HVAC System: Top 5 Causes of HVAC Failure

HVAC System

HVAC System Tips for Optimal Efficiency

Your home’s HVAC system is composed of several mechanical components working together, designed to keep your home safe and comfortable. It provides adequate ventilation, clean air and regulates temperature throughout your living space.

When each component functions properly you barely notice, but when something is wrong, everyone knows.

When your system fails you are aware of the discomfort because of seasonal temperatures. However, malfunctioning heating and air conditioning can also lower indoor air quality, affect health and raise energy costs unnecessarily. If your system fails, check these five things before you call an HVAC professional.

The Top 5 Causes of HVAC Failure

Check the Electrical Breaker

If the HVAC system will not work at all, go to the electrical panel and check for a tripped breaker. The panel door depicts which breaker supplies the HVAC system—usually, more than one breaker supplies the system. If the breaker is tripped, it is in a neutral position.

If you wiggle it gently, it will move both right and left. Turn the breaker off and then turn it to the “on” position. In both the on and off position the breaker will be firm, with no more wiggle.

If this is the only problem, the breaker will restore power to your system and it will return to normal use. The breaker might have tripped for a number of reasons. If the breaker trips again, contact a professional electrician to investigate the problem. It is no longer a DIY project.

Dirty Air Filters

The easiest DIY preventative maintenance task you can do for your system is to change the air filter. The filter will be positioned for easy accessibility and collects dust and pollutants before the air is heated or cooled. This keeps dust out of vital mechanical components and traps them before they can be redistributed.

An air filter will continue to collect pollutants even when it is dirty; however, the dust and pollen build up over time and slows the airflow, which and makes the blower motor work much harder. Plan on changing your filter at least every 3 months, but be aware that your home may require more frequent changes.

Factors such as living on a dusty road, near construction or having several pets might necessitate frequent filter changes.

Filters are readily available at hardware and DIY centers. Air filters come in a variety of materials, including washable filters for reuse. Explore your options.

Impeded Air Flow

The duct system transports clean conditioned air throughout the home, unless something is blocking the airflow. Occasionally a homeowner will not notice a room vent and place furniture or accessories on the vent, blocking airflow. Also, check the dampers on the room vents to ensure they are in the open position.

Your ductwork system may also have dampers in the main supply lines which regulate airflow. These dampers are designed to balance the flow of air for seasonal changes. If dampers are not balanced properly, you will experience uneven heat or AC in some rooms, while proper dampening will heat and cool rooms evenly. Uneven heating and cooling adds stress to your HVAC system and shortens system life.

Check the Thermostat

Thermostats are equivalent to an on/off switch, determined by air temperature in a room, typically the most used room in the house. If the switch is not functioning properly the entire system will not work properly.

Fortunately, replacing a thermostat is a simple and relatively inexpensive fix. Unfortunately, many homeowners are not prepared to diagnosis the problem.

If you suspect the thermostat might be the culprit, consult your professional for an inspection. In many cases, a new programmable or smart thermostat will help lower your utility bills and increase your comfort.

A Refrigerant Leak

When the outside temperature rises and your AC “can’t keep up,” it is definitely time to call your HVAC professional and have the refrigerant level checked. Your AC unit requires a gas coolant in a contained circuit and any crack or flaw in the circuit will allow the gas to escape.

Often the refrigerant escapes gradually resulting in decreasing performance and leading to a failure to cool. The decrease in performance is serious, as it causes the AC components to work extremely hard and leads to complete failure.

The HVAC professional might be able to find the source of the leak and replace the refrigerant. Replacing the refrigerant often makes an immediate, noticeable change.

Want more information about HVAC System Tips for Optimal Efficiency

If you are considering to better your Air Conditioning Efficiency, call us at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

Connect with All Cool AC and Heating on Facebook.

HVAC System

8 Affordable Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips

8 Affordable Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips

Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips to Reduce Utility Bills

According to the Department of Energy, conditioning the air in your home, both heating and cooling takes the largest single percentage of your energy bill—between 48 and 52% of the total bill. With the long cooling months right around the corner, here are 8 no-cost methods of reducing your AC costs.

  1. Clean around the AC condenser unit outside. Since the fan is pulling air through the aluminum fins, it is suctioning leaves, grass clippings, and debris between the fins. Use a hose and clean the fins thoroughly to keep the unit from overheating.
  2. Vacuum clean the indoor vents and move anything that might cover the vents. Open vents allow the free flow of that “oh so nice” air right where you need it. Covered vents restrict airflow and create hot spots.
  3. Program your thermostat if possible. It might take a little time for you to program, but it can make a big difference. Here’s how:
    1. Department of Energy estimates a 1% savings per degree for an 8-hour span. If you turn the AC temp UP 5 degrees for eight hours, you will save 5% of the cooling cost for the day.
    2. If you program your thermostat to increase the temperature in your home while it is vacant during work hours, you can achieve these cost savings without feeling it at all. Schedule the AC to cool it off on your drive home. (The same savings holds true during heating months as well.)
  4. Keep lamps, TVs, and other heat-producing appliances 3’ away from your thermostat. The heat of the device will give the thermostat a false reading, keeping the AC unit on longer.
  5. Close your blinds and curtains during the heat of each summer day. The summer sun warms the house and drives the AC cost way up. When you arrive home from work, open the curtains and enjoy the less harsh evening rays.
  6. Clear the drain lines coming from the evaporator coil and pan. This is on the inside, at the AC/furnace unit, a hose or PVC line running to a drain. Pour a cup of bleach in the line and chase it with a gallon of water to remove debris and organic matter. This avoids the water overflowing from the pan and leaking from the unit.
  7. Avoid using heating-producing appliances, such as the dryer, oven, and dishwasher during the heat of the day. Wait until the evening hours, when the AC unit has less of a load and can handle the rise in temperature.
  8. If your home has uninsulated ductwork in unconditioned spaces, such as attics or crawlspaces, insulating the ducts will be a very low-cost/very effective cost-saving measure.

Money-saving tips don’t always require spending a lot of money when it comes to your HVAC system.

Want more information about Air Conditioning Efficiency? We Can Help!

If you are considering to better your Air Conditioning Efficiency, call us at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

Connect with All Cool AC and Heating on Facebook.

8 Affordable Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips