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The Home Depot

Household HVAC Repair Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Handyman > Household HVAC Repair Guide
Household HVAC Repair Guide

Your home's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system keeps you warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and comfortable all year round. When HVAC repairs are needed, however, homeowners are often at a loss as these systems are not only complex, but vary greatly from one home to another. Troubleshooting such a system can be difficult, and even finding the right repair professional for the job is not always easy.


A malfunctioning HVAC system is not only annoying, it's expensive. Heating and cooling equipment that is not running at the proper efficiency can wind up costing you a bundle and problems that are not addressed immediately can lead to even bigger issues. The good news is: Repairs and replacing worn-out components can actually save you money in the long run. In fact, the EPA suggests that replacing components of a less efficient HVAC system typically cuts energy costs by about 20 percent!

  1. Heating and cooling equipment that is not running at the proper efficiency can wind up costing you a bundle and problems that are not addressed immediately can lead to even bigger issues.

    1.HVAC Inspections

    One of the most effective methods of preventing problems with your heating and cooling system is to have a professional inspect it once a year. Far from a needless expense, a thorough inspection allows homeowners to identify potential problems before they become expensive realities. Often, a small repair or part replacement is all that is needed to prevent much bigger problems down the road. Additionally, an annual inspection will help keep your system running at the highest possible efficiency, saving you money during times of heavy operation.

  2. 2.Who to Call for HVAC Repair

    If your AC is blowing hot or your furnace isn't blowing at all, you have a problem that most people want to have remedied with some urgency. If you already have a trusted HVAC repair specialist, knowing who to call is easy; if you don't choosing a random person from the phone book or a search engine query is a crap shoot if you don't know what to look for.


    Though your home may be uncomfortable, taking the time to do a little homework may be of great benefit. Check to see if a contractor belongs to any major organizations like the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) or has any nationally recognized certifications like the North American Technician Excellence (NATE). Ask lots of questions and describe the malfunction in detail, and if you have the time, ask for references. It is best to discuss your needs with at least 3 service professionals before choosing one to do the work. To make sure you hire a technician you can count on, it may be a good idea to do all this background work well before a problem actually exists (for example, when you are choosing a professional for an HVAC inspection).

  3. 3.When It's Time to Replace

    Replacing furnaces, ductwork, condensers, heat pumps, and other main HVAC components is a task that will have a long-term effect on how your home operates and how much your energy bills will be. It is extremely important, therefore, to make sure you not only have the right professional to perform the task, but that you have the right replacement unit, too.


    One of the most important factors in finding the right heating and cooling equipment is sizing. Not only must the unit's power be taken into consideration, your contractor should also factor in the local climate, the size, shape and orientation of the house, insulation levels, window size, location, and construction, air infiltration rates, the number of occupants in the home, and the number and efficiencies of the appliances in the home. In many cases, heating and cooling equipment that was installed many years ago will now have too high a capacity for your current home's efficiency, and a heating or cooling unit that is too big can be just as poor a choice as one that is too small.


    The proper sizing of furnaces, heat pumps, boilers, and other heating and cooling equipment is important, and the contractor that takes the time to explain all the things that factor into sizing (rather than just look at the previously installed unit and find one of the same capacity) is one who is doing the job right. Good service professionals often cost a little more, but it is because they go the extra mile to make sure that everything is done properly; this is how spending a little more up front on excellent service can actually save you money over time. Another great option is to have your HVAC installed through Home Depot Services.

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