Solutions for Common HVAC Problems

Updated November 21, 2011
technician performs an outside service check on an air conditioning unit.
HVAC technician David Hill performs a diagnostic test on a customer's air conditioner. (Photo courtesy of David Hill)

If you experience a problem with your central heat or air conditioner, check out this list of common problems and solutions before calling in a professional.

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Problem: The central air conditioning doesn't turn on.

Solutions: The central air should be on a dedicated circuit. Check the electrical panel to make sure the breaker didn't trip. If that isn't the problem:

• Check the disconnect box near the compressor to see if it was turned off.• Check the furnace power switch.• Check the access panel near the compressor. On hot days the compressor may shut down, requiring you to press the reset button.

If you are unsure about where to check, it's best to call a professional HVAC expert to assess.

Problem: The central air runs but doesn't cool.

Solutions: Check the filter. It may be clogged and restricting air flow. Some other things to check include:

• The condenser cover outside. Clean up any debris on or around it.• The thermostat. Make sure is set to cool and not heat.

Problem: The central air looks like it's leaking.

Solutions: Check your condensate pump and make sure there are no leaks in the drain hose. Some other things to check include:

• The outlet that the condensate pump is plugged into for power.• Your filter. Clogged filters can cause the formation of ice in the tube.

These are just a few of the potential problems you may experience at any time with your central air conditioner. Most importantly, always remember to check the filter on a routine basis. It can save you a lot of trouble down the road.

Submitted by Rick Cicero of Air Conditioning Services Inc.

Air Conditioning Services is a family owned and operated HVAC organization located in Jacksonville, Fla. with more than 25 years of experience. As of Nov. 25, 2011, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.

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