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Common Heating & Cooling Problems

While it is still cold and breezy in Melbourne, technically speaking we are in Spring so don’t expect it to stay this way for much longer. By the time Grand Final day is here, you would have used your air conditioning at least once. Now is the time to ensure it is in working order and contains no unforeseen possums or bugs in the system!

Every year, the team at Nortan heating and cooling is called upon to assist with maintenance and system breakdowns for a wide range of heating and cooling systems within homes and workplaces across Melbourne.

Our HVAC technicians have collaborated to create a list of common causes for system failures and service requests that they have encountered throughout their careers. As you will discover, a simple check could be all that was needed to have your system back up and running again, preventing a call-out request and fee.

My Air Conditioner Won’t Start:

Check the Batteries in the Remote Control!

Funnily enough, flat batteries in the system remote is an issue that we have encountered many more times than we should have! Check your remote batteries before requesting an air conditioner service this summer.

Check the Power to Your System

Before calling on a technician, make sure that the power to your air conditioning unit is on. Our HVAC technicians have been called out to attend system breakdowns, for both domestic and commercial properties, which could have been avoided had the on-site switchboard been checked prior to the service request.

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Sometimes nature plays its part! This possum had taken residence in an air conditioning unit and managed to damage the wiring (see pictures above).

My Air Conditioner Appears to be Working but Isn’t Doing Anything:

There are a number of issues that could be causing your cooling system to appear and sound functional, yet not deliver that cool, comfortable climate that you’re after. Some of the most common problems the team at Nortan have experienced are:

Blocked / Dirty Air Filters

Filters are crucial to the performance and overall effectiveness of an air conditioning unit. If your cooling system’s filters are clogged up with dust and debris, airflow into the system can become restricted, which in turn, restricts the output flow of air through to your home or workplace. Blocked filters also cause your air conditioning unit to work harder, which can lead to increased energy consumption and bills.

If you are unsure how to access and clean your cooling system’s air filters, seek professional assistance.
We recommend that the following possible causes for your cooling unit’s poor performance are assessed by an experienced HVAC technician:

Failed Capacitor

If the air coming out of your air conditioner isn’t cold, the problem may be a failed capacitor within the unit. If your air conditioner is humming, without the sound of a spinning fan, it’s very likely that a failed capacitor is the issue.

Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerants cool and dehumidify indoor air, making air conditioning possible, If you are low on refrigerant, your air conditioner cannot cool the air sufficiently. If your air conditioner is blowing out room temperature/lukewarm air, a refrigerant leak could be the problem.

Tripped Breaker

Your air conditioner consists of two breakers, one for the outside unit and one for the inside. If the outside breaker has been tripped, the inside unit will continue to blow air, the problem is that that hasn’t been cooled. Your cooling system’s breakers may be tripping out for a number of reasons. After the breaker has been tripped, reset once only. If the breaker cuts out again, seek professional help.

Burnt Wires

Usually the result of loose wire connections or overloading. Burnt or melted wires can cause your air conditioner to run inefficiently.


My Heater Won’t Start:

Make sure that your thermostat is on

Ensure your heating system thermostat is turned on and using the correct setting (heat).

Check the Set Temperature

Your heating system thermostat needs to be set above room temperature in order to be effective.

Is the Low Battery Symbol On?

If the low battery symbol on the system thermostat is flashing, replacing the batteries may be the answer to your problem.

Is the System Plugged into a Power Outlet and Turned On?

Often external power points are utilised over summer, requiring reconnection when winter comes along.

Power off and Power on Your System

If all of the above potential causes are in check, try a system reset by turning off the power to your heating system for a full 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the power back on.

If you fail to receive a response from your system after trying the above steps, seek professional assistance.

For further information and/or advice about heating and cooling systems for your home or workplace, contact a member of the Nortan team to speak with a professional.

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