Certain HVAC problems tend to affect heating system equipment this time of year in Louisville. Once cooling is no longer necessary, air conditioners are shut down for the season, and furnace or heat pump HVAC systems get ready to work – this is prime time to discover the most common issues that seem to pop up more often in the fall. Common fall HVAC issues can impact the system’s ability to heat the home, run efficiently, and maintain equipment condition.
Jarboe's Heating, Cooling & Plumbing alerts Louisville area homeowners to the potential for common HVAC issues. Learn about common problems and their most common cause, train to troubleshoot and fix minor HVAC unit malfunctions, and find out when you need to enlist the skills of a trained service technician for assistance. Our licensed, NATE-certified team of professional heating unit techs perform regular maintenance and repair services to keep your heater in tip-top shape through the winter and on to next year!
Without maintenance for your heater, you could be setting your unit up to fail this fall. Poor maintenance is the most common reason it’s hard to maintain a warm temperature in the house, avoid energy waste when running the heat, keep furnace and heater parts in good working condition.
Each fall, have a professional technician complete regularly scheduled maintenance for your furnace or heat pump. When maintenance is done on a regular basis, parts last longer and are protected from mounting wear and tear destruction. By keeping components like the heat exchanger, safety controls, switches, and more in peak condition, they require less energy to operate and your entire system stays in service longer than if the system was a victim of maintenance neglect!
Air filters are an essential part of any forced air HVAC system, trapping particles and pulling them from the air supply so they do not make their way inside the furnace or air handler. The filter also provides an added benefit homeowners enjoy – better air quality inside the house.
Dirty air filters do your furnace or heating unit no good, as the filter media will be too clogged to hold new particulate matter. If you leave a dirty air filter in place while your heating runs, more dirt, and debris will make their way into the system to cause HVAC problems down the road, the dirty filter can start to act as an airflow blockage, ultimately resulting higher energy bills, uneven temperature control, and overheating that can wreck sensitive system components.
Avoid common HVAC issues related to dirty air filters by installing new air filters within your unit on a regular basis. When air conditioning season is done toward the end of summer, give your air conditioner a rest but prepare your heater for fall – take time to install an air filter now so you have one less thing to worry about.
When your HVAC system struggles to warm up all areas of your home, cannot eliminate hot and cold spots, and generally cannot keep your family comfortable in the fall or winter, your ducts may be the reason why. As the distribution system for your HVAC equipment, ductwork carries heated air from one central unit to all areas across the home.
When ductwork is riddled with holes and damage, loose joints, and fallen duct runs, the heat generated by your heat pump or furnace is able to leave the duct. What’s more is that cold air from the areas ductwork is installed within infiltrates leaks, mixing with heat and bringing down the temperature of heating air traveling into your living spaces. Leaks in a duct throw money in the trash through this direct waste plus your HVAC system will consume more energy to make up for these heat losses – further adding to your system’s waste.
Duct leaks are not easily addressed on your own, as these runs are installed in parts of the house that do not make for easy inspection or access. Instead, call your HVAC company and request professional duct sealing services that will eliminate these points of air loss and allow your ductwork to retain all the heat sent through it.
When a circuit breaker repeatedly trips as the HVAC system runs, it’s usually due to a blower motor that is drawing excess power. Airflow restrictions caused by dirty air filters or closed vents and dirty coils are two common causes of this issue.
If you find the circuit breaker trips when the furnace or heat pump runs, investigate the air filter and change it if it is dirty. Check around the house, making sure every supply and return vent is opened and clear of obstruction. Should your breaker continue to trip, call your HVAC company to check out your system and find the cause of this electrical problem.
An air conditioner, heat pump, and condensing furnace all have a condensate drainage line to expel condensation produced as part of the heating or cooling process. This drain line allows moisture to flow out of the system into sewer drains, storm drains, or other areas outside the home.
The condensate drain system may become clogged due to physical damage or blockages that have formed in the pipe. Mold in the HVAC system or a dirty evaporator coil can cause debris to build up and form a clog. When the drain line is clogged, moisture won’t be able to escape the equipment. It will back up until it overflows, spilling out around the unit to form what appears to be water leaks. The HVAC equipment could be damaged by exposure to this excess moisture.
During routine maintenance, the condensate drain system will be cleaned to remove clogged matter – make sure you don’t skip this essential service. This time of year, keep falling leaves out of storm drains and sewer drains on your property to avoid a blockage. If you are able to see the flow of the line is interrupted by physical damage, have the pipe replaced.
Your heating system may not produce enough heat to maintain comfortable temperatures or run when you expect if you have a malfunctioning thermostat. Each fall, follow the operating instructions in your owner’s manual to adjust temperature schedules for smart and programmable thermostats – if the device won’t allow you to make this change, there may be a repair issue present.
Add new batteries to the thermostat once per year or more as needed. If your device has power but will not allow you to set it properly or it won’t communicate with your heater correctly, you may have a broken thermostat that needs to be repaired or replaced.
The system’s blower motor should run as the furnace or heat pump does to push heated air into the house. When the blower continues to run in between the system’s heat cycles, mistaken settings may be the cause or a system malfunction such as a relay, limit switch, or safety control that is stuck in the open position.
Check the thermostat’s fan switch setting – you want the fan switch to be set on AUTO instead of ON. If the setting is correct, have your system inspected by a professional to diagnose and repair your blower motor.
If your heat pump heating and cooling system has trouble producing enough heat for your needs, this is a symptom of a refrigerant leak, a common fall HVAC issue. Damage to the system’s refrigerant pipes, evaporator coil, or condenser coil can allow refrigerant to leak out of the unit.
Have your refrigerant pipes inspected by a trained technician with an EPA refrigerant handling certification so the leak can be identified. When repairs are completed, the system needs to be recharged, a process that will fill it with refrigerant in order to restore efficient operation.
Ignition system issues could stop your furnace from lighting or producing enough heat from your home. Common fall HVAC issues involve the ignitor and burners.
A pilot light in an older furnace can go out due to draft or thermocouple malfunction. Correct drafts nearby and use the owner’s manual for directions to relight the pilot. If it continues to go out, the thermocouple may mistakenly shut off the flame, misreading it as a safety issue due to dirt buildup in the gas intake line. This issue is usually addressed through regular maintenance.
A furnace with a hot surface ignitor may not light due to dirt buildup, a faulty ignitor, bad control board, wiring issue, or a problem with the rollout switch, limit switch, or pressure switch. A technician will need to address this issue.
Dirt and rust can cause dirty burners that block proper air and gas mixing to restrict the furnace flames and heat output. Cleaning dirty burners is one common step performed during regular maintenance tune-ups.
If any of these nine common fall HVAC issues or any other system problems occur in your Louisville area home this season, contact Jarboe's Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to schedule a service appointment today. Our team is ready to fix any heat pump or furnace problem you face.