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Heating & Cooling: Do It Yourself Troubleshooting Tips

When the air conditioner is blowing out warm air or the furnace isn’t turning on, how do you know when it is time to call a repair service technician? Here are some simple steps to help you identify common HVAC problems and determine the best fix.

  • Follow the Recommendations. If the problem you’re experiencing matches one in the troubleshooting guide, and you are comfortable with the task, follow the recommendations provided.
  • Troubleshoot the Problem. Your furnace or air conditioner may stop working for a variety of reasons, and often the solution can be very simple. First, consult the troubleshooting section of the owner’s manual. If you don’t have the owner’s manual, check the manufacturer’s website or try a website like www.consumerreports.com for a list of manufacturer’s contact information.
  • Call a Service Professional. If the problem persists or the task is beyond your comfort level, contact a service professional to make the heating or air conditioning repair. A new HVAC system may cost thousands of dollars, so spending around $100 on a service call for a proper diagnosis and accurate estimate makes economic sense.

For technical issues or for more information, contact a professional heating and air conditioning repair company, like BGE HOME. We can identify the problem and get your system up and running again quickly.

If your central air conditioning isn’t performing up to par or isn’t performing at all, here are some easy troubleshooting tips that you can do (if you feel comfortable) before contacting BGE HOME for a service call.

Problem Troubleshooting Tips
The compressor doesn’t turn on…
  • Check the thermostat to ensure it is in the “Cooling” mode.
  • Check to ensure the outside unit is not covered or blocked.
  • Check the fuse or breaker to ensure it is in the “On” position.
  • Check the outside disconnect switch to ensure it is in the “On” position.
  • Check that the furnace blower motor is running (the furnace blower will run in “Cooling” mode). If not, check that the on / off switch at the furnace is in the “On” position.
  • Call BGE HOME, it could be a more technical issue.
The air conditioner runs, but isn’t cool…
  • Clear any obstructions from the vents to maximize circulation.
  • Check the air filter to make sure it is clean; dirty filters will slow air flow.
  • Check the condenser coils. For outside coils, turn the unit off, clear out the leaves or debris, and then spray the coils with water at a low pressure. For inside coils, brush and vacuum the coils until clean.
  • Call BGE HOME, it could be a refrigerant issue.
The air conditioner continuously runs…
  • Move any heat-generating devices away from your thermostat; they may cause your system to cool unnecessarily.

If your furnace isn’t performing up to par or isn’t performing at all, here are some easy troubleshooting tips that you can do (if you feel comfortable) before contacting BGE HOME for a service call.

Problem Troubleshooting Tips
The furnace doesn’t turn on…
  • Check the thermostat to ensure it is in the “Heating” mode.
  • Check the temperature setting is above the current indoor temperature.
  • Check the fuse or breaker to ensure it is in the “On” position.
  • Check that the on / off switch at the furnace, or “Emergency” switch, is in the “On” position.
  • Call BGE HOME, it could be a more technical issue.
The furnace runs, but isn’t warm…
  • Clear any obstructions from the vents to maximize circulation.
  • Check the air filter to make sure it is clean; dirty filters will slow air flow.
  • Call BGE HOME, it could be a more technical issue.
The furnace continuously shuts off…
  •  Move any heat-generating devices away from your thermostat; they may cause your system to shut off.

Do-It-Yourself Air Cleaner Tips:

  • Change the filter/media in your air cleaner at least once per year.
  • Choose an air cleaner that uses a HEPA filter system. HEPA filters remove even extremely small particles from the air you breathe.

Do-It-Yourself Humidifier Tips:

  • Change the water pads in your humidifier unit at least once per year, either at the beginning or the end of the heating season.
  • Turn your humidifier on in heating season and off during cooling season (if applicable).
  • During extremely cold weather, your home loses humidity and can drop to as low as 5%. Optimal comfort range for humidity levels in your home is 40-55%.
  • If you notice condensation on the inside of your windows, the humidity setting may be too high, turn it down a couple notches.

Do-It-Yourself Carbon Monoxide Detector Tips:

  • Push the Test button at least once a month on your CO Detector Alarm to ensure it is functioning properly.
  • Manufacturers recommend having the CO Detector checked annually by a professional.

Duct Cleaning Tips:

  • Ducts should be cleaned at least every five years, or as necessary to improve the quality of the air in your home and prolong the life of your heating and air conditioning equipment.

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