There are a wide range of problems that can stop your HVAC system from cooling your home properly. Many of these heating and air conditioning problems reduce energy efficiency and raise your utility bills too. Here are five common HVAC problems that can cause the temperature inside your home to rise higher than you would like.
Clogged Drain Line
A blocked AC drain line can dramatically reduce system performance and cause water leakage and a musty or moldy smell. Poor maintenance causes sludge to build up which prevents normal condensation from draining away as it should. You can clean the drain line yourself with bleach and water, but other parts of the system may need cleaning and maintenance as well.
Filters clogged with dirt and debris can put stress on your HVAC system and reduce its performance by causing airflow to be reduced. You should clean or replace filters as often as recommended by your system’s manufacturer, and no less than twice a year. You can find new filters at big-box retailers and hardware stores or leave replacement to a professional.
If your thermostat isn’t working, you’ll need the help of an HVAC contractor who can repair or replace it. The thermostat controls how the system works and must perform precisely for optimal system performance. Thermostats are better than they used to be, so having an HVAC contractor replace yours could help you get more cooling power from your old system and save energy as well. Your contractor can help you find one that will work well with your current system.
Dirty Condenser or Evaporator
Even the best system can underperform or fail because of dirty condenser or evaporator coils. Evaporator coils absorb indoor heat, but dirt can keep them from doing this job well. Condenser coils release heat outside, but they don’t work well when they’re dirty either. While a thorough professional cleaning is best, wiping down coils and removing obvious debris yourself will help some.
Wear and Tear
Everything wears out, and HVAC components don’t all wear out at the same time. Regular maintenance can replace the most vulnerable parts, and emergency repairs can replace fans, belts and other components that fail unexpectedly. Cleaning and lubricating can prevent some breakdowns, but like everything else, an old HVAC system will eventually have to be replaced.
Other common problems include dead thermostat batteries, a blown fuse, or a tripped breaker. If your system isn’t cooling enough, however, it probably needs cleaning, repair, or replacement. If replacement is necessary, modern systems are more efficient than old ones and can help pay for themselves in energy savings. Whatever you need, you must take action. Your cooling problem won’t solve itself and will only get worse if not corrected.