Home Heating & Cooling System Commonly Asked Questions
WHY IS MY THERMOSTAT BLANK?
One possibility is the batteries are worn out and need to be replaced. Simply remove the battery cover and replace the batteries (most use “AA”). Don’t see any batteries in the thermostat? Don’t be alarmed, not all thermostats use batteries. Some thermostats are wired directly into the HVAC system to power up. If this is the issue, the heating or air conditioning system needs to be checked by a technician.
WHY IS MY THERMOSTAT NOT WORKING?
You set your thermostat to a specific temperature but your house is still too cold or warm. What is going on!? First, make sure you have your thermostat on the right setting. It should be set for “Cool” in the summer and “Heat.”
If your issue is that your A/C or furnace is blowing air constantly, your thermostat’s fan setting may be set to “On”. The fan should be set to “Auto”, which means the blower will only blow air out of the vents when the A/C or furnace cools and heats the air.
WHY IS MY AIR CONDITIONER BLOWING HOT AIR?
This is a loaded question and there are hundreds of reasons why this could be happening. There are several items you can check before calling in the experts. First, try checking all your air filters – if they are dirty, go ahead and replace them. Next, locate the electrical panel box for the house and check the breaker for the Air Conditioning. If the breaker for the unit is tripped, try and reset it. It is not normal for the breaker to trip, so even if this resets the unit you still should get the unit checked out.
WHY IS MY AIR CONDITIONER BUZZING, HUMMING, OR KNOCKING?
If your air conditioner is buzzing or humming and not running, it likely has to do with an electrical component. It may be the contactor is “pitted” or even some loose wires. If it’s making a knocking sound then it may be the compressor. Even if the system is cooling your home with a knocking compressor, it should be looked at by a professional to avoid major future issues.
WHAT IS R22 REFRIGERANT?
R22 is the most common type of refrigerant in an air conditioning system installed prior to 2010. Unfortunately, because of its damaging properties to the environment, The EPA has issued a required phase-out of R22 refrigerant. R22 must be eliminated from use in cooling systems by the year 2020. At that point, R22 will no longer be manufactured and cannot be used as a refrigerant in a new system. R22 will still be available until 2020 for repairs but the price will continue to inflate every year due to supply and demand.
HOW DO YOU RELIGHT A PILOT ON A FURNACE?
Modern furnaces may not have a pilot light. If you have an older furnace that still uses a pilot light, it is strongly recommended to have a qualified professional look over the system.
WHY IS MY FURNACE CLICKING?
The clicking noise is your furnace starting up (igniting). Basically, when the furnace first turns on for heating, it opens the gas valve and sends voltage to the igniter to create a spark that ignites the gas. The clicking noise is the igniter. A click or two is normal, but if you hear multiple clicks then it’s time to have a professional look at it. Even if your heat is working, the excessive clicking is an indication of a future failure.
NOTE: Not all furnaces have an ignition spark system. Some use hot surface ignitors that have no sound.
WHY IS THERE ICE ON MY HEAT PUMP?
It is normal to have some ice on your heat pump during the winter. The heat pump will go into a “defrost mode’ to melt the ice. If there seems to be an excessive amount of ice on the unit or the entire unit is covered in ice, then there is an issue.
WHY IS MY HEAT PUMP FREEZING UP?
If there seems to be an excessive amount of ice on the unit or the entire unit is covered in ice, then there is an issue. The culprit is usually the defrost board, but it takes an experienced technician to confirm this and check the system for proper operation.
WHAT ARE “AUX” HEAT AND “EM” HEAT MODES?
Aux (auxiliary) heat turns on when the thermostat senses it can no longer efficiently transfer heat from the outside air to maintain your inside temperature. This usually happens when outdoor temperatures fall below 35 degrees. Auxiliary or Auxiliary Heat automatically turns on the electric heat strips to provide the additional heat needed. It signals this by turning on the “AUX” heat light on your thermostat.
Em (emergency) Heat is turned on manually. This turns the electric heat strips on if needed, usually only if your condenser has stopped working completely. Manually turning on the electric heat strips is signaled by the “EM” heat light and will turn the “outdoor” heat pump off. The emergency heat is used every time you call for heat until it is changed.