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When it comes to both the comfort and the cost of your home, no single thing affects them more than your heating and air conditioning. Climate control makes up the majority of energy costs in most homes, and a well-regulated home temperature is important for comfort and health. As spring transitions into summer, or as fall fades into winter, it’s especially important to make sure your heating and cooling are effective.
Winters in Chattanooga, TN don’t get as chilly as some places up north, but they’re still more than cold enough to put your comfort and health at risk without working climate control. Chattanooga, TN summer temperatures can be absolutely scorching, and even staying indoors might not bring relief without good heating and air. It’s no coincidence that heating and air conditioning repair services get the most work in the summer and winter.
Today we’ll be looking at five common problems with heating and air systems and what you can do about them, whether that means fixing it yourself or calling a dependable heating and air conditioning repair provider.
Unit Won’t Turn On
Imagine coming home from a long day of work in the hottest part of the summer, entering your home, and feeling almost no difference inside than you did outside. After fiddling with the thermostat, even turning the switch as low as it will go, you still get no cold air. What a miserable experience. Temperatures in Chattanooga, TN regularly reach the high 90° range during the summer and even push into 100s, so you want that air conditioner to always work.
First, make sure the breaker to your unit is on. Assuming no problem there, your next task is to check your AC unit’s air filter. A clogged filter can cause your unit to back up and freeze over, which will prevent it from turning on. It’s a good idea to replace filters every one to two months, so even if yours doesn’t look clogged, replace it anyway. If that doesn’t fix the problem, you should call a heating and air conditioning repair service, as the problem is likely more than you can handle yourself.
In the last example, we checked for a tripped breaker and moved on, assuming there wasn’t one. If there was a tripped breaker, though, the obvious next step would be to head to your breaker box and turn the breaker back on. That doesn’t mean we’re done, though. Next, try turning the unit on, and keep a close eye on it. If it runs fine, then your problem may be solved. Watch it over the next couple of days to make sure there isn’t any strange behavior. If things continue to look good, you can consider the problem solved, at least for now.
If the breaker gets tripped again, though, you’ve got a bigger problem. Breakers can get tripped by power outages or brownouts, but they are primarily a safety feature. If something in your unit keeps tripping breakers, then there is a serious problem, one that makes it potentially dangerous to continue running it. Contact a heating and air conditioning repair technician as soon as possible to resolve the issue.
Furnace Blower Constantly Runs
Just like the air conditioner that won’t turn on as you sit sweatily in your own home, the furnace blower that constantly blows cool air around your home teases you. Things seem to be operating, yet you aren’t any more comfortable. In other cases, you are able to get heat, but the blower keeps blowing cool air after the heating cycle ends. For the first case, you should make sure your thermostat isn’t set to fan only. This is a common mistake, especially when switching to heating for the first time in a season. If that’s not the issue, then it’s likely you have a problem with your furnace that requires a heating and air conditioning repair tech.
This problem can have many sources. The constant blowing usually comes from a failure in the fan relay, while the lack of heat can be caused by safety measures inside the unit. In either case, the problem is beyond the scope of basic home repair and maintenance. With Chattanooga, TN winter temperatures averaging around freezing and sometimes reaching 0° or below, you’ll want a functional furnace throughout the winter months, so contact your heating and air conditioning repair service at the earliest sign of problems you can’t handle, especially during the busy season.
Dirty or Malfunctioning Condenser
If your air conditioner seems to be working hard, but the air isn’t getting any colder, you could have an issue with your condenser. Since the unit is located outside, it’s affected by the weather. It’s not uncommon for dirt and debris to accumulate inside your unit, even away from the air filter, and get to the condenser or the evaporator coils. Too much gunk will cause it to freeze up, rendering it non-functional. To fix this issue, first, power the unit down, either at the electrical disconnect or the breaker box. Run a hose over the coil to wash the dirt and debris away. After letting it dry for a while, turn it back on.
If performance improves a lot, then you have probably solved your problem. If it has gotten a little better but still isn’t up to standard, you may want to give it another run under the hose to be safe. If a second run doesn’t get things where you want them, or you didn’t see any improvement at all, then you will need to contact a heating and air conditioning repair service to look over your unit.
For most issues with your home climate control, a heating and air conditioning repair technician is your best bet. However, some issues can be solved with a little elbow grease and basic knowledge. As always, the best defense against heating and air problems is prevention. By changing your filters regularly and calling a heating and air conditioning repair technician once a year for regular maintenance, you can get through the extreme weather months of Chattanooga, TN without the stress of a malfunctioning unit or competing with the rest of the city for repair service.