An HVAC system can break down at the worst possible moments and leave you wondering what went wrong. To reduce the risk of this happening, every homeowner should educate themself on the most common HVAC problems and their solutions.

1. Refrigerant leak

Signs of a refrigerant leak include:

  • Fluctuating temperature
  • Poor cooling
  • Hot compressor
  • Failed compressor

A refrigerant leak should only be addressed by a trained HVAC technician because the liquid is highly toxic and should only be handled by a professional.

2. Corrosion of wires and terminals

If the air conditioner is cycling more frequently than usual, the cause may be corroded wires and terminals. To address this issue, the wires and terminals should be replaced. Ignoring the warning signs could lead to a worn out fan and compressor.

3. Water leaks

This HVAC issue is typically caused by clogged drain lines. If the condensate isn’t able to drain properly, it will overflow the drain pan. Regularly cleaning the drain lines and pouring bleach can help prevent clogs and water leaks.

Other potential sources of water leaks include the collector box, heat exchanger, and the evaporator drain pan.

4. Dirty filters

If the HVAC system is taking longer than usual to cool or heat the home, the cause may be dirty air filters. If the filters are clogged with air contaminants and pollutants, the HVAC system is forced to work harder than normal, and may still fail to maintain proper indoor air temperature. Depending on how much you use your HVAC system, air filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days.

5. Continuous blower operation

If the blower is running nonstop, the source of the problem could be the fan relay mechanism. This issue typically requires the expertise of an HVAC technician.

6. Dirty parts

If the HVAC unit isn’t cleaned regularly, it could force the entire system to work harder than usual and shorten its overall lifespan. Be sure to clean the condenser unit, evaporator coil, and air vents to ensure the system continues to operate efficiently.

7. Loud noise

Squealing, grinding, or rasping could indicate loose or worn out components that should be tightened or replaced. Routine HVAC maintenance could help prevent this issue.