Heating and Air Conditioning is a huge part of your budget every month and an even greater part of your comfort in life. Considering how significant and critical it is, it would be good for each of us to learn a little about our HVAC systems and how to troubleshoot when necessary.
We spent a solid ten minutes putting together a nifty flowchart for you:
Of course we’re just playing around there. But it does bring up a good point - call Schnelle if you need any heating and air conditioning help, even if it’s just to ask us a question over the phone. Let’s look at some basics. We’ll split the problems into three categories: Not Working, Not Working Well Enough, and Other Problems.
SYSTEM IS NOT WORKING
If your system is unresponsive, it’s likely having an electrical issue.
- Check to see if the breaker has been tripped. This is the most common electrical problem and it’s easy to remedy. Just reset the breaker and try the system again.
- Check the thermostat. Make sure it’s turning on at the right time at the right temperature. This is also an easy fix. If everything seems fine with the thermostat and breaker but the system is still unresponsive, the problem will take a little more involvement.
- Check the wires for shorts or bad connections. If you don’t have a voltage meter handy, and the wiring seems solid by eyesight, you will likely need a professional heating and air conditioning technician.
- Check the flux capacitor. If it’s not working, you won’t be able to escape the situation. Sorry, couldn’t resist.
SYSTEM IS NOT WORKING WELL ENOUGH
You will often find an underperforming system either has an airflow problem or a faulty component.
- Check the air filter. Obstruction of airflow causes loss of heated or cooled air and reduced circulation. For maximum efficiency, as well as the health and longevity of your heating and air conditioning system, keep the filter changed often. Look here first.
- Check the ductwork where possible. Critters and dents can block air flow, and leaky seals can reduce it as well.
- Check the coils on the air conditioning unit outside to see if they need to be cleaned out. If so, cut the power at the thermostat or breaker and carefully wash the fins out with a water hose. Some specialized cleaners are preferred, but usually not necessary. Do not use a powered washing tool. Removing anything around the unit that might block airflow, such as weeds or objects, is also a must to maximize effectiveness. The coils on the heating unit are more involved and best left to a pro.
- Check out Schnelle Heating & Air. Most other problems are going to require tools and some know-how you may not have at home. Checking individual components, recharging with coolant, and diagnosing problems are all perfectly within the wheelhouse of our awesome technicians.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, you may come across other issues.
- If there is water around the system on the floor, check the drains, plugs and pipes for leaks or clogs. The condensers draw moisture from the air and discharge it out of the unit in the form of water. Drainage needs to be unimpeded from clogs and channeled through pipes that don’t leak in order to avoid harmful and expensive water damage.
- If you suspect a gas leak or other noxious substances in the air, it is best to turn the system off and get out of the house and call HVAC professionals. In case of an emergency, your gas company might send out a technician if requested. Be sure to keep smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms fully functional.
- If you hear strange sounds coming from your heating and air conditioning system, just leave. It’s likely a demon. If it doesn’t sound demonic, it’s more than likely a faulty component. Just turn the system off and call a professional.
It’s important to us at Schnelle Heating & Air that you are safe and comfortable. If either of those two come into question, contact us. We are eager to jump in and help. We have a lot of experience that we’ll use to diagnose and remedy your problems as quickly as possible. We also have the care and passion to do a great job!
Check out our other blogs here.