February 27, 2024

5 mins

What’s Wrong with My HVAC System? HVAC Issues & Their Solutions

With a proper Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) unit at home, you know that heat waves and cold fronts are no match for you.  

But that peace of mind can be shattered when there’s something wrong with your system. A leaking air conditioner or a short-cycling heat pump can be a source of major distress. It can also be a source of major repair bills when you leave the problem unattended.

So, today, we’re discussing the 8 most common HVAC problems together with the possible solutions for each. That way, you’re more equipped to solve them.

4 Common Problems in Heating Systems

Winter months can be challenging for an HVAC unit as the harsh weather can bring potential problems. But once you identify the root of the problem, you can quickly solve it and return to staying in a warm home.

Problem #1: Why Isn’t My Home Getting Warmer?

The first and most obvious sign of an HVAC problem is when your home isn’t getting warmer despite turning on your heating system. There are multiple reasons behind this, and the solution lies in what you find upon inspection.  

Here are possible solutions to the problem:

  • Improve insulation to prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from entering.  
  • Clean your vents, filters, and ducts to improve airflow and HVAC efficiency.
  • Hire a professional to conduct full heat pump maintenance.

If your home is still not getting warmer, it can also indicate the boiler needs replacement.  

Problem #2: Why Do I Smell Burning from My Ducts?

A burning smell from your ducts, vents, or HVAC unit is a cause for alarm as it indicates serious problems. It can mean that your furnace air handler is malfunctioning or there’s a burnt electrical component. It can also signal gas or fuel leakage from your furnace or boiler.  

If you smell something burning, immediately turn off your heating system and call a certified HVAC technician. Trying to replace the part by yourself might invalidate the service and product warranty.

Problem #3: How do I Prevent Frozen Coils?

Frozen coils are one of winter’s most common and frustrating HVAC problems. To minimize this from happening, prepare your HVAC system for winter by cleaning and maintaining it regularly. Plus, avoid setting your temperatures too high so your coils won’t condense and freeze.

Problem #4: What's Wrong with My Ignition or Pilot?

Faulty ignitions or faulty pilots are another common gas-powered boiler and furnace problem. To solve this, you can first check your gas supply and power source. Often, circuit breakers can trip, causing the power supply to your system to turn off. On the other hand, a weak gas supply might not provide enough fuel for your ignition.

If these still don’t work, you might need to clean your drain pan, air filter, and pilot light. Many modern heating systems have a safety feature when it doesn’t turn on if there’s a blockage in any of these parts.

4 Common Problems in Cooling Systems

As extreme heat waves become a regular occurrence, having a cooling system is important to prevent indoor heatstroke. But what do you do when your unit isn’t working?

Here are 4 common cooling system problems and their solutions.

Problem #1: Why Won’t My Air Conditioner Turn On?

A dirty condenser, filter, or drain pan can prevent your AC from working optimally, triggering its safety features to turn on. Because of this, your AC won’t turn on unless you clean the clogged parts.

If your unit still doesn’t turn on after cleaning, then it might be an underlying problem that stems from a leaking refrigerant, damaged motor, or faulty wiring. As such, you’ll need an HVAC professional to diagnose the problem, as it can mean extensive repairs or an AC unit replacement.

Problem #2: Why is My AC System Turning On and Off?

When your AC or heat pump is powering on and off on its own, that’s called short cycling—and it’s not a problem to ignore. A short-cycling unit gives clues to deeper system problems, like a clogged drainpipe or malfunctioning thermostat.  

To test your thermostat, place a glass thermometer beside your temperature indicator and check it after 15 minutes. If there’s a discrepancy, then it’s time to recalibrate your thermostat. While you can easily clean a clogged drain by using a wet-dry shop vacuum cleaner or hosing it down.

Another reason why your HVAC is short cycling is that it’s improperly sized for your home. Read more about how to choose the AC unit size.

Problem #3: Why Isn’t My Room Cooling Down?

Your room might not be cooling down because your thermostat or HVAC system is still programmed to your winter settings. It can also be because factors are blocking your unit’s airflow, like dirty filters and ducts or pieces of furniture blocking the AC vent.  

But if you observed warm air from the vents, it might indicate a damaged compressor. Worse, it can also mean that it’s time to replace your AC system. As such, it’s best to schedule an HVAC service to solve the problem better.

Problem #4: Why is My AC Leaking?

When an AC leak happens, taking swift action is advisable before the leak damages other parts of your air conditioner or home. One way to solve a leaking AC is to unclog the drainpipes or condensate drain. But if that doesn’t work, the solution will require professional help, as the leak can be from a damaged refrigerant or an improperly installed unit.  

While you can rectify many common HVAC problems through regular maintenance, specific issues may need professional help. That way, they can solve the root cause of the problem and prevent it from worsening.

Looking for an HVAC professional?

At Mom’s Heating & Cooling, we only do premium HVAC installations and work with top-skilled technicians. Reach out today so you can feel comfortable and safe in your home.

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