5 Common HVAC Problems and Why Do They Keep Coming Back?

No matter where you live, a functional heating, ventilation, and cooling system helps keep you comfortable during summer’s hottest days and winter’s cold snaps.

While any HVAC issue is annoying, recurring HVAC problems pose even more aggravation and possibly even safety concerns. As the leading AC repair company in Atascocita, TX, our HVAC experts at Crew Heating & Cooling put together this guide to help you understand why common issues recur so you’ll know when to take action and call for professional repairs.

1. Recurring Noise

Many recurring sounds you hear from your HVAC system are harmless. It’s normal to hear your condenser unit—the outdoor AC component—whir into action before you feel that welcome cool air from your vents.

When you raise your thermostat setting in heating season, you hear a click followed by an audible whoosh. These normal sounds signal combustion startup in your furnace. Other noise may herald trouble.

Inducer Motor Failure

If you hear loud squawking noises immediately after raising the thermostat setting for more heat, your furnace’s inducer motor may be the cause. In a furnace heating cycle, this motor spins up immediately and continues until gas combustion ceases. In the first seconds of a heating cycle, the inducer motor’s fan flushes residual fumes to your outdoor vents.

When combustion begins, the motor supplies a steady stream of oxygen. With age, an inducer motor may suffer a bent drive shaft or failing bearings. Before burning out, the motor may warn of trouble with unusual noises.

These sounds will recur with each heating cycle until total failure or a motor replacement. If your furnace signals inducer motor problems, prompt attention from an HVAC professional can head off an inconvenient failure.

2. Inadequate Cooling

Refrigerant is the pressurized liquid that absorbs warmth from interior air, thus enabling your AC’s cooling process. If a refrigerant leak develops, inadequate cooling will recur with each cycle and worsen over time because your system is steadily losing coolant. A certified HVAC professional can detect and fix this common HVAC problem quickly.

3. Short Cycling

In heating season, your furnace may fire up and turn off within unusually brief intervals. Known as short cycling, this condition can shorten your furnace’s service life. Dirty air filters are a frequent cause of short cycling.

Replacing the filter is an easy task for any homeowner and does not require a service call. If a new filter eliminates the short cycling, you can head off reoccurrences with regular filter changes. Adding filter replacement reminders to your smartphone’s calendar will remind you to keep up with this preventative maintenance.

If short cycling continues with a clean filter, your furnace may have one of these problems:

  • A blower fan caked with dust
  • A faulty sensor
  • Cracks in the heat exchanger

These issues deserve attention from a certified HVAC technician.

4. Unpredictable Operation

If your HVAC system fails to operate at random intervals and resumes a short time later, you may have electrical issues. The cause of these HVAC problems may lie with a circuit breaker or control board. Malfunctioning relays or deteriorating solder connections may work part-time before failing completely, and until you fix the underlying problem, you’ll notice HVAC issues keep coming back.

An HVAC professional can detect electrical issues and replace the control board. If your furnace and AC receive a clean bill of health, your home’s wiring may have shortcomings.

5. Water Leaks

ACs and high-efficiency furnaces can both leak water. With air conditioners, inadequate air circulation across the evaporator coil promotes ice formation. When the AC switches off, this ice melts to create a pool below the unit.

High-efficiency furnaces generate significant water condensation in normal operation. This fluid typically flows through a tube to your home’s drainage outlet. If the unit suffers an obstruction at any point in this drainage path, you may see water buildup on the drain pan or your floor.

In periods of infrequent use, these water pools may resolve and then return days later. In reality, the underlying problems remain. Puddle-prone ACs likely need blower motor service. You can also call an AC repair service to clean your furnace drain.

HVAC Service You Can Rely On

Solving HVAC problems the first time is our mission here at Crew Heating & Cooling. From our headquarters in Humble, TX, we serve Atascocita, Kingwood, and nearby communities. Beyond repairs, we provide AC and furnace maintenance services along with new HVAC installations. Call us at (832) 220-5950 for all your HVAC service needs.

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