7 Essential HVAC Troubleshooting Tips for Homeowners


Has your energy bill started fluctuating in the past few months? The typical annual energy bill for a single-family home is $2,060. If your energy bill keeps jumping, you might have an issue with your HVAC unit.

Not sure how to fix your air conditioning unit alone? Here are seven HVAC troubleshooting tips you can use throughout the year. If any of these situations sound familiar, you’ll know how to fix your air conditioning on your own.

Otherwise, consider calling an HVAC expert for regular preventative maintenance.

Ready to get ahead of potential HVAC problems? Get started with this guide on how to fix your HVAC unit today!

  1. It’s Too Hot/Cold

Is the temperature in your home different from what you’re seeing on the thermostat? Your AC or heat pump might have an issue.

First, check your electrical panel’s AC circuit. If it’s off, switch it back on.

Does the unit continue to trip the circuit? You might have a short somewhere. It’s best to call an HVAC technician to have them take a look.

Otherwise, you might cause a bigger electrical issue or get electrocuted. Safety first!

If the circuit isn’t the issue, you might need to flush the drain line. Your AC unit gathers moisture, which is then transferred through the drain line. When the drain is clogged, water can get backed up within the unit.

In addition to causing damage to the HVAC unit, mold and mildew could begin to grow as well.

You might realize there’s an issue with the condensation pump instead. If that’s the case, you’ll need to replace the pump altogether.

Regular preventative maintenance can ensure you spot a potential clog before it becomes a major issue. Preventative maintenance ensures your unit continues running its best throughout the year. You can spot smaller problems, make minor changes, and avoid major expenses down the road.

In fact, regular preventative maintenance can boost the life of your unit by over 15 years. Otherwise, bigger problems could break the unit down.

  1. The Fan Isn’t Running

Does your unit start, only for the air handler or furnace to fail? The fan transfers the heat within your home outside. If the fan doesn’t run, the heat won’t transfer.

Over time, your compressor could overheat as a result.

You can learn what to do about air conditioner overheating here.

If the air handler or furnace isn’t blowing air, you’ll first need to test the blower motor. First, turn the system off. Take a look at the wiring.

Do you see a loose component anywhere?

You can call an HVAC technician to test and fix the fan for you. They might need to replace the entire unit if the compressor gets overheated.

  1. There’s a Leak

Hear a dripping sound coming from your HVAC unit? Do you see a puddle of water anywhere? A refrigerant or water leak could indicate your unit isn’t working.

You can use these HVAC troubleshooting tips to fix any leaks.

Water Leaks

Water leaks usually occur when the condensate drain is clogged. Remember, mold or mildew could form. Fungi and algae might spread throughout the system as well.

If the drain is clogged, grab a dry or wet vacuum. Unclog the pipe. Then, pour six ounces of vinegar into the drain to clean it out.

If the system is leaking outside, it could mean you have a broken condensate pan, bad AC seal, or improper insulation. In these instances, turn the unit off and disconnect it from the power supply. Then, call a professional to fix your HVAC right away.

If the leak is inside, it’s possible the condensate pump broke. You’ll need an HVAC technician to replace it.

Refrigerant Leaks

Freon, or refrigerant, is responsible for keeping the air cool. Otherwise, your AC will only expel warm air. If the refrigerant leaks, the AC will fail to work properly.

Your AC might push itself harder, impacting its efficiency. Your energy bill could rise as a result.

First, you’ll need to find and repair the leak. You can pour fluorescent dye into the system and wait for it to escape from the leak. If you can’t find the source of the leak on your own, call a professional.

Once you fix the source of the leak, you need to top-off the refrigerant. It’s important to make sure the refrigerant charge matches the unit’s specifications. Otherwise, the unit won’t work properly.

  1. The Coil Froze Over

Your HVAC unit’s evaporator coil can freeze if the unit doesn’t receive enough air. If the coil freezes, the entire unit could stop.

First, look for a sheet of ice against the evaporator coil. Give the coil time to defrost. Shut the unit off and disconnect it from the power source.

  1. It’s Making Strange Sounds

As you use these air conditioning tips, listen out for weird sounds. Different sounds could indicate different problems.

If you heard a vibration hum, you might have a loose fan motor mount or cabinet. You can tighten the fasteners to fix your HVAC.

Do you hear a low, constant hum instead? Is the fan not running? You might need to replace the fan motor or compressor.

For units that start squealing, check the condenser fan or blower motor.

If it’s whistling, you might have debris clogging your thermostatic expansion valve.

If you can’t pinpoint the root of the problem, call a professional to fix your air conditioning unit.

  1. The Filter is Clogged

It’s important to change your HVAC filter every three months. Otherwise, pollutants can fill your home. Your allergies could flare up as a result.

Put a note on your calendar to replace your filters regularly.

  1. The Coils are Dirty

As you use these HVAC tips, keep an eye on your condenser coils. Are they covered in dirt? They might not work properly.

Heat won’t transfer, causing the unit to work overtime. Clean the condenser unit regularly to minimize wear and tear.

HVAC Troubleshooting: Clear the Air With These 7 Air Conditioning Tips

Don’t let your HVAC unit’s lack of efficiency steal money from your wallet. Instead, use these seven HVAC troubleshooting tips. With these HVAC tips, you can keep your unit running in the best possible shape.

Then, you can expand its lifespan and keep more money in your wallet!

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