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HVAC Problems That Homeowners Can Fix

When something goes wrong with an air conditioner or furnace, a homeowner’s first thought may be to call for an HVAC technician as soon as possible. Hiring a technician can be an expensive prospect, however. Before reaching for a phone, homeowners can check for some common problems they may be able to solve without hiring a technician.

Problems to Look for Before Calling an HVAC Technician

Not every problem that stops an air conditioning unit from working needs to be fixed by a technician. Issues homeowners can check for themselves include:

  • Does the home have electricity? If the power is out, then the A/C unit cannot work. Technicians have been called out to houses without power, only to collect a bill for showing up and telling the homeowners to call them when they have power again.
  • Is the gas meter turned on? Like with electrical systems, a gas furnace cannot function if a local utility company does not turn on a home’s gas meter.
  • Is the air filter badly clogged? Air filters in heating and air conditioning systems need to be changed or cleaned regularly. If they are not, and dirt is allowed to build up, they can restrict air flow enough to cause malfunction.
  • Is the thermostat functioning? Many thermostats run on batteries. If these are dead, the homeowner cannot control the heating and air conditioning system.
  • Has the circuit breaker been tripped? If the circuit breaker leading to the heating and air conditioning system has been tripped, flipping the switch will probably bring it online again. However, tripped circuit breakers are usually a sign of bigger problems. If it happens again, a call to an electrician may be necessary to find the issue.
  • Has the indoor switch to the unit been turned off? Some A/C units located indoors have on/off switches located near them for safety reasons.
  • What about the outdoor switch? Outdoor A/C units also often have disconnect switches near where they are plugged in.
  • Is the condensation pump or drain line clogged? Many A/C units will shut off automatically if there is a danger of leaking water. A clog in the unit’s drainpipe or condensation pump could cause this leak.
  • Has the water safety switch been tripped some other way? The same switch that shuts an air conditioner off in case of a water leak can be bumped into the off position by jostling the drain pan located under the unit. This switch is located on the underside of the unit.

Fixing a nonworking air conditioner or furnace may be as simple as throwing a switch or waiting for electricity to return after a blackout. A homeowner performing such an easy fix him or herself is far cheaper than calling a professional to do it.

However, if a homeowner checks for all of the issues listed above and cannot find anything wrong, then it may be time to call an HVAC technician. If you need professional HVAC help, contact us today.