HVAC efficiency is the main concern of people especially in hot summers and to maintain its efficiency it is mandatory to ensure regular inspection and basic maintenance of your unit. Sometimes you have to face problems regarding your unit like it is running but not cooling, there can be certain reasons that could be causing the problem that you need to look into and fix. Firstly the areas that are accessible to the homeowner must be checked and cleared easily and quickly. If you can’t find the problem then it’s time to call the certified HVAC technician to diagnose and solve the actual problem.
Common Sources of HVAC Malfunction
There are some common sources of malfunction that can reduce the efficiency of your HVAC greatly. It is better to check that quick and easy list that will make the diagnostic process much easier.
So before you run for help make sure to check
- All the windows and doors are closed
- Supply and return vents are unobstructed and open
- Humidifiers turned off
- The thermostat is set to cool below room temperature
If everything seems okay, push the red reset button on your outdoor unit as sometimes a simple system resetting can help with the problem.
Some Common Trouble shootings and their Solutions
If an easy and quick checklist is all good, there can be some other reasons like
- Check if the outdoor unit is working or not. Sometimes condenser unit is not running at all and it is just the fan circulating air inside the house. Then, you have to change the unit or ask an experienced HVAC company to tell what exactly the problem is. In some cases, it is dirty and covered with debris that can’t properly expel heat out. In that case, remove the debris and gently clean the condenser fins with the garden hose. Condenser fins are very fragile so don’t try using strong steam for cleaning purposes
- A lot of air conditioners have a dual capacitor i.e., two capacitors in one and it is almost like a battery for a fan or compressor. Sometimes the compressor side of the capacitor stop working while the fan side still alive. So it seems like the fan is running and the compressor that is pumping the refrigerant, is not running. So, it is not cooling at all and you have to change the capacitor.
- The bad condenser fan motor can also be a problem i.e., the fan is not spinning but the compressor is running. Even if you try to spin it with the stick or something it will be seized up. It might be steaming and if you put your hands on it, it will be super-hot almost to the point of burning your hand. You could try oiling it to get it going but that does not often work.
- Replace a filter if you have not replaced it in a while especially if you are using premium filters. As accordions in such filters are tightly knit together so once they become dirty they become a lot more restrictive than simple filters. Clean the filters regularly and it is recommended to replace the filters after every 6 months to one year.
- There might be an issue with the circuit breaker. Most HVAC units have two circuit breakers one for the outer unit and the other for the inner unit. In case of tripping of the outer unit, the inner unit will keep blowing the air but not cooling. Check your outdoor circuit breaker, if it is tripped switch it on and if it gets tripped again, call the licensed electrician or your HVAC Company to inspect it thoroughly.
Basic and regular maintenance is mandatory to increase the efficiency of your cooling system. It will save you from costly repairs and replacements as well. It is recommended to clean and inspect pieces of your unit after every month or two. Some of the steps of basic maintenance are
Clean the HVAC interior
The Interior of the HVAC includes filters, condenser, coil, and evaporator. Make sure the interior is clean as dirt and debris in them will restrict the airflow thus affecting the efficiency of the unit as a whole. If not cleaned regularly it will ultimately lead to overheated and damaged compressor leading to costly repairs or replacement of the whole unit.
Check electrical warning
According to a study, 85% of HVAC repairs are done having the origin of electrical problems. Inspection of wiring within the unit is very important especially the one connected with the outlet. In case of a blown fuse or tripped breaker, it is advised to call a licensed electrician to solve the issue.
Check your ductwork
Ductwork has the function to distribute and deliver the cool air that your HVAC has produced. The crack or improper sealing of ductwork can cause inefficiency of your unit. Signs of having leaky ducts are not cooling enough, home is unusually dusty and higher than normal electricity bills. Make sure to inspect all the sealing thoroughly and regularly to ensure ductwork efficiency
Check for refrigerant leaks
Refrigerant is considered the lifeblood of the unit as it absorbs all the inside heat and releases it outside and the cycle continues. It also needs regular basic maintenance as if left unmaintained for a long time, the unit will start developing small leaks and that will severely affect the efficiency of your unit. If there is no leakage and still you have the problem, call the HVAC technician to check refrigerant levels.
Working with an HVAC company
If after all the basic maintenance your unit is still running but not cooling, it is advised to call a certified HVAC technician to thoroughly inspect the unit. Always prefer technician from a good company that has positive reviews. Make sure the company you are choosing must have 24 hour HVAC service and certified staff.
Thus, basic maintenance and thorough inspection are important as poor running HVAC systems not only fail to keep you cool in hot weather but also dramatically increase your electricity bill. Research studies show that by performing such simple tasks, the heating and cooling efficiency of HVAC can increase up to 25%. Thus to ensure maximum performance, fewer repair costs, and longer product life, make basic maintenance of your HVAC a routine.