back to blog

Top 6 Reasons HVAC Systems Break Down

broken hvac unit

Temperature changes in your home can contribute to many adverse health effects ranging from discomfort and irritability to sometimes serious illness. The indoor air quality of your home is greatly affected by the care and maintenance of your HVAC system. Your HVAC is a complicated system with many components working together to keep your home at the optimal comfort level. Here are the top 6 reasons that your HVAC system may break down and the maintenance necessary to run an effective and efficient system.

1. Tripped Breakers

Breakers are sometimes tripped by excess electrical usage which can cause your HVAC system to shut off. If your system stops running due to the breaker being tripped often, then consult a professional HVAC expert to diagnose the problem.

2. Thermostat Issues (Broken or Wrongly Programmed)

Older thermostats that are not able to hold a setting correctly may be broken and need to be replaced to run more efficiently. Be sure to first check your batteries to make sure a new one isn’t needed to easily resolve the problem. Additionally, thermostats can sometimes be placed on the incorrect setting; you may have wanted “cool” but accidentally put the system on “heat”.

3. Obstructed Condenser Unit or Clogged/Dirty Filters

If your system is obstructed by leaves, dirt or debris, then it may have a difficult time running efficiently. Extra strain placed on the operating system may lead to extra expenses and repairs. Keep the condenser unit free of any obstructions and also change out clogged or dirty filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions to keep your HVAC running to its optimal level.

4. Refrigerant Leaks

A slow refrigerant leak can cause reduced cooling and a gradual decline in your HVAC system. Over time, the leak may release toxic gases or cause a complete system breakdown. HVAC experts are able to test for leaks and repair them to keep your home safe.

5. Blown Capacitors

A blown capacitor can cause your HVAC system to stop cycling. You may have a capacitor problem if you notice your A/C is humming but the fan is not running. A blown capacitor is a common and usually easily fixed problem by an HVAC technician.

6. Oversized or Undersized Unit or Outdated Design

If a unit installed in your home is too large or too small, it will run inefficiently for the space. The unit may cycle on or off too frequently or work overtime causing unnecessary expense and an uncomfortable air quality. Likewise, if you have done any remodeling or additions to your home, you may need to update your HVAC system to properly heat and cool your home effectively. It’s best to consult an HVAC design expert for possible system upgrades or ductwork changes. We recommend the professionals at Nelson Comfort for any HVAC questions or new installs.

Although there are many causes of HVAC problems, you can prevent almost all with regular system maintenance. Preventative maintenance is key to keeping your HVAC system running well and averting system failure.

About The Author


Dan Detmer

Dan Detmer is the owner of Nelson Comfort. Dan was born into the heating and cooling industry, coming from a family of well respected HVAC contractors in Dayton, Ohio. After working in the family business, Dan decided to work for a local HVAC wholesale business helping local contractors grow their business. When he felt his heart moving him back into the residential and light commercial business, Dan joined the Mortimer Heating & Cooling team in Cincinnati, where he had called home and become part of the community for several years. After a short period of time Dan purchased the company and created what is today, Nelson Comfort. Today he operates a company based on integrity, honesty, and stellar customer service. If you have any questions feel free to tweet (at sign) NelsonComfort and we will get right back with you!

Our Promotions

*for first time customers only Only $99 (reg $131) Winter Furnace Tuneup Special
expires 02/28/2023
Some restrictions may apply. Call for details.
Not to be combined with any other offer
Up to $1,000 off Select Furnaces Up to $1,000 off
expires 02/28/2023
Some restrictions may apply. Call for details.
Not to be combined with any other offer
Aprilaire Humidifier Installation! *Some restrictions apply. Call for details. $495
expires 02/28/2023
Some restrictions may apply. Call for details.
Not to be combined with any other offer


With Approved Credit

Why Choose Nelson Comfort?

Industry-Leading Expertise Backed by a Customer-First Mindset

We believe that how we treat our customers makes all the difference. When you call on our friendly professionals for world-class heating, cooling, or indoor air quality services, you will be treated with the utmost respect. You can always count on:

  • Superior customer service.
  • Safety and comfort in your home.
  • Industry-leading products
  • Knowledgeable technicians
  • Clear and transparent pricing
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee on all work
  • 24/7 emergency service
Contact Us