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Answers to The Most Common HVAC Problems in Wilmington, NC

HVAC team fixing air conditioning unitPicture this: it’s the hottest day of summer, and your renter calls you. The property’s air conditioner has stopped working. Now, you’ve got an overheated, frustrated renter, a property without a working AC unit, and no idea what the issue is. Unfortunately, HVAC issues are incredibly common, and property owners are going to encounter them from time to time. In this article, we’ll review how you can be better prepared for them and even prevent many issues ahead of time with the right maintenance. Here are the four most common causes of HVAC problems.

Short Cycling

If a renter complains about how the AC or furnace is continually starting and stopping, it might be short cycling. Short cycling is a common issue that impacts a wide variety of HVAC systems. A “cycling” system starts, runs only briefly, and then turns itself off. It repeats this cycle over and over again, wasting energy and putting more stress on the system than necessary. In addition to high utility bills, this can lead to reduced comfort inside.

Sometimes, short cycling occurs because the installed system was too large for the property’s square footage. In the HVAC world, bigger is not always better; too large of a system will have issues operating efficiently or effectively.

Air Filters

Even with the right system, the issue could be caused by a clogged air filter. This is arguably more common in rental properties since renters tend to forget to change out or clean air filters regularly. If your renter has noticed short cycling, recommend that they switch out the air filter and see if this makes a difference.

Finally, low refrigerant can cause some short cycling issues in air conditioners and heat pumps. Since cooling refrigerant exists in a closed-loop system, this is an uncommon—but still entirely possible—source of this problem. At this point, you’ll want to bring in a local HVAC expert for a closer look.

Air Duct Leaks

Ductwork leaks can also cause declining efficiency and comfort. As your property ages and settles, ducts can separate can develop pinholes and cracks, or become otherwise damaged. At a baseline, even an intact air duct is relatively inefficient at transporting heated and cooled air: one with cracks or air leaks is even more so. Many energy-efficiency problems in the average American home have to do with ductwork issues.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that efficiency problems are the sole burden of your renter! An inefficient heating or cooling system is one that runs longer and endures far more wear-and-tear. Not dealing with efficiency issues can come back to bite you by reducing the overall lifespan of the property’s air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace. On top of that, high utility bills could lead to a very frustrated and ready-to-move renter.

In many cases, a full renovation and replacement of the property’s ducts are unnecessary. Many HVAC professionals now offer advanced duct sealing services that use specialized equipment to seal ducts from the inside, eliminating air leaks and vastly improving the property’s energy efficiency.

Missing Tune-Ups

There’s a myth out there that AC and furnace tune-ups are nothing more than a scam, designed so that HVAC companies can get a salesperson into your property to pitch you on a new unit. While some untrustworthy companies do engage in such practices, air conditioning and heating tune-ups—done right by an experienced and trustworthy technician—can be a gamechanger for your property. A multipoint tune-up, cleaning, and inspection appointment can help your cooling or heating system run more efficiently and effectively in the season ahead. More than that, a tune-up is the single-best way to prevent breakdowns and the need for repair.

A professional-grade tune-up should be a whole-home look at your property’s cooling and heating, from the outdoor condenser to the indoor blower, the air ducts, the thermostat, and more. A qualified technician will provide you with a written assessment of everything they’ve inspected and noticed. They’ll also talk to you about what you need to fix right away, as well as what you need to know in the years ahead.

Protect Your Property’s HVAC Systems

Along with electricity and indoor plumbing, working cooling and heating is often a legally protected requirement in rental properties. Depending on the laws in your state, city, or community, not addressing cooling or heating issues promptly could be grounds for your renter to leave the property and void the lease. Your HVAC systems are also an investment in your property. The stakes here are high. Doing what you can do to protect your property’s HVAC systems just makes logical sense.

To get the full picture of what often causes HVAC issues and how you can best avoid trouble with your air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace, be sure to check out this infographic from Reimer Home Services—an HVAC company in Buffalo, New York.

Answers to common HVAC problems infographic

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