Even if you have a new HVAC system, you are still going to run into at least a few issues over the years. Here is a look at some of the most common HVAC problems that you might have to deal with and how long it will take an experienced technician to get your heating and cooling system back into perfect working condition.
Evaluating Your HVAC
Before repairing your HVAC, a specialist will need to review your HVAC to identify what is causing issues. If you think that your HVAC system might not be working properly, the best thing to do is to have it evaluated by a professional. They will be able to quickly diagnose any issues and let you know what needs to be done in order to get the system up and running again. In most cases, a simple repair can be completed on the same day if the parts are on hand.
Basic things like reviewing the filter and probing questions such as how often the filter needs to be replaced are typical starting points. Depending on the complexity of your HVAC problems, this evaluation is typically 20 minutes or longer. The harder it is to recognize the cause of your HVAC issues, the longer the evaluation will take. That being said, there is a checklist of things that the technician will review after talking to you about the problems you’re having.
Modern thermostats are designed to last for quite some time, but they are still complex electrical units that are constantly sending and receiving signals. When the device finally goes out or you decide to upgrade, you should plan on the project taking about one hour.
This includes removing the old thermostat safely while also prepping the area for mounting the new thermostat. In most cases, they will provide you with their recommendation for which thermostat to install or what thermostats they have in stock. If you choose to use a different thermostat, you’ll likely need to wait for the new one to be shipped to the technician’s warehouse or to your home. Once the thermostat is ready to be installed, it’ll be wired to the proper sensors and then calibrated based on your requirements.
If you are going to switch over to a smart thermostat, then the project could take longer if a different wiring harness is needed. Many of the newer smart systems are built to work through traditional wiring and thus, it’ll likely take just as long as any other thermostat.
It is possible that the thermostat is functioning correctly but the sensors are providing it miss information. For example, if the temperature set on your thermostat is 73 degrees and it is 78 degrees in your home, a damaged sensor may not recognize the temperature difference. If sensors aren’t working correctly, it is possible that the sensors need to be replaced or that there is electrical damage running from the sensor to the thermostat. Additionally, if the electrical is damaged due to the wiring being broken or chewed through by rodents, then you’ll have a much more involved repair that may also require an electrician.
Cleaning and Inspection
Your biannual service calls won’t necessarily result in repairs, but they are still an incredibly important part of preventative maintenance. Having a professional technician clean and service the HVAC system is one of the best ways to keep it running smoothly and efficiently over the course of its lifespan. Depending on the model of your HVAC system, it can last 10-25 years. Biannual service can help maximize that time. During your heating and AC service calls, the technician is going to calibrate the thermostat, inspect the condensate drain, look for mold, and check the refrigerant level. They may also review filters if that process is needed for your system.
Even though clogged filters are extremely common, this simple issue can easily be taken care of in a matter of minutes. The air filters can usually be found in the return air duct, and that duct looks like a large metal grate that is on the wall, floor, or ceiling. In most homes, the air filters should be replaced every two or three months, but you might need to change them more often if there is quite a bit of dust or allergens in the air. Because this repair is so common, it’s more common for the homeowner to complete this task. Before heading to your local store to purchase a new filter, make sure that you take a photo of the filter where the size is written, that way you come home with the correct filter. There are also many videos online that walk you through the process if you haven’t done it before. This type of repair can be done in minutes once you have your filter in hand.
If your HVAC system’s condenser is damaged and needs to be replaced, then you will need to work with an experienced team of contractors. That job usually only takes around four or five hours to complete, but it will require special tools and training. After the new condenser is installed and the lines are hooked up, you will be able to turn the HVAC system on within an hour.
While you should be able to swap out clogged filters or potentially even replace the thermostat on your own, major repairs must be left to the professionals. HVAC systems are highly complex, and your technician is going to have the training and tools that are needed to safely complete those projects.