What Are Some of the Most Common HVAC Repairs?

Alabama sees both hot and cold weather during an average year, which means homeowners must be prepared to deal with all types of weather conditions. Millbrook area homes must also be able to deal with damp conditions, as the area is always quite humid. 

Montgomery, AL HVAC repair experts always encourage homeowners to schedule routine maintenance that will generally eliminate costly emergency repair calls. However, it’s also essential for property owners to recognize the most common HVAC problems and how to deal with them. Here are a few of the most common issues our technicians see in the Montgomery area.

Dirty Filters

It’s easy to ignore your home’s heating and cooling appliances when they appear to be operating correctly. However, it’s always important to pay attention to even minor maintenance tasks. 

Dirty air filters create a number of problems as that dirt prevents air from circulating properly. That means the heating and cooling system must work harder to keep a home comfortable. When systems are forced to run more often, utility costs rise quickly, and that’s something no homeowner wants to see. 

At the same time, the air that is circulating will be loaded with contaminants. If family members are sneezing more often or having difficulty breathing, it’s time to check the HVAC filters. HVAC experts unanimously agree that installing new filters is a cheap investment in keeping your home comfortable, reducing energy costs, and minimizing the odds of residents suffering respiratory problems.

Thermostat Issues

Another common complaint our technicians hear is that a heating and air conditioning system doesn’t come on when it should or runs when it shouldn’t. In many cases, the home’s thermostat isn’t functioning properly. 

There are both programmable and non-programmable thermostats commonly in use, but they all serve the same purpose: controlling the way the system turns on and off.  In many instances, family members inadvertently change the setting to on or off rather than automatic, and that causes unusual cycling patterns.

Of course, many thermostats will have to be replaced. Today, homeowners have more thermostat options than ever before. One of the most exciting ones is a smart thermostat that can be controlled from anywhere with an app. If you’re not sure you want to take that step, why not check out programmable thermostats that keep the home’s temperature at different levels based on the times family members will be home? If you’ve got questions about the pros and cons of each option, feel free to ask how each option operates and what the parts and installation costs would be for the various types of thermostats.

Worn Parts

This is a rather broad area, but we routinely find the heating and cooling systems where one or more of the system’s components are failing or have failed. One of our goals is to spot worn parts when we’re servicing a client’s system to prevent a catastrophic failure later.

It’s important to understand that heating and air conditioning systems can be complex, and that means each part impacts how other components function. If, for example, a bearing is failing, it will cause wear on all parts that are, in some way, connected to that bearing. For example, the belt, pulleys, or fan can all suffer when one of the unit’s bearings fails. 

When we identify a worn part, we’ll recommend replacing it immediately rather than allowing the issue to worsen and cause other part failures. It’s generally far less expensive to replace a worn part before it actually fails than to wait and replace numerous parts later. 

Unusual Noises

This complaint often goes hand-in-hand with worn parts, but not always. Some sounds are normal, but if you begin hearing new noises, it’s time to contact our team and have the system evaluated. 

Some noises are related to issues like motor or fan problems, but others are caused by simple issues like dirty filters or worn belts. Rather than risking serious problems, it pays to have the problem looked at now. Contact our experts for any heating or air conditioning repair needs.

The Blower Runs Constantly or Won’t Run

As noted earlier, blower issues are often related to a thermostat problem, but that’s not always the case. However, before contacting our team for assistance, check the thermostat to make sure it’s not set to fan or turned off. 

If the thermostat is set correctly and the blower still doesn’t operate correctly, there are a couple of issues that could be causing the problem. One common problem is the fan relay switch failing. If the relay sticks, the fan will run constantly. There are also limited switches on the HVAC system designed to make the fan run continuously, so the problem may be a little more complicated to resolve. Our service technicians are trained to evaluate the system and determine where the actual problem is. 

Electrical Issues

Electrical problems are also common with heating and cooling systems. Remember that there are a lot of wires needed to make today’s high-efficiency heating and cooling systems operate. If any of those wires are damaged, the system will not function as it should. 

With AC systems, there is also a lot of wiring needed to operate the condenser located outside the home. That wiring is subjected to harsh weather conditions, flying debris from mowers and trimmers, and gnawing by pests. In many cases, it will take some time to isolate the problem before we can start the necessary repairs. 

The system also has wiring that connects the system to the home’s main distribution panel. That wiring is also subject to wear and tear, and any type of damage between the HVAC appliances and the distribution panel will cause the system to fail.

Breakers control the flow of electricity, and they commonly fail or trip if there are other wiring issues. In some instances, our electricians will be needed to correct those problems properly. Our team is fully capable of dealing with all electrical problems related to a home’s heating and cooling appliances. 

Energy Bills are Climbing

According to the Energy Information Administration, the average energy bill in 2017 was $111.67. However, your costs will vary depending on the size of your home, the types and ages of heating and cooling appliances that are installed, and where the home’s thermostat is set. 

Regardless of the size of your home’s normal utility bills, no one wants to see them go up. If the cost to heat or cool your home goes up for no apparent reason, contacting an HVAC expert for help now is important. 

Increasing costs without any increase in rates or changes in use indicate a problem with the heating or cooling unit that needs to be investigated promptly. While there may not be a serious issue present, determining the cause of the increase will help to eliminate the problem and keep it from occurring again in the future. 

The technician may also identify additional ways you could reduce your monthly utility bills. Taking care of maintenance issues often allows systems to operate more efficiently and results in operating costs going down. 

Updating that old thermostat is one way to reduce your home’s energy consumption quickly. Ask the technician how a programmable or smart thermostat can reduce your monthly heating and cooling costs.

Not All Rooms Get Heated or Cooled Air

Uneven heating or cooling in different areas of a home shouldn’t be ignored. Your family’s comfort is at stake, and health issues can develop if some rooms are not properly cooled or heated. 

There are several issues that can cause the uneven distribution of heated or cooled air, and our team of experts is always prepared to evaluate your home’s duct system and recommend effective air duct repair solutions. 

When additions are constructed, it’s easy for the ductwork to be compromised. It’s less expensive to add to an existing duct rather than redesign the delivery system, but that often results in uneven air distribution.

Leaks in ductwork also cause problems. For example, a duct that’s leaking conditioned air into the attic or crawlspace will negatively impact the amount of heated or cooled air reaching rooms beyond the leak. 

Those leaks also cause your heating and cooling bills to go up, which means it makes sense to contact our team of HVAC experts for help. Once the problem is identified, we’ll recommend solutions that will make everyone more comfortable regardless of where they are in the home.

Mold in the Heating and Cooling System

Most Alabama property owners have experienced some level of mold in their homes. With the humidity hovering around 85% on average in the Montgomery area, mold is common. However, when mold is present in a home’s HVAC distribution system, it’s not easy for a homeowner to deal with that problem without professional assistance. 

Once again, we’ll take the time to evaluate the duct system to determine the extent of the problem and recommend solutions. Once the mold has been properly dealt with, we’ll also recommend strategies to reduce the potential for the problem returning.

In many cases, the mold occurs because of leaks or faulty installation. One common way we’ve found to reduce the odds of mold development is to insulate the ducts correctly. Of course, properly insulated ducts also mean your system will be more efficient. That means your utility bills will go down.

There is Too Much Dust in the Air

Most homeowners don’t pay much attention to dust, as it’s not a huge problem because of Alabama’s humid conditions. However, many families have one or more members with respiratory conditions, and that means dust mites, pet dander, and mold in the air can cause serious health threats.

If you’re worried about the health of family members and how dust in the air impacts their health issues, contact our team to discuss how filtration systems can help. Our team can test the quality of your home’s indoor air to determine what steps need to be taken to eliminate contaminants.

We’ll tailor the filtration system to meet the unique needs of your family members. Home dehumidifiers, air filtration systems, and UV air purifiers can be used individually or together to improve your home’s air quality and remove health threats.

Improving Your Home’s Heating and Cooling Starts Now

The majority of home heating and cooling issues are rooted in a lack of maintenance. That means the first step in resolving existing problems and preventing future issues is to tackle HVAC system maintenance now. 

If it’s been a while since your home’s HVAC system was inspected and serviced, take the time now to contact our team of experts for help. We’re so sure our team members can identify and deal with problems that we guarantee your system won’t need repairs in the near future. If your HVAC system develops problems within the six months following a tune-up and cleaning, we’ll refund the cost of the tune-up. 

At the same time, if your home’s system is nearing the end of its useful life, we’ll suggest options to handle that issue. Yes, replacing an HVAC appliance is expensive, but once older systems reach a certain age, it no longer makes sense to invest more money in keeping them operating.

Because new systems are far more energy-efficient than older ones, you’ll also save money in the years to come because your heating and cooling costs will be lower. When replacing an old system, it also makes financial sense to check the various HVAC system options now available to Alabama residents. 

In many cases, heat pumps, duel-fuel systems, and split systems may be better solutions for your home’s needs than simply replacing an old unit with a similar one. We’ll work with you to determine which system would best meet your home’s needs and your budget. 

If you’ve got questions, now is the time to ask them. Contact our team by phone or use the contact section on our website to get your questions answered or to schedule a maintenance appointment.