If you’re having problems with your HVAC system, calling in a professional can be a smart move. Technicians know what they’re looking for, can spot other small issues before they become big ones, and can handle a wide variety of repairs.
However, there are a few quick things the consumer can do to check out their HVAC system before calling in the pros. Checking your HVAC system:
- Helps you to identify if there actually is an issue that may need fixing
- Helps you better understand how your system works and where it falls short
- Keeps costs down if you find that it’s something you can fix on your own
Here are a few quick things you can do yourself before calling in the HVAC pros. Remember, before doing anything involving electricity, shut off the breaker to your HVAC system. And, if you’re ever uncomfortable, call up an HVAC pro. They’ll be happy to help.
1. Check your filter
If you’re noticing that air flow doesn’t seem to be as strong as it was or there is an odor coming from your vents, take a look at the filter in your furnace. Each model is different, but generally, you can unscrew an easy-to-find hatch and replace the filter. This should be done about every three months and more often if you’re an allergy sufferer.
2. Check your return(s) and registers
Quite often, problems with simply come down to a register (where the air comes out) or a return (where the air goes back to the furnace) being clogged or covered. You should not cover any of these vents with furniture or wall coverings and make sure they are cleaned from dust and debris regularly.
3. Is it on?
Seems silly, but make sure the breaker that controls your air conditioning and furnace are in the on position. If they are, and things aren’t working or if they seem to be working sporadically, it’s a good idea to shut everything off and call an HVAC pro.
4. Is it on…again?
Yep. Some thermostats run on batteries, as opposed to a wired power source. Make sure the batteries in your thermostat are fresh – change them each time you change the batteries in your smoke detectors, about every six months.
5. Pan unit safety switch/unit break switch
Both your furnace and the small pump that gets rid of excess water have safety switches that can throw in case of emergency, turning off the system. Make sure that these are not in the off position. If they are, you may have to dig a bit further and see why exactly they were thrown in the first place.
With a little care and this quick checklist, you may be able to save yourself a few dollars on a service call and get back to appreciating your air conditioning just a little sooner.