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Common Issues in Residential HVAC Systems

Residential HVAC
Cooling Tower Experts Residential HVAC air conditioning system outside installation on a residence

In addition to our service offerings for commercial cooling towers, we also offer repair services for residential HVAC systems. When it comes to HVAC, there are many components all working together. Because of this, issues can arise in a variety of areas, causing the entire system to malfunction. It’s important for responsible homeowners to know the common types of issues that affect HVAC systems and how to prevent these or solve them should they arise. Some general knowledge, a trusted local professional, and a proactive approach to maintenance can keep your HVAC system running efficiently for years after installation.


Common Home HVAC Issues


Residential HVAC systems use freon as a refrigerant, which changes its state between gas and liquid via the unit’s condenser and evaporator. So, when freon leaks exist – a unit loses functionality and can fail completely. In-home HVAC systems, these leaks are one of the most common issues. How can you tell if your unit is leaking freon?


Freon is necessary for the cooling function of an HVAC unit, so one of the easiest ways to detect a leak is by noticing the air being pushed out by the unit isn’t cool. In some cases, airflow out of the unit will be reduced as well. If this is occurring, there is likely a refrigerant issue. Leaks can occur for a variety of reasons, including general wear and tear. Rubber seals can wear down, assembly joints can rust, and components can expand or contract in different seasons. Another cause is formic acid, which is released by insects and causes copper tubing to corrode and leak.


Most freon leaks are silent and only easily detected by a trained professional. However, in rare cases of large leaks, homeowners can hear a hissing or bubbling sound coming from the refrigerant line. If this is the case, contact a professional technician immediately to address the problem before it worsens.


Condenser failure is another common issue in residential HVAC. Condensers tend to fail for one of the following reasons:


  • Abnormal pressure
  • Debris accumulation
  • Leaking Refrigerant
  • Dirty coils and suction lines
  • Electrical system failure


Possible warning signs that a condenser is failing include a ticking sound during unit operation and moisture build-up around the unit. At this point, only an experienced HVAC technician can repair the condenser. However, there are some preventive steps owners can take to avoid condenser failure in the first place. Regularly cleaning and removing the dust that has accumulated around the condenser as well as removing dirt from the filter and condenser coils will help keep your condenser in good working condition.


HVAC issues don’t just occur within a cooling unit. Some issues arise within the ductwork which carries airs from a unit throughout the rest of the home.  Dirty duct systems are very common. As dust builds up throughout ductwork, it causes two issues. First, clogs can occur that prevent adequate airflow. Also, built-up dust circulates through the home and often brings mold spores, pollen, insect droppings, and other debris along with it. Poor airflow, unusual odors coming from the vents, and visible register clogs are all signs that the ductwork needs cleaning. One important note to consider during renovation projects – construction by nature causes an abundance of dust in the air, which undoubtedly makes its way into a home’s ductwork. After major renovation projects, be sure to clean within the ductwork to avoid the issues that excess dust can cause.


One not often considered issue within residential HVAC systems is actually the mis-sizing of a unit for the space it must heat and cool. When a home has an undersized unit, the HVAC system has difficulties heating and cooling the home. This leads to units running continuously, temperature inconsistencies throughout the home, and unusually high energy bills. Additionally, it causes wear and tear on the unit at a greater rate than expected. To avoid purchasing the wrong size unit for your home, see advice from a local professional to ensure the one you choose will work well for your home. If you’re noticing that certain rooms get much warmer or cooler than others or that your system never quite reaches the set thermostat temperature – it may be time to think about upgrading your HVAC unit to a larger size.


Residential HVAC Services from Cooling Tower Experts


Whether we are working on large commercial cooling towers or residential HVAC systems, we take heating and cooling seriously. When it comes to servicing home HVAC systems, we keep our core values of quality and integrity always front of mind. Partnering with Cooling Tower Experts for your HVAC needs means that you’ll receive a complete assessment of the existing HVAC system in the home. During this assessment, we take note of potential issues or areas of concern. In some cases, systems in good condition need simple preventive maintenance moving forward to keep them in good functioning condition. We may recommend others get replaced if the cost to fix any issues outweighs the price of a new unit.


No matter the size, type, or brand of HVAC system you have in your home – regular, preventive maintenance is always the way to go. We like a proactive approach, and we can help create a customized maintenance plan to protect against common system issues and malfunctions. If you’re looking to service or update the HVAC system in your home, we would love to help.  Contact us today to get your project started.