3 Immediate Steps to Take if Your Home’s HVAC System Breaks

3 Immediate Steps to Take if Your Home's HVAC System Breaks

You may not know what to do when your HVAC unit breaks down. The default is to buy another one or call a technician to save the unit. This reaction amplifies during an extremely hot or cold day. Hold off on those reactions until you do these three steps first.

1- Is the Unit Working?

The HVAC unit is the first place to check when it breaks down. It’s imperative to examine the external device to ensure no cracks or dents are on it. A small crack or dent is all it takes to make a unit malfunction. Be sure to check the indoor unit and the outdoor unit for issues.

One place to check is the motor; you can stare at it through the vent grates to see if debris is present. You should also remove debris around the unit and stuck in the grates, check the refrigerant, check the oil charge, search tubing and joints for leaks and breaks, and smell the device for a burnt odor.

Speaking of tubes, rusted, corroded, or leaking tubes are not satisfactory as it means there is water damage on the unit somewhere. Outdoor units can freeze during the winter and overheat during the summer too. While some unit issues are solvable, most require an HVAC technician, as the person can examine and resolve the problems better.

2- Is the Thermostat Working?

Unless the HVAC is portable, a thermostat is somewhere in the house, so go to the thermostat and investigate. The thermostat should be on with the mode settings you set for the room. Here are some ideas to search for on the thermostat to discover the problem.

• Search for damaged or broken wires, gauges, etc.

• Swap out old batteries for new ones.

• Turn the thermostat on, wait a minute, and turn it back on.

• Set the thermostat to the correct mode.

• Reset the thermostat.

If there is more than one thermostat in the house, you must check them all. If there is no thermostat, check the unit for an attached version.

3- Did You Change the Air Filter?

As long as you rely on your HVAC unit, you must swap out the air filter for a fresh one every three months. A big mistake is looking at it and not changing it because there is no massive amount of dust, debris, dirt, and grime on the filter. Believe it or not, an enormous amount will slow down the unit, forcing it to work harder to heat or cool the home. Eventually, the trapped particles on the filter will burn the motor out.

Be sure to change the air filter on all HVAC units. A technician will check the air duct and remove the debris and stuck objects.

While there are other troubleshooting options to try, these three are the first things you should do. The good news is you may resolve the situation without a technician. However, a technician is available when you need it, and it should be the last resort when you exhaust all other options to save the unit.

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