Top 12 Common HVAC Repairs Your Home May Need

Experiencing an HVAC system failure can be inconvenient at best and dangerous at worst. Common HVAC repairs that you often face at your home include issues with the thermostat, such as inaccurate temperature readings or a malfunctioning display. Ductwork problems, like leaks or blockages, can also impact system efficiency.

Another common concern relates to airflow, which is often caused by clogged filters or dirty coils, leading to reduced heating or cooling performance. Refrigerant leaks are another potential issue, requiring prompt attention to maintain the system’s proper functioning. 

Additionally, electrical components, such as capacitors or contactors, may wear out over time and need replacement. Regular maintenance and addressing these common issues promptly can help ensure your HVAC system operates efficiently, providing comfort throughout your home.

Staying on top of common HVAC repairs can keep your home comfortable and your utility bills affordable. This guide will provide an overview of the 12 most widespread HVAC issues homeowners face.

Common HVAC Repairs Your Home May Need

To address common HVAC repairs, it’s essential to seek the expertise of a reliable HVAC contractor. If you are seeking the services of a professional, get in touch with an HVAC contractor Dallas for an accurate diagnosis, efficient repairs, and the overall well-being of your heating and cooling system. 

Regular maintenance and timely repairs performed by an experienced HVAC contractor are vital for ensuring optimal comfort and performance in your home.

Faulty Thermostat

A faulty thermostat is one of the most common HVAC issues homeowners face. A malfunctioning thermostat can lead to uncomfortable room temperatures and higher energy bills. Common thermostat problems include:

  • Failing to maintain the set temperature
  • Allowing too much variance above or below the setpoint 
  • Short cycling of HVAC system components
  • Display screen issues like incorrect readings or blank screens
  • Unresponsive buttons or controls
  • Low battery warnings

Before contacting an HVAC technician, consider changing thermostat batteries, checking wiring connections, and resetting the thermostat. If issues persist, replacements may be needed. Properly using programmable thermostats can save homeowners up to 10% per year on heating and cooling costs, according to the reports of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Thermostats may fail for various reasons, including dead batteries, loose wires, dirt on sensors, electrical surges, component wear due to aging, or software glitches. Before getting a new thermostat, you can try some simple fixes like changing batteries, making sure wires are properly connected, or following the manufacturer’s instructions for resetting or recalibrating. 

Airflow Problems

Restricted airflow in ductwork can make your system less efficient. Common causes include clogged air filters or dirty coils. You might notice higher energy bills, extra humidity, or uneven cooling/heating. 

To resolve this issue, make sure to change air filters regularly, vacuum vents and registers, and hose down outdoor condenser coils.

Refrigerant Leaks  

Refrigerant is vital for heat transfer in an HVAC system. Leaks can significantly reduce efficiency and release harmful greenhouse gases. Signs of leaks:

  • Spikes in energy bills
  • Lack of cooling
  • Frost or oil around copper pipes

Repairing leaks properly requires an EPA 608-certified technician. Prevent leaks by replacing worn parts before they fail. 

Dirty or Clogged Air Filters  

When filters are clogged, airflow is obstructed, causing the HVAC system to exert more effort in maintaining comfort. The EPA advises replacing filters every 1-3 months, offering several benefits such as improved efficiency, reduced energy costs, and cleaner indoor air. Signs indicating it’s time for a filter change include increased dust and debris, higher energy bills, and diminished airflow at vents. Regularly replacing filters not only ensures a healthier indoor environment but also contributes to the overall efficiency and cost-effectiveness of your HVAC system.

Electrical Control Failure  

HVAC systems rely on various electronic controls to operate essential components like fans, valves, and compressors. When electrical components malfunction, they can entirely disable the system. Common issues encompass blown fuses, short circuits, faulty safety switches, and bad control boards. 

Due to the potential risk of shock or fire, addressing any electrical problems beyond basic troubleshooting necessitates the expertise of an HVAC technician. Annual inspections are crucial to catch potential issues early and ensure the safe and efficient operation of the system. Additionally, faulty sensors should be promptly addressed as part of regular maintenance to prevent disruptions and maintain optimal HVAC performance.

Faulty Sensors 

Sensors play a crucial role in monitoring air temperature, pressure, humidity, and other factors to optimize HVAC system performance. Common sensor failures involve flame sensors, pressure switches, and thermistors. If the system exhibits erratic behavior, such as frequent cycling on and off, it may indicate a sensor issue. 

HVAC technicians, equipped with the proper tools and expertise, are essential for diagnosing and replacing defective sensors. Addressing sensor failures promptly ensures the system operates efficiently, maintaining a comfortable indoor environment while preventing potential damage or disruptions. Regular sensor maintenance as part of HVAC system care is vital for long-term performance and reliability.

Drainage Problems

HVAC systems generate condensate water during the cooling process. When drain lines or pans get clogged, it can result in water spills and potential moisture damage. Signs of this issue include water under vents, wet carpeting, and the buildup of mold or mildew. For minor clogs, DIY solutions like pouring bleach or vinegar down drains may help. 

However, in cases of major blockages, it’s crucial to call a technician to prevent severe problems such as ceiling collapses or the development of dangerous mold issues. Timely attention to condensate drainage issues ensures the efficient functioning of the HVAC system and prevents potential water-related damage to the surrounding area.

Ignition or Pilot Control Failure  

Gas-powered heating systems rely on consistent ignition for safe and effective operation. No ignition can result from various issues, including dead batteries in the thermostat or system, a faulty igniter, or a broken pilot light. The absence of ignition may lead to cold spots during heating cycles.

 HVAC technicians are equipped to diagnose these issues, test components, and restore safe operations to ensure the heating system functions reliably and efficiently. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to ignition-related problems are essential to upholding the safety and effectiveness of gas-powered heating systems in providing warmth to your home.

Unusual Noises

Strange sounds like banging, screeching, or squealing indicate HVAC problems:   

  • Loose parts
  • Motor or bearing wear 
  • Refrigerant flow issues

Use caution when investigating odd noises yourself. Have an HVAC technician inspect for damage that could progress into a complete system failure.

General HVAC Component Failure

Years of usage result in wear and tear on crucial parts such as compressors, motors, and heat exchangers in HVAC systems. The gradual breakdown of these components can manifest in issues like leaking, overheating, vibration, and a decline in overall performance. 

To extend the lifespan of the system and prevent major malfunctions, routine maintenance checks are crucial. Timely inspections can identify and address potential issues, and the replacement of worn-out components often restores the system to a like-new performance level. 

Regular maintenance not only maximizes the efficiency of the HVAC system but also helps avoid costly repairs and ensures the consistent comfort of your living space.

The major components of HVAC systems endure significant wear and tear over years of continuous use. The gradual breakdown of parts like compressors, blower motors, heat exchangers, and evaporator coils leads to a variety of problems, including:

Common examples of HVAC component failure:

  • Refrigerant leaks cause reduced cooling capacity
  • Corroded condenser coils leading to restricted airflow  
  • Accumulated grime and dust foul the evaporator coil   
  • Cracked heat exchangers release dangerous exhaust gases
  • Blower motors overheat due to worn bearings
  • Compressor failure resulting in complete AC system shutdown

Signs of component failure include the following:

  • Declining efficiency and performance  
  • Refrigerant leaks detected dye kits
  • Unusual noises, such as screeching, banging or squealing
  • Visible corrosion of condenser/evaporator coils
  • Overheating of internal components

Routine maintenance and periodic part replacement, as components reach the end of their functional lifespan, can optimize the longevity of the overall system. For suspected equipment failures, prompt inspection and repair by qualified HVAC technicians is recommended.

Inconsistent Temperatures  

If certain rooms in your home are consistently too hot or too cold compared to the set temperatures, the likely causes include low refrigerant levels, plugged registers or vents, and issues with the zoning system. 

Start by ensuring that vents and registers are clear and open. If the problem persists, it’s advisable to consult with an HVAC professional who can address issues such as rebalancing refrigerant levels or adjusting zone controllers. 

Professional assistance is crucial for diagnosing and resolving these specific issues, ensuring that your HVAC system operates efficiently and provides consistent comfort throughout your home.

Overall Lack of Heating or Cooling

A completely non-operational HVAC system often results from:

  • Power loss 
  • Tripped circuit breaker
  • Blown fuse

Before calling for service, check:

  • Thermostat batteries  
  • Breaker panel  
  • Disconnect switch

If those items check out, contact an HVAC company to troubleshoot further electrical or equipment faults.

FAQs

1. How often should I service my HVAC system?

Most experts recommend semi-annual preventative maintenance checks to maximize performance and lifespan.

2. When does an HVAC system need full replacement rather than repair?

Replacement is often needed if the core components are over 10-15 years old or multiple major parts fail at the same time.  

3. Can I fix HVAC issues myself or should I call a pro?

Minor DIY repairs are possible, but electrical issues, gas systems, or complex problems should always be handled by qualified HVAC technicians.

Conclusion  

Catching HVAC problems early is crucial for comfort, efficiency, lifespan, and safety. Know the common issues to address repairs promptly. Signs like higher bills or odd performance warrant a professional assessment. Regular maintenance can ensure that your HVAC system delivers comfortable, trouble-free indoor air for over a decade.