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10 Things to Check Before Calling an HVAC Technician

10 Things to Check Before Calling an HVAC Technician

At Modern Sheet Metal, we often hear quite a few HVAC troubleshooting requests come in that are easy enough to look into, even if you’re a home or business owner with little experience. In fact, we recommend that you perform a do-it-yourself HVAC inspection to make sure you’ve ruled out a lot of the smaller issues that could be giving your system trouble.

In this article, we’ll go over 10 things to check before calling one of our HVAC technicians!

Things to Check Before Calling an HVAC Tech

Here are some of the things to check for your air conditioning or furnace:

1. Thermostat Settings

If you’re noticing issues with your HVAC system, it could just be that you need to set your thermostat’s settings differently. Sometimes all it takes is the simple switch of a button.

If your thermostat is programmable, there may be an issue with the clock or date settings. Double check the pre-programmed settings, follow any instruction in the owner’s manual and make any necessary adjustments. Check out our heating and cooling guide where we talk more about checking your thermostat.

2. Air Filter

This one is pretty straightforward. If you’re A/C is acting up or your furnace is short cycling you should take a look at the air filter and see if it’s related to a dirty or clogged air filter. If necessary, you may need to perform a replacement. Especially if you or someone in your household has asthma or allergies, you own pets, or you have a lot of carpet, you should regularly switch out your air filter! Be sure to mark your calendar so that you know when your air filter needs to be changed.

If you have 1” filters, they will need to be changed monthly. 2” filters should be changed every two months, and 4”-5” filters should be swapped out between six and twelve months. Have questions? Be sure to talk with us!

Air Filters

Switch out your furnace or A/C filters based on model instructions or per your HVAC company’s recommendations

3. Outside Unit

Another thing to check before your call an HVAC technician is the outside unit. This is the central point for airflow in your home. Sometimes leaves and debris can get caught in the unit and cause problems.

Homeowners can help the issue by rinsing the unit with a hose to remove any debris. Ensure that there’s at least a three foot radius of no debris to keep air flow free.

Read More: How Weather Affects Your HVAC System

4. Circuit Breakers

Sometimes the issue with the air conditioning is that your circuit breakers have tripped. For example, this may be the case if you have new appliances in your home. However, before calling your HVAC technician, try double checking that a switch in your circuit breaker hasn’t tripped.

Your circuit breaker is more than likely in your basement, garage, hallway, or storage room. If your circuit breaker is fine, give our team a call and we can stop by your location to troubleshoot your A/C unit or furnace.

5. Vents

Vents blocked? If your system is experiencing irregular air flow, it’s time to check and clean out any vents, ducts, and grills for blockage. A helpful tip: try setting your furniture and plants at least two feet away from your air conditioning unit’s vents to prevent constricted air flow. Another possibility is that bugs are coming through the air conditioner vents.

If, however, you suspect a bigger issue is at hand and you’ve ruled out vent blockage, give our HVAC technicians a call.

6. Batteries

While blocked vents may cause issues, some issues with your HVAC system are more simple and quite harmless. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of checking and/or changing your batteries.

For example, if your thermostat isn’t lit up like normal, this may just be a sign of an old battery. Put in a fresh set of batteries, and if that fixes it, problem solved!

7. Fan

You should also check the fan inside of the HVAC system. If you notice that it’s not running correctly, it may lead to a wide range of issues with the unit. Make sure that you can hear or see it running by safely opening the panel which covers the fan.

Carefully assess whether the blades aren’t bent or damaged at all, as this can lead to overall issues with the functionality of the unit. If you don’t feel comfortable performing a DIY inspection or fix, it’s time to call a tech.

8. Registers

Do some rooms in your home feel warm, while others feel colder? This may indicate that there’s an issue with the heating registers. Take a minute to walk through your home and ensure that all your heating registers are open and that the openings to the registers aren’t blocked.

If all the registers are open and look good and you’re still noticing a lack of warm or cool air flow, or your HVAC system isn’t responding, you may want to call a tech.

Read More: Is Geothermal Heating Worth Is in Cold Climates?


Take a moment to look around your home for any signs of blocked or closed registers

9. Wires

When using your weed wacker outside near your outdoor unit, always be sure to be careful as you may inadvertently clip wires.

If you spot any wires that are out of place or appear to be clipped, you should contact your local HVAC company to assess the issues. Note: be careful if you see any exposed wires!

10. Vibration

Lastly, are you noticing that your HVAC system is vibrating? There may be several reasons why your system is vibrating, for example worn bearings or loose parts within the system. Perform a quick analysis of the location of the vibration and call a qualified technician as soon as you are able. A vibrating system can be an indication of a bigger issue at hand.

When done with your HVAC inspection, make a list of things that concern you, and then give your local HVAC company a call to discuss your findings.

Read More: 5 Facts You Should Know About the Furnace Installation Process

Contact Modern HVAC

Our team is skilled at air conditioning, heating, radiant floor heating, indoor air quality, and other services, which include installations, full A/C and furnace replacements, repairs, routine maintenance, and emergency services. If at any time you have questions or concerns relating to your home or business’ system, please reach out!

At Modern Sheet Metal, we are trusted HVAC technicians who serve the communities of Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Darboy, Kimberly, Little Chute, Kaukauna, Greenville, and the greater Fox Valley. We are fully committed to providing quality services and have done so since we first opened in 1963!

Further Reading:

10 Air Conditioning Myths That are Costing You Money

Why Your Furnace Needs Regular Tune Ups

Pros and Cons of Radiant Floor Heating

What to Know Before Installing a New Furnace

The Differences Between a Heat Pump and Central A/C

Modern Sheet Metal provides furnace and air conditioner service, repair, replacement and installation throughout Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Darboy, Kimberly, Kaukauna and Greenville. Please call us at 920-733-4713 to discuss your residential or commercial heating & cooling needs!