All throughout the year, we rely on heaters, air conditioners and water systems to keep us comfortable and happy. Whether it’s taking a nice hot bath to ease off the day’s strains or relaxing in the cool indoor air while watching a movie in the middle of summer, our HVAC systems often run all throughout the day to achieve this. Naturally, this means that the systems are bound to start wearing down and might even start malfunctioning.
Often, these issues can show up in different ways, depending on what system starts to fail. The sudden lack of proper heating or cooling can make day to day life far too uncomfortable, but trying to find out how to start fixing the problem can be just as hard. Some homeowners may default to calling a professional right away, the fact that their HVAC system is so important makes them uncomfortable with trying repairs on their own. Yet, knowing a few ways to troubleshoot your system can save you on the cost of calling a technician in.
Here are a few basic tips to learn more and to help you begin to troubleshoot HVAC related problems yourself.
Check the thermostat
Your thermostat is the most reliable device in the system. It lets us know what modes the system is set to and what the current temperature is throughout the house. However, many homeowners don’t realize that quite a few HVAC related problems sometimes come from a faulty or incorrectly set thermostat. In fact, keeping your home’s thermostat well maintained can reduce the chances that an issue can pop up by a bit.
If a problem does happen, be sure to check your thermostat first. Due to the fact that a thermostat regulates the house’s heating and cooling, something as small as having low power can interfere with the air conditioner or heater. However, a small malfunction like this is quite easy to solve, especially since most thermostats run on batteries. If the issue still persists after replacing the batteries, the next best option is to call a professional to fix it.
Reset your system
If the system doesn’t turn on, chances are that the main issue is with a tripped circuit. Many HVAC systems offer different models that also use different sources of power to heat or cool your house and water. As such, electric powered HVAC systems run the risk of tripping your house’s circuits, just like your TV or a treadmill might.
Additionally, there may be a chance that other appliances throughout the house aren’t running as well, depending on what time of the day this issue pops up. If only some of the lights or appliances are working in your house but others aren’t, the issue can be solved with resetting your circuit breaker. However, if nothing in your house seems to be turning on, it’s likely an issue with your house’s power. To make sure, you might need to call a professional.
Replace the filter if needed
On occasion, the filter in your HVAC system can be the main cause of any problems that happen. This is primarily due to the fact that, as dirt, sand and other sediments clog up the filter, it can no longer clean out the air or water coming through it. As such, the debris can then build up on the parts and slowly reduce the system’s efficiency.
This also means that any warm or cool air that’s released into your house is also being blocked by your dirty air filters. While some air is released, it is more than likely that it’s also just as dusty as the air filter. The same happens if your water system uses a filter to clean incoming water. Any water that comes through your fixtures may be cloudy or have sediments in it. Changing the air or water filters can solve these types of issues and it’s recommended to replace your filters every 90 days or less depending on some key factors.
There are weird smells coming from the HVAC system
If you find that there are odd smells coming from the fixtures, the air conditioner or heater, the cause can be a few things depending on the system. When dealing with your heater or air conditioner, the problem can be due to either mold or burnt wiring, both of which are serious issues if not dealt with as soon as possible. Further mold growth, however, can be prevented without the need to call a professional.
Mold is one of the most common reasons for why your air system is giving off foul smells. If you believe that there may be mold growing, carefully protect yourself before checking the system, since these molds can cause major health risks. Check for leaks in the parts of the system you can access, and make sure to seal them off well. Since air conditioners and heaters also use water, these leaks are what causes mold. If the smell is caused by burnt wiring, the only safe option is to call an electrician to replace any wires properly.
The cause of smells in the water from tankless water heaters and similar water systems can be mainly caused by mineral build up or corrosion in the system. If it’s only coming from the taps when the hot water runs, you may need to get the system replaced or cleaned out. If the smell comes from being near the system, there’s likely a leak that needs to be sealed.
Knowing some of the basic ways to fix your HVAC system can be a great benefit to many homeowners, especially when the system malfunctions at what seems like the worst possible time. Thankfully, some of these solutions and tips are fairly simple, and can be done without the need to call and pay a professional. However, if the issue seems too complex or if you can’t seem to fix it yourself, professional help is the best choice to make when dealing with HVAC systems.