The Top 5 Most Common Problems With Home HVAC Systems
A hot Atlanta summer and stuck inside with a broken air conditioner is nobody’s ideal situation. When your air-conditioner stops operating, it seems like the end of the world. It’s good to be aware of when problems arise so an HVAC contractor in Atlanta can help to prevent further damage. Let’s take a look at the 5 most common issues around home HVAC systems.
1. The A/C Stops Functioning
Here’s the scene: You wake up one morning, you go through the hot day, you go to turn on the air conditioner, and oh–it doesn’t turn on. Hm. Sometimes the air-conditioner can just decide to not function, unlike us regular humans. There’s usually no warning in this situation. Before calling an HVAC contractor, there are some things you can do to make a quick fix. Check the batteries on the thermostat. Are they expired? Charging batteries is a quick solution and can often be overlooked or forgotten. Get in the habit of replacing batteries every spring or fall to prevent batteries leaking in the thermostat and ruining the control boards, easiest to change them at the same time you change smoke alarm batteries.
Due to thermostats just sort of existing on the wall, it’s easy to forget that their batteries need to be replaced. If the batteries are dead, replace them. Now that you’ve checked the battery, set the thermostat to “cooling.” Set your desired temperature. If having done these steps and nothing changes, it’s possible you’ll need to reset the circuit breaker on the air-conditioner. Just call an HVAC contractor in Atlanta at this point.
2. Hot Air Is Blowing Out
Lukewarm air out of an air–conditioner is exactly what we don’t want in the dead of summer. However, this is an indication that something is not right. So, double check the thermostat settings. Have they been changed or altered? This can affect the output of the unit. Easy mistake. If the thermostat settings haven’t been altered, you’ll need to replace the air filter. This is where the HVAC contractor comes into play. A lot of AC problems can be traced back to old, blocked, or clogged air filters.
If a dirty air filter is not the culprit, perhaps it’s the lack of refrigerant. Refrigerant loss causes your equipment to lose cooling capacity and start making ice. You’ll need a professional to evaluate the refringent levels, shut your system off so it’s not a block of ice or your service man will have to make another trip after 24 hours for the system to thaw and work on it.
Other issues can include an obstruction in the ducts or debris that’s causing the compressor to overheat. To solve this, replace air filters every two months with the help of an HVAC technician and schedule a duct cleaning once a year. Before adding refrigerant to leaks, always schedule an appointment with an HVAC technician to double check that everything else is in the clear.
3. A Leak In The Unit
Ah, the old leak. HVAC units are known to express their emotions through a nice and damaging leak. Some units are prone to fluid and condensation leakage. Be wary of excessive leakage though. Typically the condensation line is clogged. In these situations, if you’re feeling DIY, you can unclog it by following the manufacturer’s guidelines. In Atlanta, we have high humidity and this causes gallons of condensation water a day down your drain lines, these lines should be kept clear and flushed yearly to prevent water damage from clogged drains. If you’d rather be safe than sorry, call an HVAC technician to repair it. They can find the leak and ensure it’s not something else to be worried about.
For most homeowners, it’s difficult to detect whether it’s a refrigerant leak, because they mostly appear in coolant lines. Watch out for oil stains near the AC unit, because that means trouble and a sign of more problems.
The cause of this is due to your average concept of time. Over the years, lines and connections in the unit can erode and degrade from constantly being wet leading to refrigerant leakage. Water leaks are usually caused by blocked drain pipes and lackluster condensate pumps.
If you see a leaking unit, turn it off and call us right away. Low refrigerant levels are more prone to damage the compressor and can lead to higher costs in replacement fees. Regular maintenance can actually prevent this from happening, though. Our highly qualified team at RS Andrews will be glad to assist you in this.
4. A/C System Is Frozen
Common problems for ice accumulation is due to a lack of airflow across your evaporator coil from dirty filters, closed supply vents, blocked return vents, dirty evaporator coils, and the most common is lack of refrigerant. If you notice ice around there, it means the system is working too hard to keep your house at a cool temperature. Taking care of this early can save you extra on your energy bill.
Yes, your system may work harder in the summer, but it’s a red flag if it freezes (or should we say blue?). If there’s a dirty air filter abound, expect the AC unit to double up on effort and work twice as hard for the same cooling amount. Yikes, that sounds like a high energy bill. Have an expert HVAC technician from our Atlanta team to check the blower fan, ducts, refrigerant levels, and evaporator for obstructions.
5. Weird Noises and Smells
If you’re smelling foul odors or hearing odd sounds, it’s time to get your HVAC unit checked out. One sign of a unit in need of repair is a burning smell. It could also be a musty odor, as some homeowners say. You’ll notice these smells the strongest when you’re close to the vent or the main AC unit.
Odors coming from the electrical unit can mean the motor has some wiring issues. A clogged air filter can cause the system to overheat and produce a foul, burning smell. If it smells more like mildew, that’s relative to improper drainage. An HVAC technician can help you with this.
Another red flag is weird sounds coming front the vent. Watch out for squeals, strange vibrations, or grinding noises. These are all actual audible signs that your unit needs fixing. What are the causes of such noises? Glad you asked. Squeals are typically produced by a failing blower wheel. Grinding noises can be traced back to issues with the blower motor or compressor outside. Once again, check the thermostat and remove debris to see if this helps, but it’s highly recommended to call an HVAC contractor in Atlanta instead. We’ll help you get your AC working fine again. During a regular maintenance service, you can expect us to evaluate your system for parts that are failing or about to fail and advise you on how to proactively protect your system.