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HVAC not working? How to troubleshoot HVAC problems

When warm weather hits and the heat is on, the last thing you want is for your air conditioning to be off. It’s essential to maintain steady comfort in your building to keep your residents content. Here are some of the most prevalent problems that you can avoid by following common sense operational procedures and with routine residential air conditioning maintenance.

 

  1. THE AC WON’T TURN ON

At the top of your list of fears when you initiate your air conditioning troubleshooting review might be that you’ll turn on the system and hear nothing and feel nothing. The lack of power could be something as simple as a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker, which means you’ll have to reset the circuit breaker or replace a blown use. It also could be the result of broken or loose wiring or thermostat problems.

 

  1. THERMOSTAT GLITCHES

If your thermostat is not working or if it is incorrectly calibrated, it may not tell the air conditioner to turn on. If you have set your thermostat to the lowest temperature setting and the system still does not start, it’s probably time to call your HVAC repair technician, who will likely have to recalibrate or replace the thermostat. The older, dial-type thermostats are more often subject to calibration problems, but sometimes the newer programmable thermostats are not easy to program. When doing air conditioning troubleshooting, you should consult your thermostat manual to make sure you have programmed your thermostat properly.

 

  1. AIR CONDITIONER PROBLEMS ARE NOT COOL – LOW REFRIGERANT EQUALS LOW EFFICIENCY

While air conditioning troubleshooting uncovers an under-performing unit, that can be the result of low refrigerant. If the refrigerant level is low, it usually means it was either undercharged at installation or it has a leak. If you notice your building is not cooling properly or the air is somewhat sticky, a low refrigerant level could be the culprit. Without the right refrigerant level, heat and humidity cannot efficiently be removed from the air. The refrigerant is the lifeblood of your air conditioning unit and is akin to the motor oil in your vehicle.

 

Although your AC technician might discover a leak during the air conditioning troubleshooting process, unfortunately it’s not usually a matter of just topping off the refrigerant. When a vehicle frequently needs oil, it’s usually a sign of a bigger problem. Likewise, with an air conditioner system, low refrigerant is often the sign of a leak and you will need a qualified HVAC expert to fix it. If multiple leaks are detected, it’s possible that you may need to replace the unit.

 

  1. CONDENSER PROBLEMS WILL HEAT THINGS UP

When drawing up an air conditioning troubleshooting plan, don’t forget to look at the condenser coil. The condenser has an important job to do. It is responsible for discharging the heat removed from the air by releasing it outside of the building. The condenser coil is part of your outdoor unit, which means it’s exposed to dirt, soot and assorted pollutants that make it grimy. If the coils are dirty, it will interfere with the transfer of heat and make your unit worker harder and add to the wear and tear on your system.

 

  1. IT’S GETTING HOT IN HERE – IRONICALLY COULD MEAN A FROZEN EVAPORATOR COIL

While embarking on your air conditioning troubleshooting mission, you should consider that your evaporator coil is the reason for warmer temperatures than you would like. This coil contains refrigerant that absorbs heat. When airflow is diminished, a layer of ice can form on the evaporator coil. If this occurs, you could end up with warm air or no air from your air conditioner supply registers. The restricted airflow could be the result of dirty air filters, low refrigerant or obstructed return air in your ductwork, which brings us to our next problem to look at when you’re conducting your air conditioning troubleshooting project.

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