get a lot of debris and natural clutter that can obstruct airflow and cause the unit to overheat. This is an issue that as a homeowner, you can address yourself. 


Check the Coils

Most homeowners don’t know where exactly to locate the AC coil within an outdoor HVAC unit; however, this is a common issue that causes sluggish performance. Especially if preventative maintenance is not done regularly, these coils can become very dirty or corroded. We recommend maintenance once or twice a year, with the most important element being the inspection and thorough cleaning of these coils. 


Check Refrigerant Levels

This is a very common problem with homeowners who have an old HVAC system, especially those that have not been maintained very well. If this sounds like you and your system isn’t cooling down your house, it could be that you have a refrigerant leak. This is definitely an issue that a professional should handle, so a call to your HVAC contractor is recommended.


Check the Last Time you had Preventative Maintenance

A lot of these issues can be addressed by getting preventative maintenance performed at least once a year by an HVAC contractor. Your system will be cleaned and checked for leaks or any other wear and tear that may have caused some damage. These are things that can cause issues during peak seasons in the summer and winter when the units will be running often.


If you need HVAC repair, service, or preventative maintenance in Raleigh, Durham, or anywhere in the greater Triangle region, we can help! Give us a call at 919-746-4410, or contact us here on the site and we’ll get you the HVAC help you need.