Repairing storm damage to the air conditioner

How to Do Some Simple Checks If You Have HVAC Heating Problems

by Ivan Prescott

It's tough to think about heating in the middle of a sweltering Australian summer. However, you know that the seasons will soon change, and it will be time to crank up some artificial comfort again. What do you need to do if your heating isn't working properly or you have other issues with your HVAC?


If you're trying to diagnose the problem yourself at home, the best way to go about it is to start with the more obvious and accessible components, and start to work steadily backwards. Obviously, the further that you dig, the more difficult the potential problem that you face. In this case, you would definitely need to call out a qualified engineer for heating repairs. Until then, see how far you can go.

Checking the Power

The HVAC system requires quite a lot of power to work and is therefore connected to the mains electricity system in separate sections. The first thing that you need to do is to verify that the power is indeed being delivered, but remember that the furnace (which sits outside) and the air conditioning unit (inside) will usually have their own separate, dedicated circuit breakers. Make sure you look for both.

Checking the Thermostat

A malfunction system could be as simple as a thermostat that is not working. It's possible that the thermostat is independent of the main power supply and runs on batteries. Replace the batteries as a matter of course, as they will run out—and as you are tinkering with this anyway.

Set this thermostat to be several degrees above the ambient temperature in the room, and then switch the system onto heat mode. After waiting for a few seconds, see if you can detect any heat at a vent. If not, switch off and look for the panel door on the furnace itself. This needs to be closed during operation, but there is a switch inside that also needs to be in the "on" position. Once you have detected this, you can reset the furnace by either reactivating the gas if applicable or pressing the reset button.

Can It Breathe?

You should check the ventilation as well and see if the cold air return filter is clean. Remove the filter and get rid of the debris and dust (if it's a permanent one), or replace it if not. Remember to reinstall the filter with the arrow pointing inwards for it to work properly.

Moving It up

If these simple checks do not achieve your result, it's time to call in a technician to give the system a full analysis.