While some HVAC issues are simply a matter of cleaning coils and filters, many of the 10 most common heating and cooling system problems will develop into much bigger concerns if not serviced early. Most of these can be avoided with regular preventive maintenance calls. It is wise to have your system checked annually to prevent outages during extreme weather.
1) LACK OF MAINTENANCE
Regularly scheduled maintenance by a licensed service contractor is a MUST to keep your system in proper working order. Many of the most common furnace problems can be avoided with proper maintenance by a certified service contractor. You have likely invested thousands of dollars in your home heating system. Why not protect that investment? If you neglect to perform regular maintenance you will most likely experience unexpected costly breakdowns, increased energy cost, poor performance and frustration.
Protect your investment and gain peace of mind by calling Jennings Heating at (330)355-3135 to have a NATE certified technician inspect your HVAC system today.
2) DIRTY FILTERS
Replacing your filter regularly is one of the most important things you can do to extend the life and efficiency of your furnace. If your filter is dirty it will restrict airflow causing your unit to work much harder to circulate air through your home. This puts unnecessary strain on your furnace’s’ blower and will result in comfort issues as well. A dirty filter can also cause the furnace to overheat and shut off on high limit.
3) PILOT OR IGNITION PROBLEMS
Ignition problems can result from a number of causes. A dirty pilot, flame sensor, or burners can cause a pilot outage, short cycling, furnace lockout, or delayed ignition of the burners. It could also be a result of a gas supply problem or just wear and tear of an ignition component that needs replaced like the hot surface ignitor or thermocouple. Either way, it is best to have these problems handled by a trained service technician since this deals with dangerous elements like natural gas and high voltage.
4) THERMOSTAT MALFUNCTIONS
There are many different thermostats, both programmable and non-programmable. Frequently, when a homeowner believes their furnace is not operating properly, it is an issue with the thermostat or how it is set. Referring to your owner’s manual and reviewing the operating instructions may prevent you from paying for a costly or unnecessary service call. Programmable thermostats may have batteries which need replaced periodically. If still malfunctioning, problems can be quickly diagnosed by a service technician.
5) MECHANICAL WEAR AND TEAR
There are a number of mechanical components your heating system relies on. Your units performance can be negatively impacted by normal wear and tear of these components. These include belts and bearings, which may result in overheating, poor heating, or airflow issues. Regular maintenance should include checking for worn or stretched belts and oiling bearings and motors if necessary.
6) UNUSUAL FURNACE NOISES
Some furnace noises are part of normal operation, while others may be a warning or indication of a mechanical problem. A whining or squealing motor can be an indication that the bearings in an inducer motor or blower motor are failing. Replacement of the motor may be required to avoid a furnace failure. Other noises may be caused by airflow issues or dirty burners. Either way, it is best not to ignore these signs as they may be a warning of a dangerous operating condition or could lead to a furnace failure.
7) BLOWN FUSES OR TRIPPED BREAKERS
The most common reason the furnace trips a circuit breaker is that the blower is overworking. If something is blocking airflow to your system, your blower has to work harder to compensate. The most common cause is a dirty air filter. When the air filter is dirty your blower has to work harder to force air through the filter. This increases the blower’s energy consumption and can sometimes trip the circuit breaker. Check your filter and replace it with a clean one before resetting your circuit breaker. If the problem recurs, it is best to contact a professional who can safely determine if the issue is caused by a furnace problem or if the circuit breaker itself may have malfunctioned. Other issues that can make the blower overwork include duct leaks, closed or blocked-off air registers or dirty coils.
8) DIRTY CONDENSER OR EVAPORATOR COILS
Chances are, regular maintenance on your air conditioner has been neglected it isn’t cooling as well at it could be. Dirt and debris can clog the coils of your system, significantly reduce the efficiency and wear it out sooner. You can hose off the outdoor coil after shutting off the power to the condenser. Power can be shut off at the electrical disconnect near the condenser or at the electric panel. The indoor evaporator coil can become dirty, especially if the furnace filters is not changed frequently. A dirty evaporator coil can reduce the efficiency of both your furnace and air conditioner and make your system work harder. Extremely dirty coils will need to be cleaned by a trained service technician.
9) BLOWER RUNS CONTINUOUSLY
There are a few reasons a furnace blower may run continuously. Before calling for service, check the fan switch on the thermostat. The motor will run continuously when the thermostat is set to the fan on position. It often happens that homeowners accidentally switch the fan switch to on.
There is a fan relay in the furnace that turns the blower on when there is a call for heat; if the relay sticks, the blower will not shut off. There are several types of safeties and limits on the furnace. If activated, the circuit board may bring on the furnace to cool it down. If the limit or safety does not reset, the blower will not shut off. A trained service technician can evaluate this problem and offer repair options.
10) WATER LEAKS
Both air conditioners and high efficiency furnaces produce condensate. Drain pipes are employed to ensure proper water drainage. Furnaces can leak water if the drain lines are either clogged or cracked. A homeowner can help keep the drain lines clean by pouring bleach down the drain periodically. Other possible leak sources could be the collector box, heat exchanger or evaporator drain pan. A service technician should be contacted to determine the source of the water leak and repair options.
For more information on any of these common problems or any other HVAC questions you may have, contact the experts .