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7 Essential HVAC Troubleshooting Tips for Homeowners

HVAC Troubleshooting Tips

HVAC units work overtime to keep you and your family comfortable in the warmest and coldest months. Now and again, you should do maintenance on your HVAC system to keep it running effectively. 

Doing basic maintenance on your system can do a lot to keep your HVAC system running smoothly; however, malfunctions can sometimes still happen, and you’ll need to troubleshoot your HVAC system. 

Calling a technician can be a pain, so is there any way to fix minor issues yourself? This blog will explore the best tips for fixing a malfunctioning HVAC system at home.

If you need professional help with HVAC issues, call the professionals at Cardinal. Give us a call today or fill out our online service form here. 

1. Test Your Systems to See if There’s  A Malfunction

Your HVAC system can start to behave strangely if it has an issue. Simply running your AC and snooping around for issues can save time. Your system may begin to make loud noises or weird smells, or the system will not perform heating/colling effectively. 

If you notice any of these things, take a note and dig into what might have caused these strange behaviors. Usually, the system makes that sound or smell for a specific reason that may be available online. 

First check for drafts. Leaky ducts can cause inefficiency in the HVAC system and raise your utility bills. Call a professional if the ductwork is badly damaged or too old; however, you can fix small cracks and holes yourself. 

Cleaning vents and ducts can also help with drafts.

2. Change Your Air Filters

Many issues can be solved right away by simply cleaning your air filters. An inefficiently running HVAC unit can often be directly related to clogged, old, or dirty air filters. 

Do you remember the last time you changed your air filters?  Dirty air filters clog up essential components of your HVAC system and run up your utility bills. Your HVAC system will not be able to cool your home very well when the air filters have become clogged with dirt and debris.

This blockage greatly increases the energy needed to run the HVAC system and wears down the system. All of these factors can reduce your HVAC’s longevity immensely. 

You should replace your filters every 90 days, but you can replace them every month if they become worn out and not working correctly. A fresh air filter saves money, improves air quality, and solves many common issues. 

3. Clean all of Your Vents, Ducts, and Registers

Your AC unit circulates air and airborne particles, like dirt and dust. These contaminants block the vents, ducts, and registers. 

These blockages can lower the AC’s efficiency and indoor air quality. 

Keeping your vents, registers, and ducts cleaner will significantly boost your AC’s performance. We recommend having your vents and ducts cleaned by a professional technician annually.

4. Test Your Thermostat

The thermostat can be the problem more often than you may think. Always replace the batteries or check for a loose connection first. 

If the HVAC system refuses to turn on, the thermostat should always be the first thing you check. Checking if the thermostat is correctly working ensures a healthy HVAC system.

If there is a delay is your system starting up, or it won’t turn on at all, check if the thermostat has power.  

Monitor your thermostat usage to see if it has caused your HVAC problems. If the indoor temperature does not match the thermostat, it could signify that your unit is malfunctioning. 

5. Inspect the Outside Unit

Your AC unit outside is the life and soul of the AC system. It is the central point for all airflow in your home. You can often find an HVAC unit outside your house, probably in your backyard. 

Because the unit is outside, it faces extreme outdoor weather, and all kinds of debris can clog up the components within the outdoor unit. Removing debris inside and around the unit will clear up the system and help it run more efficiently. 

Open up the unit and clear away. I need a breeze to return the unit to its best shape. We also recommend clearing any vegetation or other debris around the outdoor unit

6. Check Breaker Box

You can lose power for multiple reasons, and electrical overload or a storm can cause a power outage. Without the power, your AC won’t be able to run properly or at all. 

Check your breaker box to ensure your unit connects to the power. You may be able to solve the issue with just a flip of the switch on your breaker box; however, if your breaker has become tripped, you might need to reset the circuit breaker to ensure that all electrical problems become resolved. 

Electrical problems are extremely hazardous, so if you feel and If you feel uncomfortable with any electrical components, a color professional to take a look right away.

7. Keep Your Utilities Bill Low

The summer and winter months bring on extreme climates, which up the usage of your appliances. Your HVAC system washing machine, dryer, and other appliances must work twice as hard. 

In extreme climates, it’s common to see a sudden rise in utility bills during the summer months. As your HVAC system ages, keep your utility bills low by frequently maintaining your HVAC system and avoiding frequent thermostat adjustments. We recommend a temperature of 68 to 78° all year round to maintain affordable electric bills.

Find the Most Reliable and Affordable HVAC Maintenance in Sterling, VA

You can take care of your HVAC system the way it takes care of you by using these simple troubleshooting tips. These tips can save you hundreds of dollars on electricity bills and repairs.

Cardinal recommends having annual routine maintenance done by an expert to keep your HVAC system in tiptop shape. Sometimes troubleshooting at home will be unable to fix the issue, and you will need some real HVAC expertise.

Calling the local expert can be the most effective and inexpensive option. For all your HVAC system repair needs, contact Cardinal Plumbing and Air-Conditioning. We have highly skilled technicians that can help fix any HVAC issues.

To schedule service with us, call us today or fill out our online contact form here.

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