We’ve become increasingly reliant on the latest gadgets to make our lives easier and more comfortable. Unfortunately, as far as technology has developed it’s far from perfect and you’re favoured appliances can become faulty and cause more issues than they solve. When the problem arises in an appliance you rely on daily, it can become a real pain. If you have a heating and cooling system, a fault could result in a very uncomfortable home environment. Fortunately, the majority of the problems are easy fixes. Here’s a list of 5 common issues with a heating and cooling systems and the best ways to get them working at peak efficiency


Generally speaking a unit could be leaking due to one of two reasons. The first could be a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant leaks can be problematic, not only is the refrigerant harmful to the environment but it will also reduce the efficiency of the unit. Simply refilling the reservoir isn’t enough, there’s a reason it’s leaking and you’ll need to fix the source to rectify the problem. If it’s not a refrigeration leak it’s likely a drainage pipe blockage. These are relatively easy to fix, either use a coat hanger to clear any blockages in the drainpipe or try to force the blockage with a short burst of water from a hose. If it’s still blocked, it’s time to call in the pros.

Not Turning On

We’ve all been there. You try to use an appliance and it simply won’t turn on. The first things to check are the main circuit breaker and the fuse for the unit. If these are both in order it may be an issue with the thermostat. Most units will take the temperature of the room so that they can change their output to match your temperature preference. If the room is cooler than your thermostat settings and your unit is set to cool, it’s not going to turn on.

Poor Air Flow

Inadequate air flow usually stems from dirty filters or ducts. If there is a blockage in a duct or if the filters are dirty, the air flow is going to be obstructed resulting in an ineffectual unit which increases your electricity bills. Be sure to check and clean all filters regularly as well as visually inspecting all ductwork to ensure that there are no connection problems, damage or obstructions.

Overly Frequent or Continuous Cycles

Overly frequent and continuous cycles are often caused by having the wrong sized unit for your home. Frequent cycles are caused by a unit which is too large for your house. A oversized unit will reach its target temperature very quickly, once the temperature has been reached the cycle will end. There’s also the chance of over heating/cooling meaning the unit will then have to switch jobs to rectify the issue.

Continuous cycles are often caused by a unit too small for your home. If the unit isn’t large enough it will never be able to achieve the target temperature. A small unit will work too hard and too long in an effort to reach an impossible target.

Thermostat Sensor Issues

The thermostat sensor is the unofficial centre for your unit. It’s this little piece of kit that tells your unit whether it should be heating or cooling and to what degree. If the sensor is poorly located it can give false readings. A faulty sensor or one too close to an air outlet will give false reports causing the unit to cycle ineffectively effecting the temperature of the room. Be sure to choose its placement wisely and to also check for any issues.

A heating and cooling system is a great bit of equipment which can make your home a much more comfortable environment year round. Be sure to regularly check all components with quarterly inspections. If there’s a problem which you’re not qualified to fix, make sure to call in the professionals. A quick fix is a lot cheaper than a replacement unit!

Image – Geoffrey Fairchild