HVAC Tip


5/24/18

In this very short article, I'll share some things you can try when your air conditioner or furnace are not working. We had a situation recently where our air conditioning and heating were both not working. The following are some things you can check, not necessarily in any order.

First, check the fuse box to see if there are no thrown switches. If so, obviously reset them and try again.

Second, each unit should have something like an emergency switch. Check to see that these kill switches are set so the units are turned on. The switch for the big AC fan is typically outside next to the unit, and the furnace switch is typically a switch on the wall next to the furnace. Also, check that the door of the furnace is on correctly. A safety feature of most furnaces is that if the door is not on correctly, the furnace won't operate.

Third, look at thermostat. Is it set correctly? Is the wiring to the thermostat done correctly? Is your thermostat very old and needs to be replaced? Either one of these things could cause the units to not function.

Here is what was the culprit for us. Our furnace has a trap that needed to be cleaned. This is a trap for the drain tube where I guess liquid produced from the heating/cooling process drains outside. It simply had a lot of muck in it, dust and dirt from the intake of air, and when that happens, the furnace will not operate due to a built-in safety feature. I just cleaned out this trap with a flexible scrubber (imagine a very small toilet brush) and presto, everything was working as before. Next time I will check this first. This is because both our AC compressor and furnace are less than 2 years old and both were not working.

I hope these basic tips help. It is nothing very complicated. If all of these troubleshooting ideas don't work for you, then it is probably time to call in the pros, and they can test various electrical readings on the thermostat wires and so on (something which you can learn to do as well if you'd like).

Thanks for reading!


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