hvac issues

Now that spring is in the air, days in North St. John, FL, will start getting longer, and the temperatures will rise again. As a result, you’ll likely rely more on your HVAC system’s air conditioner.

But after letting it sit dormant and unused for a few months, you may experience common HVAC issues that often occur in spring.

So, what are these HVAC problems, and what causes them anyway? Most importantly, how do you fix and prevent them?

This guide discusses what you need to know about these issues, so read on.

Your HVAC System Smells Like Dirty Socks or Moldy Bread

These odors may indicate mold and bacteria build-up on your HVAC system, such as on its evaporator coils. It’s a common issue when units go unused for a long time (e.g., throughout the winter).

An AC pan leaking or overflowing due to a clogged drain may also cause this foul smell. Another possible culprit is an air conditioner leaking water or “sweating.” Both problems cause excess moisture, promoting microbial growth that can cause these odors.

Reliable AC companies can help address these stinky problems with a comprehensive AC and heating tune-up service. It involves inspecting and cleaning your HVAC system, including interior and exterior components. An HVAC technician may also apply antimicrobial substances to HVAC surfaces to eliminate molds and bacteria.

Sewer-Like Smells From the HVAC System

Is your HVAC system emitting a smell reminiscent of rotten eggs or the sewers? If so, it’s possible that a small animal, such as a rat or a mouse, has died somewhere inside the system or the air ducts. It may have entered your home to seek warmth and refuge from the past winter’s chilly air.

Not only is this problem disgusting, but it’s also a health detriment. According to experts, rodents spread as many as 35 diseases to humans. They transmit such diseases through direct contact, bites, and droppings.

So, if you can smell such foul odors from your air conditioner, turn it off immediately. Then, call an HVAC professional to inspect and clean your air ducts and HVAC system.

Not Producing Enough Cool Air

A likely culprit behind this problem is a clogged air filter full of hair, lint, pollen, dirt, dust, and even molds. While the filter’s job is to catch these pollutants, it will restrict airflow if it becomes too dirty. The less air that gets into your system, the less air that gets cooled and circulated throughout your home.

A dirty filter can also lower your system’s energy efficiency by restricting airflow. For the same reason, replacing or washing it can help reduce your AC’s energy use by 5% to 15%.

If changing or washing your air filter doesn’t help, it may be due to one or more of the following causes.

Blocked Registers and Vents

Ducted HVAC systems have two types of air vents: return air registers and supply vents. Return air registers draw air into the system while supply vents blow conditioned air into your home. Blockages in either can result in airflow restrictions.

So, inspect all your HVAC vents and ensure nothing blocks them (e.g., furniture that sits too close). The supply vents must also be completely open. Even a partially shut one can interfere with airflow and the proper cooling of your home.

Dirty Evaporator Coils

An HVAC system’s evaporator coils are metal tubes through which refrigerants run. Together, they remove heat and moisture from the air to cool it down.

However, as mentioned above, evaporator coils can develop microbial growth. Dirt, dust, and residue can also cover them over time. Either can prevent the coils from doing their job correctly, leading to impaired cooling.

You can clean the evaporator coils, but note that this involves opening your system. If you’re not confident in your DIY skills, have the pros take care of its maintenance.

Not Blowing Cool Air At All

If you can’t feel any cold air from your HVAC system, the first thing to check is your thermostat. Its batteries may have died, or someone may have accidentally switched it off. Replace the batteries, and ensure it’s set to COOL mode.

If the thermostat isn’t the culprit, the problem may be due to leaking or low refrigerant levels.

In that case, you may also hear a bubbling or hissing noise, which means the refrigerant is escaping. If you notice this, your next step should be to look up “AC repair near me” online and schedule your system for repairs. A highly qualified technician will patch the leak and top up the refrigerant.

Your Home Feels Oppressive

St. John’s, Florida, can be oppressive and stifling in the summer, with humidity levels going as high as 73% in June. However, if you experience HVAC issues, the inside of your home can feel much like this in the spring.

An example is if your HVAC’s evaporator coils are so dirty they can no longer absorb moisture in the air. As a result, your home may feel oppressive and hot due to high indoor humidity levels.

An ill-maintained HVAC system with a clogged or leaking AC pan may also increase indoor humidity. In this case, the condensation collected by the pan evaporates inside your home instead of exiting through the drain pipe.

Regular heating and cooling maintenance is the best way to prevent and address such issues. With this, a professional will clean your entire system, including its evaporator coils and drain pan.

Don’t Let These HVAC Issues Prevent You From Enjoying Spring

Stale, moldy, sewer-like smells, too little cold air, and no cool air are some of spring’s most common HVAC issues. Fortunately, regular HVAC maintenance can prevent (and fix) them.

So, if you haven’t had your HVAC system tuned up, the highly trained technicians here at Whitleys Heating and Air are happy to help! We offer comprehensive HVAC maintenance and 24/7 emergency repair services throughout North St. John’s, FL.

So, call us today! We’ll ensure your HVAC system is ready to cool your home this spring and summer.