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6 steps on HVAC troubleshooting

Have you ever turned your thermostat up – only for nothing to happen? Or worse yet, you cook dinner on what feels like an oven with no ventilation. You know it must be a problem with the HVAC, but how should you go about troubleshooting it? 

Never fear: we’re here to teach you the basics of HVAC troubleshooting and show you precisely how to identify and solve any issue that may arise when managing your home heating and cooling system.

Read on for our guide packed full of useful information, tips, and tricks so that next time (or even this time), no matter what comes at you, you can have all the knowledge needed to resolve it efficiently.

Check out this article on HVAC troubleshooting to learn more.

Common HVAC problems

First, let’s take a look at some of the most common HVAC problems people experience.

  • Thermostat issues: Your thermostat is the brain of your system, and if it isn’t working correctly, you won’t get any heat or air conditioning. Common issues include dead batteries, bad wiring, or inaccurate calibration.
  • Blower motor issues: The blower motor is the fan that pushes air through your house. If it isn’t working, you won’t be able to get enough airflow for adequate heating and cooling. Common issues include a faulty capacitor or worn-out bearings in the motor itself. 
  • Clogged air filters: Your air filters help to keep your HVAC system clean, but over time they can become clogged with dirt and debris. This can lead to decreased airflow, resulting in poor heating and cooling performance.
  • Refrigerant leaks: If your HVAC system is using a refrigerant, it can be prone to leaks. A leak in the system will cause a decrease in cooling power and could even lead to compressor damage if not addressed quickly.
  • Condenser coil issues: The condenser coil transfers heat from your home’s air inside to the outside. When the coil is dirty, it can cause your system to become inefficient and lead to higher energy bills.
  • Ductwork leaks: This is another issue that can cause decreased efficiency in your HVAC system. If the ducts that bring air throughout your home have leaky connections or other damage, it can result in wasted energy as you’re not getting the full benefit of your heating or cooling system.

6 steps on HVAC troubleshooting

Here are some steps you can take for HVAC troubleshooting.

1. Check the thermostat to make sure it’s turned on

The first step in troubleshooting an HVAC system is to make sure the thermostat is turned on and set correctly. Before doing anything else, check to see that the device isn’t switched off or on a lower temperature setting than what you desire. 

Also, confirm that it’s not in ‘fan only’ mode, as this will prevent the heating and cooling system from engaging.

2. Change the batteries in the thermostat, if necessary

If you discover that the thermostat is switched on, but there’s still no response from the HVAC system, it could be a battery issue. If your thermostat runs on batteries, make sure they are fresh and have plenty of charges. If the batteries need replacing, take them out and put in some new ones.

Alternatively, if your thermostat is hardwired, then it’s worth checking the fuse box to see if any fuses have been tripped.

3. Make sure the furnace is turned on

If the thermostat is set correctly and running on adequate power, then you’ll need to take a step back and check the furnace itself. Make sure that it’s turned on at the circuit breaker or fuse box, as this could be preventing any heat from being generated. Also, verify that all parts of your system are receiving power and are in working order. 

4. Inspect the air filters and replace them, if needed

The next step in troubleshooting an HVAC system is to inspect the air filters. Air filters are a crucial component of any HVAC system and they need to be replaced periodically. 

Clogged or dirty air filters can cause a variety of issues, such as poor airflow and overall system performance. If your filters appear to be in bad shape, it’s best to replace them with fresh ones. 

5. Check for any leaks in your ductwork and seal them up

Leaks in the ductwork can cause problems with your HVAC system, as they can reduce its efficiency and accuracy. To find any leaks in your ductwork, look for signs of dampness or condensation and use a smoke pencil to detect airflow. 

If you find any holes or cracks in the ducts, seal them up with mastic or metal tape to ensure that your HVAC system is running as efficiently as possible. 

6. Hire a professional if you’re still experiencing HVAC problems

If you have gone through all the steps above and you’re still having issues with your HVAC system, then it’s time to call a professional. A qualified technician can come in and thoroughly diagnose any problems that may exist, as well as provide recommendations for repairs or replacements. 

Don’t forget to ask the technician questions and get advice on how you can prevent future issues. With the right knowledge and help, you’ll be able to maintain your HVAC system in peak condition.


Troubleshooting an HVAC system can seem intimidating, but the process doesn’t have to be complicated. 

By following these steps and taking action quickly when issues arise, you can easily identify and resolve any problem that your home heating or cooling system may present. Make sure to refer to this helpful guide whenever you need it.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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