7 Most Common HVAC Problems

Learn about HVAC & Home Performance in Houston.

Man repairing hvac

November 15, 2022


If your property has an HVAC system installed, you expect it to function non-stop and without any problem. Unfortunately, like any other air conditioner, it can break down from different problems. Most often at the worst possible time. An HVAC system is designed to last for years, however, that is only possible with proper maintenance.

After all, a stable and reliable temperature system is an essential part of your home. When it comes to places like Houston, the temperatures can vary depending on the neighborhood and season. 

This is why it’s important to prioritize prevention over reparations and if you need an AC repair, don’t delay it. If something goes wrong, it’s essential to know what to look for and effectively communicate with your local technicians. Here are the seven most common HVAC problems and how to identify them.

1. Clogged and Dirty AC Filters

A proper HVAC system provides each home with adequate temperatures and clean air. Air filters can cause damage to the system performance in homes if they’re not regularly changed. Lack of air ventilation can cause your unit to lose efficiency and cause the furnace to overheat. Additionally, a dirty air filter can cause respiratory problems and allergy development. 

Not changing your home’s air filter can result in various issues, including the evaporator coil freezing up and a foul smell. This is a common problem, but with a simple check-up, your unit should be back to working normally.

At House Pro, we provide each client with a report email on every problem we encounter and what solution we propose. We base our work values on education and professionalism! Complete our online quote, and let us take care of your unit.

2. Water Leaks 

HVAC system generates a lot of condensation during everyday usage. Any condensation should be transferred to the drain lines, eventually out of the house. However, if a line gets damaged, your system may leak, causing cracks in your walls and interior structure. In some cases, there could be water leaking out of an electrical circuit.

Both air conditioners and high-efficiency furnaces can produce condensate. One cause of water leaks is clogged drain lines and lack of preventative maintenance. If you’re experiencing one of these HVAC issues, contact a technician immediately because unregulated water buildup will cause mold and electrical damage. A trained technician should be able to determine the source of the water leak and offer you the best possible reparations. 

3. Malfunctioning Thermostat

The control system of your air conditioning is your thermostat. Its role is to relay information to you or your family and also to your HVAC unit. There are a lot of variations of thermostat styles and how they all interact with your whole system, both programmable and non-programmable.  

Programmable thermostats primarily operate with batteries that need to be replaced periodically. Most HCVA problems are caused by the thermostat or how the thermostat settings have been set. A quick reference to the manual and the unit’s instructions should cover the first issues, however, if still malfunctioning, they can be quickly diagnosed by an HVAC technician.

If you have further questions, contact our team at House Pro. You can discuss the details of your situation at our service call, and we’ll take care of the rest. We provide recommendations and products to help lower your energy bill, increase indoor air quality, and extend your HVAC system’s life. 

4. Dirty Evaporator Coils

Most HVAC problems are preventable with regularly scheduled maintenance. If dirt and debris have clogged the coils of your system, chances are that your desired temperature will cost a lot more. 

A dirty evaporator coil can reduce the efficiency of your furnace and air conditioner and make your system work harder. This leads to more energy consumption and uneven temperature distribution.

Regardless of the state of your AC unit, you should not try to DIY your way out of a problem. Cleaning dirty filters or air vents can procedure moisture leaks, so you ask for professional help. They can safely hose off the outdoor coil after shutting off the power to the condenser in straightforward cases. If the grime, however, affected the HVAC system’s structure, they will have to replace it completely, which may even include a furnace repair, or other costly issues.

Man opening HVAC cap

5. Unusual HVAC Noises and Smells

Some furnace noises are part of normal operation, while others are just bad signs. Weird noises from your HVAC system can indicate common HVAC issues, like the bearings in an inducer motor or blower motor failing. 

These noises can include whining, clanking, or squealing, which can indicate the need of a HVAC repair sooner or later depending on the cause. Some noises may be caused by airflow issues, dirty heating and cooling systems, or a broken fan switch. Either way, you shouldn’t ignore any sudden and new noise your air conditioner makes that you aren’t accustomed to. 

A good air conditioning unit should always be odorless. All smells coming through the vents are signs of bad behavior. Smelling smoke can signal an electrical failure, which is a fire hazard. If you believe there is an ignition risk, call HVAC professional immediately. Mold infestations or rotting animals stuck in the vents may cause other odors. Nevertheless, any foul odor should immediately be a red flag, and you should get it checked as soon as possible.

6. Pilot or Ignition Problems

One of the more dangerous parts of an HVAC unit is the ignition efficiency. Without regular maintenance, you’re putting your loved ones and yourself at risk. Ignition problems can result from several reasons, such as a dirty pilot light, flame sensor, short cycling, or a blocked fuel supply. Only a professional should determine the cause and fix the unit in such cases. It can be a simple wear and tear of an ignition component, or it can be a gas leak, which can be disastrous.

Our team at House Pro can assess the ignition component’s health and determine other possible issues. We will offer a report after our assistant if you want to learn more. Either way, it’s vital to have regular maintenance, especially because ignition issues are tied to dangerous elements like natural gas and high voltage.

7. Tripped Circuit Breakers 

The most common reasons for your breakers tripping are that the blower is overworking. If your ventilation system gets blocked, your blower will have to work hard to regulate your temperature. Many times, the airflow is affected by a dirty filter, which will increase the energy consumption and even trip the breakers. Before resetting it, you should make sure everything is clean. 

Technicians can determine if the issue is caused by a furnace problem or a malfunction of the circuit breaker itself. Other examples include water leaks, closed or blocked-off air registers, and dirty coils. If the problem continues, you should contact a trained service technician.

If you experience issues with your HVAC system, contact someone from House Pro for inspections and regular checkups. Prevention is the best way of protecting your investment and your loved one. Look after your home and start taking care of your HVAC today. 


What Does HVAC Mean?

HVAC is an acronym for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. Sometimes you might see variations of it, like  HVAC-R. The “R,” in this case, stands for refrigeration.

What is the Average Lifespan of an HVAC Unit?

The typical lifespan of an AC is ten years. However, it all depends on how well you take care of it and provide regular maintenance. It can go beyond ten years. 

What Are Some Tips That Every Homeowner Should Know?

Most HVAC problems are preventable through regular checkups and maintenance. Small things like placing the filter, inspecting and cleaning the venting, and checking the thermometer should take care of most complications and technical issues. 

Why Does an HVAC System Need Maintenance?

Your HVAC system is supposed to keep you comfortable in both the winter and summer months.  Regular maintenance helps your system function efficiently and smoothly all year round. It also prevents costly replacements or dangerous accidents.

How Often Should I Call a Professional For An Inspection?

Homeowners should get their system checked two times a year, once before the cold season and the other before the hot season. They will change filters, clean accumulated grime, and debris, and look at the ignition safety. This way, you ensure that during extreme temperatures, your family is safe and comfortable in your home.