Understanding some of the most common HVAC problems is important for every homeowner. Some problems can be fixed by simply changing the air filter, while others indicate a major problem and require emergency service. To help you know when to stick it out and when to call in the pros at Carolina Comfort Systems, we've created this handy guide to some of the most common HVAC problems.
1. Blown Fuse - Fuses protect your system from overheating and burning out the motor or compressor. Similar to a surge protector, it's a safety guard that saves you from a more serious and costly breakdown. Blown fuses (and tripped breakers) don't happen without a cause, so this is a problem you want to call in professional help for.
2. Electrical Outage - Worn out connections or worn, damaged or faulty wiring can all cause an electrical outage for your HVAC system. Finding and replacing the proper connections and wires is best left to a pro.
3. Not Cooling or Not Heating - It may sound silly but this common problem often has a pretty simple fix. Before assuming the worst, check your thermostat. Programmable thermostats with battery back-ups often stop signaling to the HVAC system when the battery is low or dead. In many cases, just replacing the battery gets you back up and running.
4. Refrigerant Leak - You may suspect a refrigerant leak if you begin to notice your HVAC system is not cooling your home as efficiently as it used to, or if it struggles to maintain temperature in only moderate heat. Refrigerant leaks not only harm the environment but can cause other more serious problems with your HVAC system. Call in the professionals without delay!
5. Frozen Evaporator Coil - This is an example of a more serious problem that can result from a refrigerant leak. Low refrigerant levels are one of several possible causes of a frozen evaporator coil. Other causes include blocked air returns/intakes, and clogged air filters. Because this common problem can have a variety of causes, it's worth calling your technician.
6. Drop in Efficiency - If your HVAC system just doesn't seem to work as well as it used to and/or you notice your utility bills rising, you may have a problem causing your system to run less efficiently than it should. If you haven't had regular maintenance done for some time, it could be as simple as needing a good professional cleaning and tune-up. Condenser coils and fans in outdoor units are exposed to all kinds of weather conditions, dust, dirt and debris. Over time, these things can collect and begin to cause problems.
Being in the know about common HVAC problems helps you determine if you are dealing with a quick fix or a big deal that requires professional help. Our handy guide to some of the most common HVAC problems is a good starting reference point. However, if you have questions or are ever in doubt, our professional technicians are only a phone call away.
Extreme temperature fluctuations can take a toll on your heat pump. Cold temperatures that dip down below 40 degrees Fahrenheit make maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home a challenge for many heat pumps as they lose efficiency at lower temperatures. As the temperature drops, your heat pump runs more frequently and for longer periods, eventually triggering your emergency back up electric coils to turn on or if you have a split system, switching to furnace-generated heat. Likewise, very hot temperatures can be rough on your heat pump. While heat pumps reduce humidity better than traditional air conditioning systems, the more hot and humid it is, the harder your heat pump works to keep your home cool and comfortable. Jumping back and forth between heating and cooling means your heat pump gets a hefty workout. You can't control nature but you can make sure to keep your heat pump tuned-up to help it weather major temperature shifts.
Heat Pump Tune-Up 101
You might be wondering what a heat pump tune-up entails. Like a tune-up for your car, your heat pump tune-up checks for potential problems and maintains various components to minimize wear and tear. Here are just a few of the services included in your heat pump tune-up:
* Change air filters (you should do this also in between tune-ups).
* Inspect and clean all electrical components and connections.
* Test and recalibrate your thermostat, if necessary.
* Check refrigerant levels. Low refrigerant indicates a leak and puts you at greater risk for a system breakdown. Refrigerant leaks require urgent repair.
* Check ducts for signs of leaks that can reduce the efficiency of your system.
* Clean and inspect coils and fans, including evaporation coil and condensing coil.
* Lubricate motors, check belts for wear and adjust belt tension.
When temperatures fluctuate quickly between hot and cold extremes, many heating and cooling systems will run longer and harder to keep your home comfortable. Keeping your heat pump tuned up minimizes the effects of this temperature roller coaster on the various components of your system and helps it run as efficiently as possible. Give Carolina Comfort Systems a call today to get your heat pump tuned up and running for all types of weather!