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Unraveling the Top 10 Most Common HVAC Failures: A Comprehensive Guide

Updated: Apr 2

Maintaining a comfortable and climate-controlled environment is a top priority for any homeowner. However, HVAC systems are not immune to malfunctions, and understanding the most common failures can help you stay ahead of potential issues. Let's dive into the top 10 most frequent HVAC failures and how you can prevent or address them. 


A woman wondering what caused a HVAC failure

1. Dirty or Clogged Filters: 

Neglecting to replace or clean air filters regularly is a common oversight. Dirty filters restrict airflow, forcing your HVAC system to work harder and increasing energy consumption. Make it a habit to inspect and replace filters every 1-3 months. 

  

2. Thermostat Issues: 

A malfunctioning thermostat can lead to temperature inconsistencies or a complete system failure. Ensure your thermostat is calibrated correctly and consider upgrading to a programmable model for enhanced efficiency. 

  

3. Refrigerant Leaks: 

Low refrigerant levels can compromise your HVAC system's ability to cool effectively. Keep an eye out for signs of leaks, such as ice buildup on the refrigerant lines, and consult a professional if you suspect an issue. 

  

4. Electrical Problems: 

Faulty wiring, corroded connections, or tripped circuit breakers can disrupt the electrical components of your HVAC system. Regular maintenance and inspections can help identify and resolve electrical issues before they escalate. 

  

5. Lack of Maintenance: 

Skipping routine maintenance is a surefire way to invite HVAC failures. Regular professional check-ups can catch potential problems early and extend the lifespan of your system. 

  

6. Frozen Evaporator Coils: 

Restricted airflow or refrigerant issues can lead to the freezing of evaporator coils. If you notice reduced airflow or warm air blowing from vents, it's essential to address the problem promptly to prevent further damage. 

  

7. Dirty or Blocked Condenser Unit: 

The outdoor condenser unit can accumulate dirt, debris, or foliage, hindering its performance. Regularly clean the area around the unit and remove any obstructions to ensure optimal airflow. 

  

8. Broken Capacitors: 

Capacitors store and release electrical energy, helping the HVAC system start and run smoothly. Over time, these components can fail, resulting in system malfunctions. Regular inspections can catch capacitor issues early on. 

  

9. Worn-out Contactor: 

The contactor is responsible for sending voltage to the compressor and condenser fan. Continuous use can cause wear and tear, leading to a breakdown. Timely replacement of a worn-out contactor can prevent a sudden HVAC failure. 

 

10. Ignition Control or Pilot Light Issues: 

For gas furnaces, ignition problems or a malfunctioning pilot light can disrupt the heating process. Regularly inspect and clean the pilot light and address any ignition issues promptly. 

 

Conclusion: Proper Care Prevents Most Common HVAC Failures

In conclusion, staying vigilant and proactive in HVAC system maintenance is key to avoiding these common failures. Regular inspections, timely replacements, and a commitment to proper care can ensure your HVAC system operates efficiently and reliably throughout the year. 


Whether you need HVAC advice, service or speedy repairs, let Extreme Air help you create the indoor climate oasis you deserve. We have trained professionals standing by ready to help homeowners in Southern California and St. George. Contact us today!

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