Five HVAC troubleshooting tips that every homeowner should know

HVAC troubleshooting tips

You’ve probably had problems with your HVAC system at some point in your life. Maybe the air conditioner didn’t work one day, or the heater stopped working altogether. These are just a few of homeowners’ most common issues regarding their heating and cooling systems. Luckily, plenty of quick fixes for these common problems can save you some money and a trip to the maintenance specialist’s office. Here are our HVAC troubleshooting tips:

Check your thermostat and control switch

I made this mistake myself not too long ago, so I have to start this HVAC troubleshooting tips list with it. It was late in the evening, and my wife and I were sitting down to enjoy a nice meal together when all of a sudden, our air conditioner stopped blowing cold air. Fortunately, it didn’t take me long to figure out what was wrong: I had accidentally turned off the control switch!

I thought that since there’s only one option on most thermostats—on/off—that there wouldn’t be much chance of confusion. But even with an HVAC system as simple as mine (and yours), it pays to double-check that you’ve set your thermostat properly before calling a professional.

Replace the furnace filter

Change the air filter in your HVAC system every three months and replace it before it gets dirty. The filter size is important—ensure a high-quality one that fits your system, and clean it regularly with a vacuum.

Clean the outdoor AC condenser unit

Clean the outdoor AC condenser unit – this is one of the most significant HVAC troubleshooting tips you will get. This is the most common problem homeowners face, and fortunately, it’s one of the easiest to fix. Use a garden hose to spray down the unit, then remove its cover and scrub any dirt or grime from the inside with a soft brush or sponge. If you have access to a pressure washer, this can make cleaning much easier by blasting away any caked-on dust and debris more easily than just water alone! Once you’ve cleaned out your AC’s compressor and fan blades (which are likely covered by a protective shield), reassemble them properly so that air flows freely through all components again.

Unclog your air ducts and vents

If you don’t clean out your air ducts, you could have a problem with mold or mildew. It would help if you also made sure that the vents are free of debris, which can block airflow. To clear them out, use an electric leaf blower or vacuum to remove any dust buildup around the grilles in your attic and crawl spaces, then wipe them down with a damp cloth, so they’re dry before closing up again. Clean the filters at least once per month; if they look dirty (and they will), replace them immediately.

Check for loose wires or bad connections

Check for loose wiring and bad connections, especially in the part of the system that is most likely to have them, such as near the compressor or outdoor unit. If you find a loose wire, tighten it by hand. If you find a bad connection, clean it with an alcohol wipe and apply new electrical tape over the cleaned area. Broken wires or another issue with wiring inside your home (for example, if it comes off the breaker) should be replaced entirely so that all wires are secure and intact.


Before you call a professional technician, try these five HVAC troubleshooting tips instead first. Together they can help you fix your heating and cooling system quickly and easily!