8 Common HVAC Problems and Solutions



Air conditioners and furnaces make our home more comfortable to live in during summer and winter, respectively. However, these appliances tend to develop faults when they are most needed.

With regular maintenance, homeowners can avoid many common HVAC-related problems. While some of these HVAC problems are easy to fix, poor maintenance practices can result in more complex situations that require calling a technician immediately. 

In this article, we’ll cover 8 common HVAC problems you might face and tips on how to avoid or fix the issue. 

Dirty filters

HVACs are equipped with air filters to help capture and eliminate particles and allergens in your home. Over time, the air filter becomes dirty as more airborne particles like pollen, pet dander, dust, etc accumulate. This is a common HVAC issue and the easiest to fix. 

Switching out your air filter from time to time can help avoid this issue. Homeowners with pets or poor air quality might be required to change their HVAC every month. You don’t need a professional to replace the filter. However, finding the right type of air filter to use is the biggest hurdle you will face. In this case, we recommend contacting the manufacturer’s customer team or checking the HVAC manual for the right information. 

Dirty Ductwork

Like air filters, grime, dust, and dirt can pile up in the ductwork and eventually make their way into your home. If your ductwork is dirty, there is a high chance your air quality is low. For folks with asthma or sensitive to allergies, you might experience breathing problems during this period. 

The only way to fix this is to clean the ductwork thoroughly. You don’t have to hire a professional for this, except you are too busy to handle it. It might be best to allow a professional to clean your ductwork as they have handy tools such as video inspection cameras for thorough cleaning. 

Dirty coil 

Another component of the HVAC that gets clogged with dirt, dust, and debris is the evaporator coil. This component absorbs heat from your home for a cooling effect. But when your home does not get as cool as it should, your coil might become dirty. 

Aside from its poor performance, you might notice higher utility bills because your HVAC now works harder to achieve your desired temperature. To solve this issue, you can easily clean the evaporator coil on the exterior part of your air conditioning unit. However, for evaporator coils on the inner part of the AC unit let an HVAC technician do the cleaning. 

Refrigerant leaks 

AC units use refrigerants, a chemical, to keep you cool during sweltering hot periods. When there’s a leak, your air conditioner performs poorly because of low refrigerant levels. Several things could lead to refrigerant leaks, from loose fittings to corroding coils. The best way to prevent refrigerant leaks is regular maintenance by a trained service technician. 

Water leaks and musty odors

When it comes to HVAC systems, more often than not, the drain pipes will get clogged and cause puddles of water near the cooling or heating units. Leaks happen when the condensate produced by the HVAC system can’t be drained due to clogged drain pipes. As the water keeps accumulating in the drain pipe, you might start to perceive musty odors. 

The first step to fixing this issue is unclogging the pipes using a pipe cleaner or small brush, depending on what blocked the drain. Next, you can pour vinegar or bleach down the drain to kill the odor-causing bacteria. 

However, if your air conditioning unit still keeps leaking water after unclogging the drain pipes, it’s best to seek professional help.

Ignition or pilot issues

Unlike other common HVAC problems mentioned above, ignition problems pose a serious risk, especially with gas furnaces. When your furnace fails to ignite, it might be one of two things – a blocked gas supply or a dirty pilot light. 

To avoid potential fire risk, we recommend scheduling a routine service and preventative maintenance for your HVAC. More importantly, if you notice your furnace requires more attempts to ignite, turn it off and call an HVAC technician to have a look at the pilot and other essential components to prevent any hazardous situation. 

You can count on Affordable Solutions HVAC & Electrical. Nominated for the WRAL Voter’s Choice Awards, Affordable Solutions HVAC & Electrical has been serving the Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill area since 2014 performing service, replacement, and repairs on heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems. We are a factory-authorized Generac sales and service dealer for Generac home standby Generators. Affordable Solutions HVAC & Electrical is a locally owned and family-operated company that has built its reputation in the RTP community through word-of-mouth referrals due to our attention to detail and commitment to our values. 

Thermostat issues

Gone are those days, thermostats are dull and boring. Thanks to advancements in technology, thermostats are now programmable, smart, and energy-saving. Once you have set your desired home temperature, the thermostat helps regulate and maintain the temperature.

However, it’s not uncommon for thermostats to malfunction. If your air conditioning unit is struggling to maintain your input temperature, that is your cue to call a professional to address your thermostat sensor issues and service your AC unit. 

Blower running strangely

When your blower motor is working strangely or making a noise, you should check if the fan mode is ON. Ideally, it’s best to leave the fan mode on AUTO setting, allowing the thermostat to control the blower’s speed. 

If your blower is still running excessively, even after setting the fan mode to AUTO, it might be time to call a professional to help identify the defective relay in your HVAC system. It’s best to turn off your furnace immediately to avoid costly repairs. 


So far, you can see that it’s common for HVAC to be faulty and some problems can easily be addressed by you. Even better, you can avoid these issues by scheduling routine maintenance for your HVAC system. While you can easily change the air filters and clean drain pipes, other issues like thermostat irregularities and ignition problems demand expertise, knowledge, and specialized tools you don’t have. So call an HVAC technician if you are faced with a problem you can locate or pinpoint. 

8 Common HVAC Problems and Solutions was last modified: by