HVAC Troubleshooting and Prevention Tips

Regular maintenance is key to keeping an HVAC system running smoothly, but even well-maintained systems can malfunction. Use these tips to guide you through basic troubleshooting techniques.

Sometimes the answer is simple. Begin your troubleshooting with these steps:

  • Make sure you have power (check the breaker).
  • Make sure there’s nothing obstructing your air vents, like a piece of furniture.
  • Reset your system – for most system models, resetting is a simple task and directions can be found in your owner’s manual or online.

If you’ve done all this and still aren’t able to identify the cause of the issue, consider the following tips that can be considered both troubleshooting and prevention. 

  • Check your vents and make sure that your vents are all slotted OPEN. Keeping vents closed creates pressure inside the ventilation system which can force air to leak into places it shouldn’t. Not only is this costly, it can also result in certain rooms not getting enough heating or cooling power. 
  • If you suspect that your space isn’t retaining the proper amount of heat, check for leaks around your windows. A simple way to test for leaks is by lighting a candle or stick of incense and passing it slowly around the borders of your windows. If you notice the flame or smoke pulling in one direction, you’ve found an air leak and should consider weather stripping. According to Energy.gov, weather stripping your home can save 20% on heating/cooling bills.
  • Check on your thermostat. Batteries should be replaced about once a year, and it’s important to have a general idea of how the settings work. For example, having the thermostat set to “HEAT” and “ON” means that air is forced all the time, even if the furnace isn’t on a heating cycle, which can create cold air.

If you have children in the home or don’t want folks messing with your thermostat, shields and lockboxes can be purchased as a safeguard.

  • Regularly change your air filters. A filter with a visible layer of dirt should be replaced, as dirty filters prevent airflow by clogging up the ventilation. This can ultimately lead to issues with air quality and weakened air flow. Dirty filters also force the HVAC motors to work harder than they were designed to, which can cause larger mechanical issues with your HVAC system. Your filter replacement schedule will depend on several factors such as what, who, and how many people regularly occupy the space. If you need help choosing the right filter replacement schedule, and a professional who can help change them out, the team at Crabbe Services is happy to lend a hand. 

For more information on any of these common problems or any other HVAC questions you have, contact the experts at Crabbe Services.


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