Having a working and efficient HVAC system is important so your home in San Bernardino can be comfortable all year, all seasons. When you keep an eye out for the most common HVAC problems, you save yourself hefty repairs and energy bills. 

Your HVAC system could be subject to different issues without you knowing. This may include major wear and tear, water leaks, and more. These common HVAC problems can not only compromise its performance but also reduce its lifespan. 

If you have a home inspector conduct a thorough inspection of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioner system, you will notice a difference. In terms of performance, lifespan, and pristine condition. 

Elite Inspections is here to guide you through the most common HVAC problems. We’ll discuss them section by section. Taking you through the problems with the heating equipment, then with the cooling equipment. And lastly, through the shared problems of both heating and cooling equipment. 

So, without further ado, let’s get started first with:

Problems Found with Heating Equipment 

Many of your heating equipment could be subject to the most common issues. Such as the filters could be blocked by the dust, or your exhaust flue can release dangerous gasses. Let’s discuss the common HVAC problems of the heating equipment specifically: 


One of the most common problems found with heating systems is dirty or clogged air filters. You know, filters are supposed to trap dust, dirt, pollen, and other particles. That can circulate through the furnace.

Over time, filters can become very dirty and blocked. This will restrict proper airflow throughout the HVAC unit. And causes the furnace to work harder to push air through the blocked filter. If you replace filters about every 1 to 3 months, you can avoid reduced efficiency and failure of the heating system.


Gas or refrigerant leaks are another issue that your home inspectors will highlight. Your refrigerant lines, connecting the AC condenser to the evaporator coils, could develop leaks. 

Gas leaks may occur in fittings or pipes that supply the gas furnace. 

If these leaks are small, they may go unnoticed but can lead to serious issues over time. On the other hand, if these leaks are major, like refrigerant leaks, they can reduce AC performance. In the worst-case scenarios, gas leaks can even pose explosion risks. We recommend getting your HVAC inspected regularly. To find and seal any leaks timely.

Exhaust Flue

The exhaust flue vents out dangerous gasses from the furnace to the home’s exterior, such as carbon monoxide. Your furnace flue could be prone to several issues. This may include detaching from the furnace, developing rust or holes, and more.

These issues allow the exhaust gasses to easily seep into your living space – with a risk of deadly carbon monoxide exposure.

You should understand that it is very important for flues to have a proper slope and be intact. That’s why your home inspectors should check for any signs of leakage around the exhaust flue piping.

Electrical Concerns  

The heating components of your HVAC unit rely on electrical connections. And there are associated electrical risks. You never know; there could be corroded wires, loose connections, and electrical shorts. That will eventually impact your furnace operation. 

Your home inspectors will check the condition of visible wiring and connections. However, more internal electrical issues may need an HVAC technician to identify and repair the found defects. 

If you leave these electrical problems unchecked, it can lead to the furnace failing to ignite or fully power on.

Problems Found With Cooling Equipment

Besides heating elements, you should also pay attention to any defects regarding the cooling system. This will help you avoid major AC repair costs. If you know the common problems of the cooling equipment beforehand, you’ll be able to maintain it properly. Let’s go through some of the most common HVAC problems, specifically with cooling equipment.

Leaks and Emissions

One of the most frequently noted problems with cooling systems is refrigerant leaks. The refrigerant gas is compressed and circulates through your AC system to provide cooling.

If there are mostly small leaks, it can gradually lower your refrigerant levels or reduce its cooling capacity over time. On the other hand, if the leaks are larger, it can lead to complete failure in cooling. And will need you to repair and recharge the refrigerant. 

Clogged Condenser Drains

Air conditioning condensers can produce condensation water that must be properly drained away from the unit. 

Over time, debris can clog up the condenser drain line. Causing water to overflow and pool around the condenser. If there is standing water, it can lead to rust, damage to components, and even cause electrical shorts. 

The home inspectors will check the drain line to see if it is clear of debris. And that water flows through properly. Unclogging the drain line and trimming back vegetation around the condenser can help you avoid clogged drain problems.

Dirty Condenser Coils 

For efficient operation, the condenser coils must stay clean. This will allow proper airflow and heat transfer. Over time, dirt, dust, and debris can build up on the fins of the condenser coils. This insulates the coils and lowers their heat transfer capacity. 

Home inspectors will check condenser coils for cleanliness. If the coils are dirty during inspection, they indicate that the condenser needs a deep cleaning for improved performance.

Common HVAC Problems Affecting Both Heating And Cooling Equipment

Sometimes, both the heating and cooling equipment of your HVAC unit face similar problems. This may include problems with the ductwork or extended age issues. Let’s discuss these most common HVAC problems in detail:


The ductwork distributes conditioned air from the HVAC system throughout your home. 

With time, the ductwork can come apart. Or develop holes or could detach from vents. This can lead to minor or major leaks, which cause reduced airflow and higher energy bills. 

In this situation, your HVAC system will have to work even harder to meet your temperature needs. Your home inspectors will look for obvious disconnects, loose segments, or black residue. These issues indicate air leaks. 

Old Age

As HVAC equipment ages, its components can simply wear out. For instance, the heat exchangers can crack, blower motors can burn out, or the compressors may fail. This shows a sudden or constant decline in the efficiency of HVAC. 

The typical lifespan of most HVAC systems is 15-20 years. Older systems found in home inspections often indicate an instant need for replacement. Some key indicators of aging equipment include very noisy operation, visible rust and corrosion, and difficulty maintaining desired indoor temperatures. 

The Bottom Line

When buying a home in San Bernardino, you must consider the most common HVAC problems beforehand. This will help you be prepared for potential issues by setting a budget aside beforehand. Knowing these problems will also help you cover any minor or major issues. And then address any associated risks or concerns. Scroll through our blog section to learn more about inspections.