## Most Common Seattle HVAC Problems

Although generally very reliable, even your Seattle HVAC system can fail. Seattle HVAC Service & Repair can perform a yearly maintenance that can help minimize the effect of the most common problems. Normal wear and tear of even the best system can cause any one of the most common reported problems:

  1. Fuses — in the evaporator coil prevent motors and compressors from overheating. 
  2. Contacts — most units have 3 contacts that engage to supply power when heating or cooling is demanded by the system: 1 at the compressor; 1 at the condenser fan motor; 1 at the blower motor. Over time a contact can become ineffective/inoperable through arcing or pitting.
  3. Capacitors — there are 2-capacitors on the unit: the run capacitor to maintain constant motor speed; start capacitor to bump the compressor’s torque at start-up. Either capacitor can burn out over time, requiring replacement for proper operation.
  4. Filters — when clogged, airflow is restricted, which can cause the unit to freeze. Monthly visual inspection is recommended, replacing when indicated. (See: “What is the Best Filter For Your System”
  5. Thermostat — controls temperature of conditioned space (heating or cooling) make certain your home’s thermostat has not been turned off accidentally (or unknowingly by another family member!).
  6. Drain Lines — can become clogged over time with dirt or algae. Complete blockage can cause the drain pan to overflow, causing damage to ceiling structure.
  7. Refrigerant Leak — usually at joints, caused by excessive operating vibration and can be repaired; the remaining refrigerant is removed and the unit re-charged to normal operating level. Occasionally the leak can occur in the coils (condenser or evaporator), which cannot be repaired; the leaking coil(s) must be replaced.
  8. Compressor — located with the condenser coil, if the system is undercharged, the compressor will overheat and can seize if it runs hot over a period of time. Conversely, an over-charged unit will leak refrigerant back into the compressor, causing ‘liquid slugging’. It is essential that refrigerant levels are at proper levels.
  9. Condenser Coil — a yearly hosing (while unit is not in operation) will clean outdoor dirt and grime that accumulates; when not cleaned for extended periods, a technician will use a chemical cleaner on the coil.
  10. Evaporator Coil — located either outside (package unit) or inside (split system). The package coil can be cleaned at same time as the condenser coil; a split system coil only needs cleaned every 3 years (or per manufacturer’s suggestion). A broken evaporator coil must be repaired/replaced by Seattle HVAC.