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Troubleshooting HVAC Issues in Beaverton, OR

It’s important to call a qualified, experienced HVAC technician if you are having major problems with your HVAC system. However, sometimes a minor problem can be solved by simple adjustments and are DIY-friendly enough to help you avoid a service call to your HVAC technician. If you do have to call a local HVAC company, you will have as much information as possible about the problem, which will facilitate your HVAC repairs and make them faster, more efficient, and more cost-effective.

At Oregon Heating & Air Conditioning, we take the time to give our customers resources and information about common heating and cooling system problems so they can both prevent them and recognize them if they occur. Our goal is to empower our customers so they feel confident resolving typical HVAC breakdowns on their own without needing to call us each time there is an issue. However, if troubleshooting HVAC tips don’t resolve your problem, our experienced, knowledgeable HVAC technicians can offer a fast HVAC malfunction diagnosis and find the most cost-effective solution to the problem. Call us today to schedule a service call for an HVAC inspection or repairs or to request an estimate for the HVAC maintenance and service cost.

How to Troubleshoot Common Heating & Cooling System Problems

Performing minor troubleshooting of common heating and cooling system problems can save you time and money. Some HVAC issues result from improper use of the system, installing non-manufacturer parts, or trying to DIY installation or repair of HVAC components like ductwork, insulation, vents, or thermostats. Staying on top of preventive heating and cooling system maintenance, routine service, and tune-ups can help you avoid common HVAC problems. If you are able to evaluate the problem and better understand its origin, you can likely find a simple solution or provide all of the necessary information to your HVAC technician. Let’s go through the process of troubleshooting common HVAC failures and how to resolve them on your own without calling your HVAC technician. If these troubleshooting tips don’t work, do not try to do your own HVAC repairs. Call an experienced, professional HVAC technician for repairs.

What to Do if Your HVAC Thermostat Isn’t Working

Your HVAC system thermostat should send information to and from your home to your HVAC unit. A problem with your thermostat could cause your HVAC system to cycle rapidly, run for far too long, turn off right away, or not turn on at all. If you suspect there is a difference between your home’s indoor air temperature and the temperature registering on your thermostat, there is likely a problem with the thermostat’s placement in proximity to your air vents, the thermostat was installed improperly, or there is something wrong with the thermostat’s sensors. Before calling your HVAC technician, try these simple troubleshooting steps:

  • Replace the thermostat’s batteries with new ones. Make sure all batteries are new, and they are all from the same brand.
  • Check the thermostat’s programming or schedules to make sure it isn’t programmed to turn off automatically during certain hours.
  • Review the thermostat manual and go through its troubleshooting suggestions.
  • Try closing off the vent closest to the thermostat if you suspect the air from the vent is interfering with the thermostat’s sensors.
  • Perform a thermostat calibration test by setting the thermostat to 10 degrees cooler or warmer than the outside temperature. After an hour has passed, use an independent temperature gauge to test the airflow from your vents. If the temperatures don’t match, there is a problem with your thermostat’s calibration.
  • Gently clean the thermostat’s sensors using a microfiber cloth or Q-tip.

How to Fix Poor Airflow From Your Vents

If the air coming from your vents is weak, your home will not get to a comfortable temperature. Your HVAC system may run for hours without properly heating or cooling your home, resulting in huge energy bills. There are many reasons you might have weak airflow from your vents. Try these solutions:

  • Change your air filters.
  • Remove any debris from your central HVAC unit.
  • Check your air vents, ducts, and grills for dust, buildup, or blockages, and clean them carefully.
  • Look for signs of pest, animal, or rodent infestations in your ductwork.
  • Look for signs of damaged, cracked, or broken ductwork, especially along seams.

What to Do if You Have a Tripped Circuit Breaker or Blown Fuse

Your HVAC system requires a lot of power, and if you use multiple appliances or electronic devices on the same circuit, you might blow a fuse or tripping a circuit breaker. Most modern HVAC units are installed on their own dedicated circuit to prevent interference from other appliances. However, it’s possible your HVAC system was installed on a shared circuit. It’s also possible that your HVAC system is too large for your current electrical panel to handle, and you should have had an electrical panel upgrade when your HVAC system was installed. If your HVAC circuit breaker keeps tripping when the system is in use, it could cause major electrical issues with your system, not to mention discomfort and inconvenience to you. Here are some things to consider if your HVAC circuit keeps tripping:

  • Check the electrical panel and note which circuit breaker or breakers are tripped. If more than one circuit breaker is tripped, you could have a larger electrical problem. If only the HVAC unit’s circuit breaker is tripped, the problem lies with the HVAC unit or the power source.
  • If multiple circuit breakers are tripped, try resetting the circuit breaker and keeping all other appliances on the same circuit as the HVAC system off. If this works and the HVAC system operates properly without tripping a circuit, the problem is that the HVAC system wasn’t installed on a dedicated circuit, and more power needs to be diverted to that circuit.

Problems with your home’s electrical panel should be resolved by an experienced electrician. You should not try to repair any electrical components of your HVAC system, electrical panel, or circuit breakers on your own. It’s best to call an HVAC technician or an electrician to resolve the issue.

What to Do if Water Is Leaking From Your HVAC Unit

A water leak from your HVAC unit might be a minor issue or a big problem. All HVAC units produce condensate or water droplets and will drip water from a drain pipe that directs the water away from your home’s foundation. Major leaks or water not originating from that drain pipe could indicate a bigger problem with your HVAC unit. It’s important to address water leaks as soon as possible to avoid more expensive HVAC problems and to prevent water damage and mold growth in your home. Here are some tips for troubleshooting water leaks from your HVAC unit:

  • If the HVAC drain pipe seems clogged, pour one or two cups of bleach or vinegar down the drainpipe every few months.
  • If the drain pan keeps overflowing, inspect it for cracks or holes and replace it if necessary.
  • Check all of your HVAC air filters. Dirty filters can cause coolant to build up, which will eventually cause a leak.
  • Do a visual inspection for broken or cracked pipes, a broken condensate pump, or low refrigerant.

How to Handle Uneven Temperature Distribution

Your home will likely not have the same temperature in each room. The placement of your ductwork and vents, the number of windows in each room, the room’s orientation, its insulation or drafts, and how the room is used will all contribute to its temperature. However, if you notice major hot and cold spots from room to room, there may be a problem with your HVAC system, vents, or ductwork. Use these troubleshooting steps to learn more about the source or cause of uneven temperature distribution in your home:

  • Check the quality of your home’s insulation and look for signs of pest or animal damage, moldy insulation, missing insulation, or poorly installed insulation.
  • Check for cracks, gaps, and holes that could be allowing heated or cooled air to escape your home.
  • Cover up windows with drapes that offer insulating abilities or that block heat from the sun.
  • Install dampers in your HVAC system to better regulate the flow of air through each room.
  • Talk to an HVAC technician about creating an HVAC zoning system.

What to Do if Your HVAC Is Making Loud Noises

No HVAC system is completely silent, and your system will likely make noises occasionally. However, if it suddenly starts making louder noises than usual or strange new noises, your unit might have a problem. If you hear a whining, rattling, groaning, squealing, or banging sound from your HVAC unit, and it gets worse or louder the longer the unit is running, you can try some troubleshooting options to locate the cause or source of the noise. Ignoring the noise can potentially allow the problem to get worse and more expensive to fix. Here are some solutions for a noisy HVAC system:

  • Check all moving parts for signs they need lubrication or are damaged. Inspect the HVAC system’s fan blades, bearings, and belts.
  • Look for signs of missing or loose hardware or components like screws, bolts, and fasteners.
  • Check your air filters and change them if they are dirty or clogged.
  • Check your ductwork for signs of cracks, gaps, or loose pieces.

What to Do if You Find Dirty Evaporator Coils on Your HVAC

Dirty evaporator coils can make your HVAC system less efficient and can also lower its lifespan. Evaporator coils are located inside the indoor unit and will periodically get clogged by dirt, dust, and debris. They may get clogged faster if you have multiple pets in your home or if you regularly leave windows and doors open. When they are clogged, they do not work as well, and your HVAC system will have to work harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Your home may not stay at a consistent temperature, and your energy bills may gradually or suddenly increase. Here are some solutions for dirty evaporator coils:

  • Keep the area around your HVAC unit clean and minimize the amount of dust and debris that can get near it.
  • Change your air filters regularly.
  • Use screens on windows and doors if you like to keep them open.
  • Dust and vacuum regularly, especially if you have pets.
  • Use a high-efficiency air filter or electronic air cleaner to improve your indoor air quality.

common HVAC problems and how to troubleshoot them in Beaverton, OR

Schedule an HVAC Malfunction Diagnosis

If you have gone through all of the recommended steps for troubleshooting HVAC issues and still have not diagnosed the problem or found a solution, we can help. Our Oregon Heating & Air Conditioning team has years of experience, and we are friendly, knowledgeable, and reliable. We take the time to explain things in plain language rather than using industry jargon, and we make sure our customers understand the basic operation of their HVAC system so they can avoid breakdowns and other problems.

We offer HVAC maintenance and service, HVAC inspections and troubleshooting, and HVAC repairs in Beaverton, OR, and the surrounding areas. Our locally-owned and operated business strives to form strong customer relationships and treat our technicians and customers like family. Our goal is to find the fastest and most cost-effective solution to any HVAC problem and improve the comfort, safety, and energy efficiency of your home. We aim for exceptional customer service, quality workmanship, and exceeding customer expectations on each job. Call us today or contact us online to schedule an HVAC malfunction diagnosis today. We provide heating and cooling services throughout Oregon, including Beaverton, Portland, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Tualatin, Tigard, Sherwood, Wilsonville, Newberg, Dundee, Yamhill, Carlton, and Forest Grove, OR.