In most homes today, HVAC is consuming the maximum power. Even though consumption comes at a high cost, people have to use it because it is necessary.
Just like every system needs maintenance, many problems can originate that can hamper the smooth functioning of HVAC units. This is where professionals like you, can help homeowners prevent and solve these issues through your maintenance services.
But a sign of a good business owner is to help consumers save their money. And you can do that by letting your customers know about their HVAC system.
So you can guide them with popular HVAC hacks and DIY remedies that will help them prevent major problems in their units and eventually save the repair cost.
Helping your consumers by advising them to deal with the basic HVAC issues will lead them to eventually call you if the DIY solution doesn’t work.
So what are the common HVAC hacks that you can recommend your consumers practice? The article below will help you with 12 wonderful ideas to share with your next customer.
What Is an HVAC Hack?
An HVAC hack is a DIY remedy that tells you what to do and what not to do with your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit.
Most homeowners who are using HVAC systems are unaware of the technology and power involved in it. Therefore, they rely on professionals even for the smallest of works that they can rectify from their end.
Most HVAC companies take advantage of these small job requests and make money out of them without educating the customers on how to fix it by themselves the next time such a problem occurs.
But this should not be the case with your HVAC company. Professionals determine DIY HVAC hacks and convey them to consumers to let them deal with minor HVAC system errors, all by themselves, without spending money on hiring technicians.
12 Wonderful HVAC Hacks and Ideas 2023
The next time a customer calls you or books your services for some DIY problem, first, go ahead and assign a technician to visit the site. Educate and instruct them on how they can fix the problem with ease, by themselves.
Give them a brief on anything wrong that could happen if they misinterpret or make any mistakes. With this idea in mind, if you are a new HVAC business, it is crucial for you to share HVAC hacks with your customers in person or through advertising and measurement services to build your brand rapport.
To help you in this pursuit, below are 12 amazing HVAC hacks for your reference, that will help your customers take care of most of the common HVAC problems and will help you with more loyal customers:
Air conditioning HVAC hacks
1. Shading outdoor condenser
If the condenser is placed outdoors under bright sunlight, it can overheat the system and damage the air conditioner’s capacitor. Moreover, it will also deteriorate the longevity of the entire system.
Therefore, if the condenser is placed outside, it should have a shade above it to block the sunlight. But in the pursuit, one should not block the airflow of the condenser. Blockage in airflow will affect the temperature readings of the system and will make it work even harder, resulting in internal damage.
2. Keep heat appliances away from the thermostat
The placement of heat appliances right next to the thermostat will alter its functions. A thermostat is considered the heart of an air conditioning system, which indicates how to perform. So, placing heat appliances next to the thermostat can send wrong indications to the air conditioner, causing it to start the cooling process.
When heat appliances are in use, the room temperature is continually high, and the air conditioner mechanism will work harder to cool down the temperature. As a result, both systems will experience wear and tear.
If the customers report a continuous cooling trigger of the thermostat to air conditioners, then let them know that this might be the possible reason. This hack will help them save money on the repair and replacement of HVAC systems.
3. Change air conditioner filters
If the customer reports a low cooling experience from their air conditioning systems, then it is possible that there is a problem with clogged filters and it is not allowing air to pass seamlessly. The best DIY hack for customers is to clean or change the air filter.
For cleaning the air filter, one should vacuum clean it after detaching it from the AC unit. And then they can rinse it with warm water and a mild detergent solution.
At one point, cleaning the air filters won’t do the job anymore. It is advised that the air conditioner filters should be changed every three months. But if the residents have pets in their house, they should change filters every three weeks to keep the systems functioning properly.
4. Remove dust and dirt from the compressor
One of the common customer complaints is clogged fans and no airflow. The evident reason is dust, dirt, and debris accumulating in the blower fan. Dry leaves clog the fan, which deteriorates its functions; as a result, the air conditioning system doesn’t function as it should.
You can advise your customers to use dust rags or vacuum cleaners to clean the fan blades and remove all dust and debris. Timely maintenance after every season will ensure the good health of the air conditioning system.
5. Keep windows and doors shut
Suppose your customers say that their air conditioner system is malfunctioning and is not throwing a cool breeze anymore. In that case, it is probably because the AC units are overloaded and the compressor has experienced damage.
Open doors and windows while running the air conditioning system are one of the reasons why customers’ AC units are not functioning properly. It triggers the thermostat of the cooling system to continue producing cool air to neutralize the room temperature.
As a result, excessive load on the compressor damages its functionality, and eventually, the AC malfunctions. When there is such a complaint, you must fix the cause and advise the residents to shut their doors and windows while running their AC(s) to prevent an expensive repair and replacement costs.
Heating systems HVAC hacks
6. Check for any possible airflow issue
If there is a complaint about the improper functioning of a furnace or heating system, you must suggest the customers check their vents, filters, and exhaust flue. There might be a possible airflow issue due to dirty furnace filters.
Dirt, dust, pet hair, and other debris gets easily trapped in the furnace filters. As a result, there is a restriction in the seamless airflow. Eventually, heat and pressure build up in the system and stress it to trigger wear and tear.
In older furnace systems, clogging of air filter will completely suppress the heating potential of your furnace, and the house temperature will not be maintained as per desired needs. In the recent models, the heaters have sensors to shut down automatically when such stress is detected due to the clogging of filters.
And when this happens, customers raise a service request to the HVAC technicians. If you get such calls, prefer arranging a technician to visit the sites and instruct them to guide customers to try cleaning their furnace filters if the same problem arises again.
7. DIY thermostat hack
In most cases, when there is a heating service request, the problem lies within the thermostat. And most of the time, these thermostat problems are easily fixable by customers themselves. But due to a lack of knowledge, they are ready to spend money by hiring technicians to do the same.
If the furnace is not giving warmth and coziness in the winter months, the problem might be with the thermostat. The things that customers must check with the thermostat to fix the possible problems themselves are:
- Whether the thermostat is turned on
- Replacing batteries if the thermostat monitor doesn’t display anything
- Whether it is set on “heat” rather than “cool”
- Correcting the settings for programmable thermostats
- Cleaning the thermostat to keep it free from dust and debris
- Checking loose wire connections of the thermostat
- Setting the temperature of the furnace instantly to 5 degrees higher than the current room temperature to hear if the thermostat is working
If still there is no air from the vents, then the problem lies with the power transmission to the furnace. If the above steps don’t help fix the thermostat problem, they have to call your HVAC technicians to fix the root cause.
8. Check for tripped circuit breaker
Another common problem for which customers call HVAC technicians is a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. The power flow to the furnace stops if the circuit breaker is tripped due to some power overload.
A circuit breaker is a switch in the main power control panel of the house which protects the appliance from experiencing damage due to overloaded power. So it trips when the voltage is not stable. Advise your customers to check the control panel and lift the circuit breaker switch to get the furnace back on.
If the customers have a fuse system enabled to their furnace connection and it breaks, the furnace will stop working as the circuit has been interrupted due to overload. If the customers do not have basic electrical knowledge, they shouldn’t try fixing fuse wires independently and call a handyman or local electrician instead to do the job.
9. Checking furnace for error code
It is not exactly an HVAC hack but is an idea to enhance the knowledge of customers about heating systems. All the furnaces built in the 21st century have error code indications in the system that can self-diagnose the root cause of problems and display an error code.
Furnaces have access panels on which there is a brief explanation of respective error codes. Even if the customer cannot fix the problem, your technicians can at least guide them to determine the root cause. At least this will help homeowners be clear on their service requests for your HVAC technicians.
Ventilation systems HVAC hacks
10. Try natural ventilation
It is more of an idea for the customer to gain knowledge about the system than a hack!
If the ventilation systems are not working and trapped air is suffocating and heating up, it is better to have exhaust fans and implement natural sources. If customers are not aware of what the problem is and have booked a technician, then till the time they arrive, they should open the doors and windows and keep the exhaust fans on.
11. Cleaning the filters of ventilation systems
Ventilation systems replace stale indoor air with fresh, pure air from the outside. Just like heating and cooling systems, ventilation systems cannot feasibly work with dirty filters. So customers should check and clean these filters by themselves to see if the airflow problem is fixed.
12. Cleaning the dirty fan blades
Fans do the most job of pulling out the stale conditioned air from the room. Therefore, the blades must be checked to maintain cleanliness and to ensure they are light in weight. Dust and debris make the fan blades heavy, and this exerts pressure on the motors.
The fan blades can be cleaned with soapy water and a non-abrasive rag cloth. Advise the customers to make no mistakes by watering the motor housing or electrical connections. It might trigger bigger problems in the long run with high replacement costs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to advise customers to implement DIY hacks for maintaining their HVAC systems?
It depends on how your technicians guide the customers on using the HVAC hacks. Ensure your technicians inform them about all possible misinterpretations that could cause serious damage to the system or the property.
With that, you must also let your customers know that if they are not comfortable with the DIY solution, they can always call you and you will help them at nominal rates. In this way, your HVAC company will be able to earn the trust of your customers.
What are the risks associated with wrong implementation of hacks?
The major risks associated with wrong implementation of HVAC hacks are:
- Electrical shock
- Chemical burn
- Worsening of the problem
- Exposure to a toxic atmosphere
- Increasing service costs
If the hacks are not properly understood, the problems might worsen. So guide your technicians to spread this awareness as well.
What tools should residents have to implement these maintenance or repair hacks?
Some of the tools that the residents must have to deal with most of the maintenance or repair hacks are:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Screwdriver set
- Wrench set
- Non-rinsing foaming cleanser for air conditioning systems
- Water spraying bottle
- Soft duster brush
With these hacks, your customers will be able to fix the general problems with their HVAC units. Even if they cannot fix it, they will at least be able to determine the root cause of the problem and convey it clearly to the HVAC technician.
If you want customers to consider you at all times when they find their HVAC system beyond repair from their end, then you must give them the basic knowledge about HVAC units and how they can manually check and fix the basic errors. In this way, they will trust you and would be free to connect with you when the problem goes undiagnosed from their end.