Causes of HVAC Problems

Written by: Your Filter Connection

Many of the causes of HVAC problems are issues you can solve yourself. You might consider replacing your air filter, using a Filtrete model to improve air quality in the home, but that’s not the only place where maintenance pays dividends. This list looks at what causes HVAC problems, and how to troubleshoot and even repair some of these issues.

Broken Thermostat

When you trip your thermostat, the HVAC unit should fire up almost instantly. If it doesn’t, don’t panic but do check the thermostat. Many problems with the AC unit start with the thermostat, which is put into place in order to measure the temperature of the room. If the thermostat is malfunctioning, it could give an improper reading of the room. Look for a buildup of dust or dirt first, and remove it with a soft brush. Also check for loose or exposed wiring, which can cause a short. If you can’t troubleshoot your way out of the problem, consider replacing your thermostat outright. It will most likely save money on your power bill too.

Dirty Filter

A dirty residential air filter is very common. Lots of home owners fail to replace their air filters, some don’t even realize it’s necessary for an efficient HVAC unit. Fortunately, it’s quite simple to remove and replace the air filter, and it’s no more than a $20 fix in most cases. However, you can purchase wahsbale air filters that tend to last longer and may carry a higher upfront cost. If you plan to replace a filter, be sure to evaluate your options. Some filters have anti-microbial properties that may help you breathe better.


Refrigerant leaks can cause serious problems for your AC unit. A condenser uses a substance called Freon to cool the air. It runs the substance through coils, which are then exposed to the air. The residual cooling is what causes the air to cool down. A leakage means that the air will pass through coils, but it the coils won’t be cold and will have little or no effect. If your AC unit runs but doesn’t seem to cool the home, this is a likely culprit. Repair this as soon as possible. It’s an affordable fix that will more than make up the difference in savings on your power bill.

Final Thoughts

Your home air filter is one of the easiest parts to replace in a conventional air conditioner, and cleaning the unit is even simpler. Using these simple steps, you can get your AC unit back in working order and start to enjoy the summer again.