What Are the Most Common HVAC Problems Homeowners Face?

common HVAC problems

Did you know that HVAC systems have a lifespan of just 15-25 years? Of course, depending on the type of unit and the brand, you might get more or less time. As your system ages, however, you may notice more small issues that affect the temperature and comfort level of your home.

Luckily, it’s possible to stretch your system’s lifespan, as long as you pay attention to common HVAC problems as soon as they happen. Tackling smaller issues before they have a chance to grow can help, but how do you know what to look out for? Here are a few issues every homeowner should know how to identify.

Clogged Filters

Your HVAC system depends on your filters, which are designed to clean common particulates from the air while still allowing it to pass through. However, the more clogged a filter becomes, the harder it is for air to pass through it.

This may seem like a small issue, but clogged filters can make your HVAC unit work harder to effectively heat and cool your home. This extra effort can translate to uncomfortable room temperatures and higher energy bills.

Fortunately, clogged filters are a simple fix. You should clean or replace your filters on a regular basis. In most homes, this is once a month—especially if you have any furry friends in the household—but you may be able to stretch it a little farther depending on the system and your air quality.

Dirty Registers

While many homeowners remember to put air filter changes on their home to-do list—at least most of the time—it’s common to forget another part of your ventilation system. Your home’s registers can accumulate dust and particulate matter as well, and these buildups can make it harder for the air to flow throughout your home. Grabbing a vacuum cleaner or duster is an easy way to clear up this issue.

Low or Leaking Refrigerant

Also called Freon, refrigerant is the chemical responsible for helping your air stay cool. As you can imagine, it’s pretty important to ensure that it stays at the right levels!

When there’s a leak in your refrigerant system, it poses several problems. First, refrigerant is a health hazard, both to you and the environment, which is why it’s best to let a professional tackle the HVAC repair. Second, low refrigerant levels can cause further issues, like hot air from your AC, a frozen refrigerant line, and additional strain on your system.

Dirty or Frozen Coils

Speaking of a frozen HVAC unit, frozen coils are the source of another common issue. While these frozen coils can happen when the refrigerant is low, as mentioned above, they can also happen for a number of other reasons.

When dirt and debris build up on the coils, for example, it can keep them from working properly and cause a buildup of ice. The issue can also happen with a malfunctioning defrost cycle. Whatever is causing your frozen coils, you’ll need to reach out for HVAC services to diagnose the problem.

Air Leaks

When the drafts in your home aren’t coming from your windows and doors, you may be experiencing one of the most common air conditioner problems: air leaks.

Your home’s ductwork and ventilation system comes with seals that help prevent conditioned air from leaking out. If these seals wear down, or if other damage occurs, all of that valuable conditioned air can escape at the wrong moment or place, making your entire HVAC unit less efficient.

Thermostat Malfunctions

Your HVAC unit doesn’t work on its own: it needs your thermostat to tell it what to do. However, when your thermostat malfunctions, it can lead to worrying problems throughout your system as a whole.

Thermostat malfunctions can cause your HVAC to run at odd times or to shut down out of nowhere. If you notice that the airflow and air quality of your system are fine, but the timing seems off, the thermostat may be to blame.

In some cases, you may just need to replace the batteries. In others, the electrical wiring or software may be to blame, so reach out to an expert if you aren’t sure of the cause.

Unusual Noises

Your HVAC is often the noisiest appliance you own—but that doesn’t mean it should veer off into making strange noises. If you hear sounds that stray outside of the normal hums and whirrs your system makes as it turns on and off, it’s a good idea to investigate.

Common reasons for strange noises include worn belts, loosened parts, rattling debris, or failing fans and blowers. If you can’t identify and fix the issue, make sure to have an inspection done before it gets worse.

Lack of Proper Maintenance

One of the biggest reasons homeowners reach out for air conditioner repair is a preventable one: they haven’t done their regular maintenance!

Though you should follow basic steps to clean and maintain your air conditioner whenever possible, it’s important to do a professional tune-up every now and then. With an expert eye, an HVAC technician can identify and even fix minor issues before they snowball into major headaches, and they can also check the parts of your unit that you don’t know how to maintain.

Avoid These Common HVAC Problems With Mr. Central

If you’ve encountered any of these common HVAC problems, don’t sit back and hope they’ll go away! Often, ignoring problems like these can cause the damage—and the associated repair costs—to worsen with time.

When you struggle to diagnose or maintain your air conditioner, Mr. Central is here to help. Our technicians are the trusted resource for HVAC maintenance and repair throughout the Augusta, GA and Aiken, SC areas. Learn more about what we offer, and contact us to find out how we can help get your system back in top shape!