How to Diagnose HVAC Problems

How to Diagnose HVAC Problems

If you’re having an issue with your heating or cooling system, there are some things you as a homeowner can do before deciding whether to call in a professional.

Check the Breakers

The first step is to check the power. Locate the fuse box and examine the breakers. Look to see if any of them are flipped in a different direction than the rest. Both the furnace and air-conditioning unit should have independent breakers that are (hopefully) labeled.

If the breakers look normal, flip the switch for whichever unit is not working properly. Wait about 10 seconds before turning it back on. If you’ve got fuses instead, switch off the main power to the box and replace any blown or burnt fuses.

Check the Thermostat

If that does not solve the problem, check the power to the thermostat. Most models receive power from your home’s electricity, but some rely on batteries. Switch the batteries if you can. If there is still no power, it may be the cause of the issue.

It Could Be the Filters

It’s also important to check the filters. If they’re clogged, broken, or incorrectly sized, they could restrict airflow. This puts extra stress on the system and can prevent it from circulating air properly.

Other Possible Problems

Begin by checking the unit for any signs of damage, such as mildew or broken wiring. Next, place your thermostat to the heat setting, about five degrees warmer than the current temperature. After 30 seconds to one minute, check for heat at an open vent. If you cannot feel any heat, turn the unit off again.

Go to the furnace and check to make sure the panel door is closed. If it is not, close it and try again. If the door was already shut, open it and perform a reset on the furnace by pressing a button or turning off the gas. After five minutes, start the unit back up and try again.

Tackling the Air Conditioner

Your first step is to make sure there is no visible damage, such as a broken coil. If it seems to be in fair shape, set the unit to the proper mode and adjust the temperature. You should aim for about five degrees below the current temperature of the room. Wait about 30 seconds and check the air at an open vent.

If the unit is running but not blowing cold air, check the physical components. Low refrigerant levels, poor ventilation, or coil damage could cause the system to freeze up and stop blowing cool air. If you find ice on the coils, shut the unit down for about three hours. Wipe off any dirt and moisture from the coils and restart the air conditioner.

Know When to Call a Professional

These simple troubleshooting steps will solve most routine HVAC problems. However, if you’ve followed all these steps with no improvement, it’s time to call in trained help. Contact the HVAC experts at Butler Heating & Air Conditioning today for help with any heating or cooling issue you may be having. Our friendly and experienced HVAC technicians are ready to help you get your air conditioner or heater back up and running in no time.