How to be the Sherlock Holmes of HVAC
Lennox Learning Solutions Trainers
You donít need to wear a deerstalker hat, smoke a
calabash pipe or even carry a magnifying glass to be an
HVAC Sherlock Holmes like sleuth. Identifying and
diagnosing system problems are elementary when you spot
clues, and know the cause.
Here are five clues to look for during homeowner
Clue: Dark spots on door hinges.
It may appear like a cosmetic problem but this strange
clue can be an HVAC systemís call for help. These dark
spots happen when an overtaxed HVAC system pulls air
around the edges of closed doors in an effort to move
the right amount of air through the system. As the air
drags past oily hinges, it spreads the oil and any
trapped dust along the edge of the hinges. Poor airflow
can stress the air handler, blower motor or heat
exchanger ultimately damaging equipment, and if the heat
exchanger cracks, a carbon monoxide leak can occur.
Installing additional air returns and advising
homeowners to leave interior doors open can correct the
Clue: Water droplets on windows
Condensation can mean the system isnít controlling
humidity properly. High humidity can lead to organic
growth behind sheetrock in the home, which compromises
air quality. The solution is to ensure that the system
is the right size for the space. A too-powerful
oversized system can cool a space without running long
enough to remove humidity from the air.
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Clue: Clogged air filters
A quick glance will clue you into how often air filters
are changed and how well they work. You can ask the
homeowner how often they change their filters. If the
answer is ďnever,Ē you can suggest upgrading to a filter
that captures more particles for better indoor air
quality (IAQ) without restricting airflow between
Clue: Allergy symptoms
Itís always good to ask if anyone in the home suffers
from allergies. Look for clues like portable air filters
and tissue boxes. Allergy sufferers may be interested in
learning about upgraded filtration and IAQ equipment to
make their home more comfortable and allergy free.
Clue: Freon refrigerant leaks around AC unit
Moisture leaking anywhere in or around your HVAC system
is a problem. In the most serious cases, this indicates
a refrigerant leak. Freon is poisonous, so call a pro
immediately. In less serious cases, it may be water
because the tube that disposes of condensation is
blocked or broken. This can manifest a couple of ways.
Sometimes, youíll see water leaking out of the unit onto
your floor, and other times you may notice ice inside
your HVAC on the copper refrigerant lines that run
outside the condenser. Both are a sign that a pro needs
to look at the situation.
Put your Sherlock Holmes instincts to the test next time
a homeowner calls you to check out a problem. Take time
to show homeowners the HVAC culprits and explain how
they are causing problems so you can offer products or
services that can remedy the situation.
More Information, Training, and Tips from Lennox