A problem with your furnace or air conditioner is never fun, especially if you have to take time off to meet the service technician. In some cases, you may be able to skip the service if the problem is something minor that you can fix yourself. This HVAC troubleshooting guide can help.
General HVAC Troubleshooting
Check these common air conditioner and furnace issues before calling a licensed HVAC contractor. If you are uncomfortable performing any of these tasks or if the problem persists, call Arlinghaus to schedule your knowledgeable hassle-free repair.
- Thermostat – Make sure the thermostat temperature is set correctly and the fan is set to “Auto.” Adjust the temperature up or down to make sure the HVAC system starts. If a digital thermostat is not working, try replacing the batteries.
- System switch – Many HVAC systems have their own power switch for easier service. Make sure it's turned on. The switch is usually located on a nearby wall or overhead joist.
- Circuit breakers – Check for tripped breakers at the main service panel. Switch the breaker for the HVAC system off, then back on to reset it.
- Air filter – If the system is running, but heating or cooling poorly, check the air filter. A clogged air filter can cause numerous HVAC problems. It should be checked monthly and replaced when necessary.
- Ducts – Airflow is critical in HVAC systems. If your home is not heating or cooling properly, check for blocked registers or debris in the duct openings.
Air Conditioner Troubleshooting
- Condenser unit – Make sure there is plenty of room around the condenser unit for proper airflow and cooling. Remove any tall grass, weeds, or debris within two feet.
- Condenser coils – Dirt, leaves, and debris can collect in the condenser coils and impede cooling. With the disconnect pulled or the breakers off, use a garden hose to carefully spray the coils clean.
- Evaporator – If your air conditioner is not cooling properly, check the evaporator. A frozen or dirty evaporator could prevent heat absorption. Shut down the system for a few hours to thaw a frozen evaporator, and use a vacuum to gently remove dust from dirty coils.
- Condensate drain – A clogged condensate drain can cause your system to shut down. The condensate drain usually runs from the evaporator inside to the outdoors, or to a plumbing drain. If you can access it, use a vacuum, compressed air, or a wire to carefully dislodge any clogs from the pipe.
- Pilot light or igniter – When the burners will not light, make sure the pilot light is lit on older furnaces. Relight it if necessary, following the manufacturer's instructions. For newer models, make sure the igniter is hot or glowing when on.
- Thermocouple or flame sensor – If the burners will not stay lit, make sure the thermocouple is in contact with the flame. In newer furnaces, make sure the flame sensor is not dirty. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to clean it.
- Furnace blower – Make sure you can hear the furnace fan running when it is appropriate. The furnace fan will turn on after the heat exchanger has heated fully, typically a few minutes. If the motor is not running, check the thermostat, ensure no breakers are tripped, and check for blown fuses on the control board.
- Panel interlocks – Make sure all the panels on your furnace are closed. Some furnaces feature interlock switches to prevent the system from running while a service panel is open.
Still Experiencing Heating & Cooling Issues?
If you are still having problems with your air conditioner or furnace, contact the experts at Arlinghaus. Our knowledgable, local HVAC contractors are committed to providing high-quality heating, cooling, and indoor air quality solutions in Erlanger, Crestview Hills, Northern Kentucky, and the surrounding areas. Our customers know they can always rely on our experienced and friendly HVAC technicians!