Air Conditioning Heating and Ventilation Services

HVAC Troubleshooting Tips That Every Homeowner Should Know


Isn’t it frustrating when you’re settled in for the night only to find the heat’s not working. Or when a sweltering summer day turns into what feels like a sauna because your HVAC unit has conked out? Either way, you’re uncomfortable and unsure of what to do next. Look, if air conditioning problems are giving you a hard time, don’t panic! Believe it or not, some issues can be solved with a little know-how and elbow grease.  


But before we jump in, remember that while DIY can be satisfying (and seem more economical), many HVAC fixes should be reserved for trained professionals. Safety should always be your paramount concern. 


To help keep your (mental) cool until our team arrives, here are a few HVAC troubleshooting tips from our local HVAC pros! Roll up your sleeves and work some DIY magic on your air system: 



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Maintain Your Home’s Air Conditioning 


HVAC systems are an essential part of our homes, providing comfort and maintaining optimum temperature levels. However, just like any other appliance, they can encounter problems from time to time.  


As a homeowner, it’s important to have some HVAC troubleshooting tips at your disposal. With our extreme heat and those colder nights in the winter, it’s key to ensure that your system is running efficiently. Plus, helping us to keep the unit maintained between service visits can save you money on larger repairs down the line.  


Here are some things you CAN DO Yourself (please, do.):  

DIY Fix #1: Regularly Check the Air Filter 


The heart of your cooling system is arguably its air filters. Think of these little guys as knights in shining armor, protecting your system from dust, dirt, and debris. They work around the clock to maintain the best possible indoor quality for you and your loved ones.  


A dirty filter restricts airflow and can lead to poor performance or even system failure. By changing it frequently, preferably every 30-60 days or as recommended by the manufacturer, you can improve indoor air quality and keep your HVAC system running smoothly. 


ACHV tip: You must have the correct filter size and type for your specific system. If you’re not sure which kind you need, give us a call!  



AC unit



DIY Fix #2: Watch the Thermostat Settings  


Did you know your thermostat is like the control center for your heating and cooling needs? Here are some troubleshooting tips (think of it like a first-aid remedy) to help you get it back up and running.  


Verify the Settings  


We know it sounds like common sense, but sometimes your thermostat is set to the wrong setting. During warmer months, it should be set to ‘cool,’ and ‘heat’ when it’s chilly.  

Take a look at your thermostat settings and adjust them if necessary to best maintain the unit.  


Check the Power Source  


Is your thermostat not turning on at all? It’s probably a power issue. Ensure it is properly connected to the power source. If it’s a battery-powered model, replace the batteries. Simple! 


Examine the Wiring  


Remove the thermostat cover and check for any loose or damaged wires. But remember, whenever working with wires, safety is paramount.  

If you’re not confident about handling the wiring yourself, call our techs at ACHV Services! 


Clean The Interior  


Did you know a little dust and debris in the interior can wreak havoc with the thermostat’s function? Yes, the issue could be as uncomplicated as a bit of dirt!  

Using a soft paintbrush or a can of compressed air, gently clean out any dust or cobwebs without disturbing the components.  


Consider Replacement  


If you’ve ticked all these boxes and your thermostat refuses to cooperate, it might be time for a replacement or a service call to the pros.


DIY Fix #3: Inspect and Clean Outdoor Condenser Unit

Another important tip is to inspect and clean both the outdoor condenser unit and indoor evaporator coil regularly. Dust accumulation and debris can hinder proper heat exchange between these components and reduce their efficiency over time.  


Keeping them clean ensures better performance and increased lifespan of your system. 


ACHV truck



Read more >> Why is My AC Filter Wet? 


Don’t Try to Troubleshoot these HVAC Issues 

Caution with some things with your HVAC unit — strange noises or burning smells are NOT something that you want to handle on your own. Protect yourself and your home; call in an AC professional. These are usually signs that something isn’t quite right: 


Weird Sounds 


If you hear a banging, a whistling, or a humming sound? Warbling or whining? Each noise signifies something different.  


  • A steady hum might mean that the motor is having difficulty working, while a banging sound could suggest a loose or broken part clanking around inside.  


  • Whistling? That’s often a sign of a leak in your ductwork or a clogged filter restricting airflow.  


  • Unusual sounds like banging or grinding could indicate loose belts or faulty components.  


Note: These issues should be addressed immediately by a professional technician before they escalate into major problems that require costly repairs. 


Suspicious Smells

Did you catch a whiff of burning, mustiness, or perhaps even gas? Just as with sounds, these odors signify certain issues:  


  • A burning smell might mean something as simple as a dusty heating element, which will pass in time—however, it could also be a sign of overheating motors or wiring problems that warrant immediate attention (a sniff test you don’t want to gloss over. 


  • A musty smell typically means you need to face our old foe—mold. Warm, damp conditions in your unit can become a breeding ground for fungi, leading to that unpleasant scent.  


  • If you smell gas—stop everything. Gas is dangerous and can lead to severe harm. Turn off your system, evacuate the house, and call the professionals. 



Keep Your HVAC in Great Shape 



Filters, cleaning debris, and proactively monitoring the system are all things you can DIY troubleshoot. For other issues, it may be necessary to call in a licensed AC technician near you. Having a basic understanding of HVAC troubleshooting can help homeowners identify simple problems. Together, we can potentially prevent major breakdowns. 


Our experts at ACHV Services would be happy to help troubleshoot any problems you are having with your unit. Contact us today at (727) 453-2432 or (813) 917-2982 to schedule an appointment. We proudly service all of Tampa Bay. Call us and we’ll get you back to comfort in no time!   


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