7 Common HVAC Problems During the Winter

Posted: October 20, 2022

Common HVAC Problems & Solutions During The Winter

What is an HVAC system and how does it work?

The HVAC system is a system that provides thermal comfort in buildings. It is used to regulate the temperature in a building. A building's HVAC system can provide different temperature and humidity settings throughout the year. The HVAC system provides a clean, healthy indoor environment for occupants. It also takes care of the heating, cooling, and ventilation needs of the building by exchanging air with the environment.

Index of content

Advantages of HVAC system
Disadvantages of the HVAC system
HVAC system common problems and solutions
Major components of the HVAC system

It can be split into two key systems: the heating system and the cooling system.

Heating system: Heating systems are used to maintain a comfortable temperature in buildings by supplying heat to them. This is done by using furnaces or boilers that burn fuel like natural gas, oil, or propane to produce heat. The heat travels through pipes called ducts and gets distributed throughout the building by fans.

Cooling system: Air conditioners are used to maintain a comfortable temperature in buildings by removing excess heat from them. The heat is removed from inside the building and released outside through coils using refrigerant-based equipment like air conditioners or chillers.

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Advantages of HVAC system:

Healthy indoor airflow: Indoor air quality is improved by HVAC systems. The EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) states that indoor air quality is 2–5 times worse than outdoor air quality. This is primarily because indoor air is more crowded than outdoor air.

Your home's dirty air might contribute to health issues, including allergies and colds. Installing an HVAC system in your house or place of business is a major benefit since it enhances the quality of the air you breathe indoors. An HVAC does this by regularly circulating filtered outside air into your home.

Less energy usage: The idea of eco-sufficiency includes energy conservation. While the initial cost of purchasing an energy-efficient HVAC system may appear expensive, you will notice energy savings month after month.

  • A high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) HVAC system saves power usage. 
  • Also, combined heating and cooling systems save cost, place, installation time, and energy bills. 
  • Solar Panels are one example of a renewable excellent source that can power an HVAC system. 
  • The coolant in an HVAC system is also non-chlorine-based, which promotes energy conservation.

Maintain indoor moisture: The HVAC system controls interior humidity. Your building's structure and health benefit from having the ideal indoor moisture level. Too much moisture may build mold and mildew in your indoor space.

An HVAC system makes sure that the indoor moisture is well-controlled and constant. To accomplish this, it draws warm, humid air from the outside and sends chilly, dry air within.

Controls temperature: A properly maintained and effective HVAC system will help you sleep better at night. Expect to sleep well if your home has an HVAC system installed because it controls internal temperatures and ensures high-quality airflow.

Disadvantages of the HVAC system

Expensive: Quality and energy-efficient HVAC systems are expensive. A good HVAC system is not only expensive but also an investment. The system's performance and energy efficiency will decide how much it will cost to run and maintain. As a result, it's critical to spend money on a high-quality system that will be comfortable and ultimately costs less.

Maintenance: Modern HVAC systems require less maintenance. If your system is older, maintenance and repair will require a high cost and more time. Whether your system is new or old, regular maintenance and cleaning will ensure the functionality of your HVAC system.

There are several ways to perform maintenance. One of them is performing routine system performance checks. Running system diagnostics can accomplish this to check for any issues. Any issues should be resolved and damaged system components should be replaced right away to prevent them from getting worse over time. 

Noise: HVAC systems are typically noisy. The problem is that those sounds can distract people who want a quiet home or office environment. Covering your device is a good way to get around the noise problem. A covering device method helps to reduce noise, but it does not completely solve the problem. 

In this scenario, buy quieter heating and cooling equipment. Buyers mostly demand quieter and more energy-efficient HVAC devices. As a result, manufacturers have been working to improve the energy efficiency and noise reduction of their equipment. Many of the most recent heating and cooling systems are quieter than their forerunners, despite what you may not have noticed. 

Follow the below steps to make your home's HVAC system ready for winter.

  • Make an appointment for maintenance before the start of winter or early winter.
  • When you're not using the HVAC as much, turn the heat down. 
  • Create climatic zones to prevent situations where it is hot upstairs and freezing downstairs. 
  • Before winter arrives, turn on your furnace at least three times. 
  • Clear your Air Vents and replace your air filter. 
  • Think about adding more insulation. 
  • You're outside AC unit can be protected from ice, snow, and debris by being winterized and covered.

7 HVAC system common problems and solutions 

Dirty/clogged filters: 

  • Problem: If your filter becomes clogged, airflow is restricted, requiring your unit to work much harder to circulate air throughout your home. 
  • Reason: This causes the blower in your HVAC system to work harder than necessary and will also hurt your comfort. The appliances may overheat and shut off at their maximum capacity because of a filthy filter. 
  • Solution: One of the most crucial things you can do to prolong the lifespan and effectiveness of your HVAC system is to clean or replace your filter regularly.

Problem with ignitor or pilot:

  • Problem: Heating equipment, such as the furnace faces ignition or pilot-related problems.
  • Reason: Many factors can contribute to ignition issues. A filthy pilot, flame sensor, or burner may be to blame for a pilot failure, short cycling, furnace lockout, or delayed burner ignition.
  • Solution: The hot surface ignitor or thermocouple may need to be replaced due to damage, or it may simply result from a gas supply issue. In either case, it is advisable to have a skilled service specialist handle these issues because they include potentially dangerous substances like high voltage and natural gas.

Faulty thermostat:

  • Problem: Your HVAC system is not providing the desired temperature.
  • Reason: When a homeowner realizes their HVAC system isn't working properly, the thermostat or the way it's set is to blame.
  • Solution: Batteries in Programmable Thermostats may need to be changed regularly. You could avoid having to pay for an expensive or needless service call by consulting the operating instructions and the manufacturer's manual for your gadget. 

Strange noise:

  • Problem: Weird noises coming from the HVAC equipment.
  • Reason: While certain HVAC noises are normal during operation, some could be an alert or sign of a technical issue. When the bearings in an inducer motor or blower motor deteriorate, the motor may whine or screech. Other noises could be brought on by filthy burners or problems with airflow.
  • Solution: To prevent an equipment failure, the motor might need to be replaced. In either case, it is advisable to pay attention to these warning indications, since they can show a risky operating situation or even your HVAC unit failure. Otherwise, you need to install brand-new equipment. 

Tripped breakers or blown fuses

  • Problem: Furnace, air conditioner, or other HVAC equipment is not starting or has ON/OFF issues.
  • Reason: Overworking blower is the most frequent cause of a Circuit Breaker trip in a furnace or AC. Your blower will need to work harder to make up for any obstructions that are preventing airflow to your system. An unclean air filter is a major culprit. Your blower needs to work harder to push air through the filter when it is dirty. This makes the blower use more energy and occasionally trips the circuit breaker. Duct leaks, closed or clogged air registers or unclean coils are additional problems that could cause the blower to overwork.
  • Solution: Before resetting your circuit breaker, inspect your filter and replace it with a clean one. If the issue returns, it is essential to get in touch with an expert. The technician will safely determine whether the issue is brought on by an HVAC issue or whether the circuit breaker may have broken down. 

Dirty evaporator or condenser coils: 

  • Problem: The HVAC system is not operating correctly.
  • Reason: It's likely that your air conditioner's routine maintenance has been skipped, which is why it isn't cooling as well as it should. Your system's coils can become clogged with dirt and debris, which can diminish its effectiveness and cause it to age more quickly.
  • Solution: Turn off the condenser's power, and you can hose down the outdoor coil. At the electrical disconnect located close to the condenser or at the electrical panel, power can be turned off. If the furnace/Air Conditioner Filters are not replaced often, the inside evaporator coil may become unclean. Your furnace and air conditioner can operate less efficiently and more laboriously if your evaporator coil is unclean. A qualified service professional will need to clean extremely unclean coils.

Water leaking problem: 

  • Problem: The HVAC system's Drain Pipes are leaking water.
  • Reason: Condensate is produced by both furnaces and air conditioners. To ensure proper water drainage, drain pipes are used. If the drain pipes are clogged or cracked, furnaces or air conditioners may leak water. 
  • Solution: Pouring bleach down the drain regularly will help keep the drain lines clean. The heat exchanger, Evaporator Drain Pan, and collector box are further potential leak sources. A service technician should be summoned to identify the water leak's cause and fix it.

Major components of the HVAC system:

The HVAC system is a complex and extensive network of components that work together to provide the best possible indoor air quality. Do you want to understand your HVAC system? To understand the various parts of an HVAC system, you need to consider these three key appliances: the heating source (e.g., furnace), the cooling source (e.g., air conditioner), and the ventilation equipment (e.g., fans). 

Heating, cooling, and ventilation applications are made with various parts. The following are the core components of HVAC equipment: 

  • Heat exchanger
  • Blower motor
  • Combustion chamber
  • Thermostat
  • Condensing unit
  • Evaporator coil
  • Ductwork
  • Refrigerant lines

For detailed information about HVAC components, click here.

Maintain your HVAC appliances regularly. If any parts are damaged, then replace them. Take the help of a technician for the replacement of parts like a burner or other complex. PartsHnC assists you in buying quality and suitable HVAC replacement parts at a low cost. 

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