Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems provide a comfortable indoor environment during extreme weather conditions. They do this by warming your home in winter or cooling it in summer. After some time of service, these systems may develop problems that affect their performances. Below are four common HVAC problems you can expect with your system and their possible solutions.

1. Poor Airflow

You may notice weak airflow from the vents that release conditioned air into the rooms. Several factors, including dirty air filters or clogged ductwork, can cause this problem.

HVAC systems have filters that are responsible for cleaning the air circulating in your home. They trap airborne particles such as pet dander, dust, and pollen. The trapped contaminants accumulate on the filter medium, reducing efficiency and restricting proper airflow.

Sometimes, dirt particles can accumulate in the air ducts. This commonly happens when the system uses damaged filters that allow dirt particles to flow. Alternatively, faulty ductwork may allow polluted air to leak inside. Pests may also crawl into the duct through gaps or crevices and build nests. The accumulated debris may eventually block the duct, restricting the proper distribution of air.

Restricted airflow in the air filters or ducts forces the system to work harder to pass the air. This leads to higher energy consumption. Also, since there is no even air distribution, it can take time to heat or cool the house to the desired temperatures. Your HVAC system then has to work longer, which strains its components.

To solve the problem, ensure your air filters are clean. Depending on the model, you can either replace or wash them. Some HVAC systems have washable air filters. These should be cleaned every one to three months for central HVAC units and every two weeks for mini-split systems. The frequency of cleaning will vary depending on the pollution levels in your home and the intensity of use. Vacuum the filters to dislodge loose particles, and then soak the filters in a cleaning solution to remove stubborn dirt. Rinse with a garden hose, and allow the screens to completely dry before reinstalling.

For disposable filters, check and replace them regularly when necessary, often two to three months. Ensure you schedule regular duct inspection services. HVAC professionals can repair leaking ducts during an annual maintenance service to prevent leaks.

2. System Fails to Turn On

One of the most common HVAC problems is a unit that fails to turn on. Sometimes, this is caused by a lack of power supply to the system. It can happen when there is a power outage or when a circuit breaker has tripped. Check whether there is power throughout your home, and reset the tripped breaker. Faulty wiring may also cause the issue. However, because of the high risk of electrocution and fire hazards, contact an electrician for repair services. They can replace or repair the failed electrical wiring system.

A malfunctioning thermostat can also cause this problem. The thermostat is the command center for the heating and cooling systems. It senses the indoor temperatures and signals when the system should start or complete a cycle. Some thermostat models rely on batteries to work, but others are connected to the electric power supply. With drained batteries, the thermostat cannot perform optimally. Dirt and debris buildup on the sensor, wrong placement, and old age can reduce the device’s efficiency. When compromised, the thermostat does not communicate properly with the HVAC system and can fail to signal it to start a cycle.

An HVAC professional will check the condition of your thermostat during maintenance services. They will check its accuracy and calibrate it if it is not accurate. They may also recommend an upgrade if the current model is outdated.

3. Lack of Proper Heating or Cooling

Sometimes, your system can fail to deliver the desired temperatures in some rooms. This happens when it sends cool or hot air at different rates. In cooling systems, this can occur when there is a refrigerant leak. Air conditioners have a refrigerant that absorbs warmth from the air flowing on the evaporator coils. It transfers the heat to the outdoor unit, where it is released to the environment. Without enough refrigerant, the system cannot completely remove heat, and the air circulates back to the house while still warm. This can also happen when the coils are dirty. After some time, evaporator and condenser coils can accumulate dust and grime. These create an insulating layer that reduces heat transfer.

Because of the toxicity of refrigerant levels and the high risk of damaging coils when cleaning, it is crucial to hire a professional to solve the problem. They will inspect the coils for the source of the leak, repair it, and refill the refrigerant to the recommended levels. The technician will also clean the coils with the right cleaning solution.

Improper HVAC system sizing can also lead to a lack of proper heating and cooling. During system installation, a technician should calculate your home’s heating or cooling needs. This is based on factors that include the square footage of your home, weatherization levels, and number of occupants. If the system is too small, it will not effectively provide cool or warm air where it is needed. On the other hand, an oversized system will quickly meet the heating or cooling load and then turn off. Since the conditioned air was not delivered gradually, the temperatures soon return to uncomfortable levels. Unfortunately, the only solution to an improperly sized HVAC system is replacing it with the proper size.

4. Weird Noises

HVAC systems may emit a gentle hum as they operate. This happens when the fans blow conditioned air into the ductwork. They may also have a gentle click when starting or completing a cycle. These sounds are low and do not cause distractions. Sometimes, you may notice other unusual sounds that are loud and hard to ignore. These indicate an underlying problem within the system.

A banging sound in a furnace, for instance, can occur in the gas-powered system because of ignition problems. Normally, the ignition system should ignite the gas as soon as it flows into the combustion chamber. Due to faults, the system may fail to burn the fuel, leading to its accumulation. When it finally ignites, there is a lot of gas in the chamber, and it burns in an explosion, creating a loud sound.

You may also hear loud screeches within the heating or cooling systems. Often, these happen when there are malfunctioning metallic parts. For instance, an unlubricated blower motor will screech as it operates. The fan blades may also be loose or misaligned, and when the system works, these scratches on the casing and create the sound.

Other sounds include whistling, popping, rattling, and clanking. They may start with low volume, but as the problem escalates, the noise grows and can become unbearable. Understanding which sounds are normal and which are not will help you know when to call a professional to check the issue.

Schedule an Appointment With the Professionals

When you notice any problem, call our professional technicians at Tingley Home Services for accurate diagnosis and repair. Solving the problem on time will prevent its escalation and return your system to efficient operation. Besides repair services, we also install, replace, and maintain HVAC systems. Additionally, we have qualified electricians serving residents in Milford, MA and the surrounding area. Contact us today at Tingley Home Services for services you can rely on.

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