What Are the Most Common HVAC Problems and Repairs?

hvac problems

Did you know that HVAC repairs can cost you thousands of dollars? Meanwhile, a tune-up only costs a fraction. This already protects you from damages that are expensive to repair.

You can even take some steps to ensure you won’t get too many problems with your HVAC. Keeping it clean or keeping furniture, debris, and other items that can block the unit away from it can work wonders in maintaining your system.

Let’s look at the most common HVAC problems to learn how you can avoid them. If you’re facing such issues, you should also learn what steps to take. Read on to find out more.

1. Malfunctioning Thermostat

Sometimes, when the HVAC unit is not functioning as expected, the issue isn’t in the unit themselves. The problem may lie in the thermostat. 

It may not have the correct settings, i.e. the heat isn’t turned on or it’s in A/C mode. It may also have run out of battery.

The repair is sometimes as simple as checking if it has the correct settings. Replacing the battery might work, too.

Read the manual and ensure everything is in order. It may save you from an expensive service call.

If these don’t solve the issue, that’s when you should call a technician. 

2. Tripped Circuit Breaker

Another reason that your HVAC unit is not functioning is because of a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse. 

However, a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse can also be due to an issue within the system. Check first if your HVAC unit doesn’t have dirty air filters or something else blocking the airflow.

A blockage in the system causes the blower to overwork itself to compensate. A dirty air filter is one of the most common causes of reduced airflow and thus, an overworked blower. Blocked air registers, duct leaks, and dirty coils are also likely causes, though.

If the issue is the dirty filter, replace it first before fixing your circuit breaker.

3. Unusual Noises

You can expect HVAC systems to have humming noises as a normal part of its operation. However, when you start to notice any unusual sounds, like rattling, whining, and squealing, that’s when you should look more into the cause of those sounds.

Squealing sounds, for instance, might be signs of failure of an inducer motor or blower motor. Rattling noises may be an indication of loose parts.

Whichever the case, you need to call an HVAC professional immediately to avoid aggravating the issue. You may be dealing with some serious problems. If you don’t have it looked at soon, it may lead to a system failure.

Repairs may include replacing worn belts and other loose parts. If a motor is failing, an HVAC technician will replace that as well.

4. Reduced Efficiency

The room may not be cooling down or warming up as effectively as before. In that case, you’re going to have to go through a long list of potential issues.

But first, check the filters. It’s the most common cause of inefficiency as dirty filters prevent the usual flow of airflow. You can change the filter yourself if you’re able; it’s one of the easiest and cheapest parts of maintenance that can prevent expensive repairs down the road.

Blockage in the registers, outside unit, and such is also a common issue. Clear these areas to allow your unit to work as expected.

Dirty components can also reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system. In this case, you may need to call a professional so they can clean the whole system with a special cleaner.

5. Water Leaks

HVAC systems produce condensate, which then drains through the drain pipes. If proper drainage isn’t possible, though, the water leaks.

That said, clogged pipes are one of the most common HVAC problems. The condensate overflows out of the drain line and the drain pan. You can prevent this by pouring bleach down the pipes now and then.

Cracked pipes are another common cause of leaking, but other parts of the HVAC system can leak, too. The heat exchanger, evaporator drain, and collector box can also become leak sources.

When an HVAC technician comes in for repairs, they will clean the pipes first and then proceed to identify the source of the leak.

6. Refrigerant Leak

Another thing that could leak is the refrigerant, but when it does, it’s dangerous. It’s responsible for cooling and dehumidifying the airflow. So a leak is also going to be a major inconvenience.

Some signs of a refrigerant leak are fluctuating temperature and inefficient cooling. Leaking refrigerant means the air produced won’t be cold enough, leaving the room still warm.

This also makes the condenser and other parts of the system to go into overtime to compensate. If left unchecked, you’re in for far more serious problems with more expensive solutions.

As a result of the leak, your refrigerant levels will run low. An HVAC professional will charge the system with the appropriate amount as a part of the repair. It shouldn’t be either undercharged or overcharged, a professional must handle this. 

7. Blower Running Continuously

Blowers only run when the fan switch is on, which happens when there’s a need for heat or if you turned it on yourself on the thermostat. If the blower is not shutting off, check first if you or someone else in your household hasn’t forgotten to switch it back off after turning it on.

If the switch is off, however, and the blower is still running, you may have a problem with the fan relay mechanism. The fan relay is the one that turns on the blower when the thermostat calls for heat. It malfunctioning can keep the blower running even without the call for heat.

A professional can repair this with not much issue; they may need to replace it as they see fit.

Learn How to Fix HVAC Problems

If you’re experiencing some of the common HVAC problems above, you can do some preliminary checks. As long as it’s within your ability, try and find out what’s causing the issue. Don’t hesitate to call a technician, though, if you’re dealing with something serious. 

Only contact a reliable HVAC professional; contact us today and let us fix all your HVAC issues.

John Daner

John Daner

HVAC Technician with 12+ years in the field.