Everyone experiences heating and air problems once in a while. Malfunctioning thermostats, low airflow, and improperly cooled air are all common issues that HVAC units encounter.
But sometimes these problems are simple to fix, and if you can fix them yourself, you could save hundreds of dollars in needless repair bills. Here are three things you can try before you call in the professionals.
Check the power
If you’re not hearing any noise from your HVAC unit and it appears not to be working at all, you’ll first need to check the power. HVAC units are commonly on their own circuits, and this means it can trip its breaker without turning off anything else in the house. You should be able to easily locate your unit’s breaker box and check all the switches. Even if it wasn’t tripped, it’s a good idea to go ahead and flip it off and back on again. Sometimes just resetting the power is all it needs.
Check the weather
On extremely hot days, your air conditioning unit may struggle to keep up. This is especially true with older units or units that are too small for your home. If it worked fine until just recently, however, you may have another problem.
Start by examining the outside unit for ice around the coils or the connection running to your house. Sometimes in extremely hot weather, the air conditioner never has a chance to shut off, which can cause it to freeze up. If this is the case, all you can do is shut off the unit entirely and wait for it to thaw. This could take a few hours, or up to 24 hours. You may then have to set the thermostat a little higher to keep it from happening again. Also, check for piles of leaves and other debris that may be blocking the airflow.
During extremely cold weather, you may notice problems with your heater not keeping the temperatures as warm as you’d like. Just like with air conditioning, this could mean you have an older or wrongly-sized unit. It could also mean that your house isn’t properly insulated. Check your windows and doors for drafts; you can often correct this problem with weather stripping and draft guards. You can also keep doors closed to rooms you’re not using and install insulated curtains to keep cold air out.
Check your air filters
The most common culprit for improperly working HVAC units is dirty filters. When these get clogged, they prevent proper air circulation. This means your unit is running, but probably not putting out much air. And the air it is putting out is probably not the right temperature. Dirty filters also put unneeded wear and tear on your HVAC unit because it has to work a little harder to get enough air. A good rule of thumb is to replace your filter every couple of months. But you may need to replace it more often in certain circumstances.
For example, if you have indoor pets or people in your home with allergens, you may need to swap out the air filter every thirty days. And if you notice there’s a problem with your unit, go ahead and check it more often. You can also vacuum them off between replacements to keep your HVAC system working well.
If you’ve checked all this out and your unit is still not working properly, then it’s probably time to call the professionals at local companies like Affordable Air and Heating. You can let them know the exact issues and the checks you performed so they can better assess the problem.