HVAC Troubleshooting Steps to Take Before Calling in a Pro

Heating and cooling units

You know what they say about heating and cooling systems: you can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. Depending on the climate you live in, it is absolutely impossible to get through either the summer without home air conditioning systems or through the winter without a heating system. Most places must have both a working family heating and cooling system; there’s almost no place that needs neither!

The problem is, heating and cooling repairs can cost an arm and a leg. While some heating and cooling services absolutely must be handled by a professional, a few of the most common issues can be fixed by a DIYer with access to a good heating and cooling supply store. We’ve put together a few HVAC repairs that you could do yourself with a single trip to a heating and cooling supply store before calling in a professional who charges by the minute:

  • A flipped breaker or a blown fuse.

    If there is no power going to your air conditioning unit at all, do not fret. This could be the absolute simplest solution! Your air conditioner is the greatest user of energy in your house, which makes it the most prone to overload a circuit. To protect your home from burning down, the circuit is designed to shut down if too much power surges through the air conditioning at a single time.

    To reset it, simply open your breaker box and look for the switch that is associated with your HVAC unit. If you have a older home, instead of a breaker switch, you may have to replace a blown fuse. Your local heating and cooling supply store will carry the fuse you need for less than the spare change in your pocket.

  • A clogged filter.

    The best way to prevent needing heating and cooling repairs at all is to replace your filter it like clockwork. However, if you have not done this, sometimes switching it out will still fix your problem. If you can hear your compressor trying to work but no air is coming out of the vents, the issue could be that the blower unit is having to work so hard to get air through your clogged filter that it shuts itself off.

    Try springing for a new filter (another purchase that will set you back less than a few bucks at you local heating and cooling supply store) and see if that fixes the problem.

    To avoid needing repairs at all, being faithful about switching your filter out at the beginning of each season, or more often if you live in a particularly dusty area is a great way to keep your heating and cooling unit chugging along year round. The filter catches all the dirt and debris that would otherwise clog your system and kill your compressor (not to mention catching it so that it doesn’t blowing your face and make you sick). Clean filters contribute to your heating and cooling unit working at its best.
  • Give your HVAC unit a good scrub-a-dub.

    Sometimes calcium buildup, dirt, and debris prevent your unit from working efficiently. Scrubbing your compressor down is a good way to remove anything that’s causing it to work sluggishly. This is fairly simple, but you should know what you’re doing to prevent causing further damage or hurting yourself:
    1. CRITICAL: Turn the power to the unit off at the breaker box that we mentioned in point number one.
    2. Sweep away any large dirt and debris, as well as leaves, sticks, and plants that could be blocking your unit and preventing proper airflow.
    3. Remove the cover from the unit and gently clean out any dust that has compiled on it.
      Using a fin cleaning agent and your hose on the gentlest setting, spray the fins that are on the side of your compressor to allow air to flow through efficiently while blocking larger items. Your fin cleaner can be acquired at a heating and cooling supply store. Make sure to follow the directions on the side of the can precisely, so that you do not do any damage to the compressor in the process.

Do you have any other simple HVAC repair solutions? Please share them with us in the comment section below.

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