Before Calling the HVAC Contractor Experts | Best Pick Reports

Often, the problems that seem the worst have incredibly simple solutions. Before calling in a contractor, make sure that the problem isn’t one you can fix yourself. The following are quick fixes for simple problems and some advice for more complex problems:

Entire system does not run. A lack of electric power is a common cause of system failure for a heat pump, an air conditioning unit, and even a gas furnace system. Before calling the experts, reset all circuit breakers and check all fuses in the main electrical panel to ensure the system has power.

Temperature varies greatly from room to room. This problem is an air distribution problem, not a problem with the air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace. The problem is caused by uneven airflow. To adjust the airflow, many houses are equipped with adjustable dampers inside the air supply ducts. Additionally, each register or vent is usually equipped with a damper to restrict the air entering that room. Try fully opening the dampers in rooms with deficient airflow while partially closing the dampers in other rooms.

Airflow leaving individual room vents seems weak. A dirty filter may be the cause. The inside blowers of air conditioning units, heat pumps, and gas furnaces use filters to remove airborne particles and dust from the air circulating throughout the house. The filter, which is located in the blower unit, naturally clogs and should be checked each month. Dirty, disposable filters should be replaced, while dirty, washable filters should be cleaned with water and allowed to dry before reinstallation. If a dirty filter is not changed or cleaned, the entire system wears faster and consumes more energy in order to maintain the desired temperature.

Water leaks onto the floor around an inside unit. Air conditioning units and heat pumps operating in the air conditioning mode condense moisture from the air onto the inside coil. The system is designed to collect the water in a pan and transfer it out of the house through a drainage tube; a dirty pan or a blocked drainage tube can cause water to overflow onto the floor. Removing the dirt or clog may fix the problem. See your owner’s manual for specific instructions and safety precautions.

Unit freezes up. Insufficient airflow or not enough refrigerant can cause units to freeze and stop working. If air is not coming out of the vents, check to see if the fan is working. If the fan is running, check inside the unit for signs of ice around the coils. This problem is often caused by extremely dirty filters or low refrigerant. When the filters are dirty, air cannot pass over the coils, and condensation freezes. To fix this, try replacing the filters. If this does not work, there may be a refrigerant leak. Before calling an expert, turn the unit off and give the ice time to melt. Until the ice has melted, the technician will not be able to diagnose and fix the problem.