Many homeowners will rarely ever have a catastrophic accident take place with their HVAC. This does not mean it will never happen, as all mechanical contrivances will eventually wear out. Many problems are quickly solved at home with no special tools, but if there is the smallest amount of reservation, contact a professional technician. Here are the most common things a technician will check when called on a service call. It is a good idea to check these ahead of time to let the technician know.
1. Blown Fuse – The motor and compressor on an HVAC unit runs very hot, and there are fuses in place to keep them from overheating. A motor that has worn out or failed could mean a blown fuse. This is often the first item checked during a service call.
2. Worn Contactor – Contactors do just that. They contact, make an electrical connection, for heating and cooling. There are three: one in the compressor, one in the condenser fan motor and one in the blower motor. The contactor starts and stops the motors. Pits and corrosion can form on the contact plates and will compromise the contactor.
3. Capacitor – A run capacitor assists the motors to turn at specific and constant RPMs. The start capacitor holds an electrical charge to jump start the compressor, much like the “cranking amps” on a battery helps the initial starting of a car. Should either burn out, they will need replacing for correct function.
4. Gas Valve – Gas flows from the line to the unit, and the gas valve measures the amount. These only run in the cold season. Corrosion is common because the lines sit unused for such a long period of time in the year. Valves which are corroded need replacement.
5. Filters – Filters do just that; they filter. The filtering process is certainly not a clean one, so changing filters regularly is necessary. Check to see if they need changing by holding the filter to the light. If you cannot see light through the filter, replace it. Dirty filters will reduce air flow and cause units to freeze and then seize.