What To Do If Your HVAC System Suddenly Stops Working?


When your HVAC stops working, your household comes to a halt, too. Getting to the root of the problem and fixing it ASAP is your top priority, but where do you begin? Most of the time, troubleshooting problems with your air conditioner or heater is possible, but repairs should be left to the hands of a professional. 

Read on to discover potential reasons your HVAC might not be running and what can be done to fix it.

Check for Obstructions

Physically blocking your air vents can reduce performance and cause your HVAC to be ineffective. If there are any boxes or heavy furniture on top of vents, move them. If poor air flow is the issue, then a professional can take a closer look at the inside of your system to assess where the blockage is coming from. Common reasons include faulty or dirty ductwork, an old or dirty air filter and low refrigerant level. Most of these repairs are affordable and quick. You can even ask your technician to show you how to safely remove, clean and replace your air filter. 

Check Your Furnace

If the heat isn’t working, you should make sure the power breaker is turned on. Sometimes, they trip without you realizing, and it’s only when you attempt to turn on the heat that you find your furnace unresponsive. If the power breaker is on and you aren’t having electrical issues elsewhere, then you should consider calling for a professional evaluation.

If your gas uses heat, check if other gas appliances work. Make sure that nothing is blocking your gas valve, either. Never attempt to make repairs on a gas line or gas-operated equipment by yourself. This can lead to a life-threatening leak. 

Adjust Your Thermostat

Thermostats can be switched to a default setting that may cause your HVAC to shut off before you would like. Make sure that your setting isn’t too low or too high, otherwise your system may not respond. The ideal setting for indoor temperature is between 70 and 78 degrees. Pushing your system to run lower or higher than this range can cause strain and result in malfunction or even breakdowns.

Old thermostats can reach the end of their life and suddenly fail to connect properly with a system. Replacing yours to a newer model could correct all of your issues and even result in lower bills thanks to energy-efficient design. 

Check the Disconnect Switch

Central AC has both internal and external disconnect switches. If you’ve already ruled out a tripped breaker inside, check the outdoor box. Start by looking for any signs of damage or obstructions from tree branches, furniture, leaves, etc. Then, look for the switch and see if it’s set to on or off. Make sure that you turn your HVAC off prior to this. Even with the internal breaker on, the outdoor switch will cause the entire unit to be unresponsive. If there appears to be any damage to the condenser box where the switch is located, call in a professional rather than attempting to repair yourself. 

Don’t Go a Day Without Heating or Air Conditioning

Need an emergency HVAC repair? Contact Dowd Heat & Air right away! You can also reach out to us to schedule a routine maintenance appointment or troubleshoot any problems. We’re here to help!