What Leads to the Failure of an HVAC Control Board?
If you’re an HVAC technician or a homeowner with some knowledge of HVAC systems, you might have heard of the HVAC control board. It’s a crucial component of any heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, as it controls all the major functions of the system. The control board acts as the “brain” of the HVAC system, and if it fails, the entire system could malfunction.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the HVAC control board and examine the common causes of failure. We’ll also provide some tips on how to troubleshoot control board problems and when to call in an HVAC professional.
HVAC systems are an essential part of modern-day living, especially in regions with extreme weather conditions. The HVAC system maintains the temperature and humidity levels inside a building, providing a comfortable and healthy indoor environment. To ensure the smooth operation of the HVAC system, it’s crucial to maintain all its components, including the control board.
The control board is responsible for the proper functioning of various HVAC system components, such as the blower motor, compressor, and thermostat. If the control board fails, the HVAC system may not work correctly, leading to increased energy bills, poor indoor air quality, and discomfort.
Common Causes of HVAC Control Board Failure
Several factors can cause an HVAC control board to fail. Here are some of the most common causes:
Power surges are one of the leading causes of HVAC control board failure. A power surge can happen due to lightning strikes, power outages, or faulty electrical equipment. When a power surge occurs, it can damage the electrical components of the HVAC system, including the control board.
The HVAC control board is an electronic component that generates a considerable amount of heat during operation. If the HVAC system doesn’t have proper ventilation or airflow, it can cause the control board to overheat, leading to failure.
Corrosion is another leading cause of HVAC control board failure. Corrosion can happen due to moisture or humidity, which can cause rust or oxidation on the control board’s electrical components. Over time, the corrosion can damage the control board, leading to failure.
The age of the HVAC system and the control board can also contribute to failure. Control boards have a limited lifespan, and with time, the electrical components can wear out, leading to failure. If the control board is too old, it’s best to replace it before it fails completely.
Regular maintenance of the HVAC system is essential to ensure its proper functioning. If the HVAC system’s components, including the control board, are not maintained correctly, it can lead to failure. For example, a dirty air filter can cause the HVAC system to work harder, leading to overheating and control board failure.
Signs of HVAC Control Board Failure
It’s essential to recognize the signs of HVAC control board failure to prevent more significant problems. Here are some common signs that indicate a failing control board:
System Won’t Start
If the HVAC system won’t start, it’s a clear indication of a control board failure. The control board provides the necessary power to the system, and if it fails, the system won’t start.
If the HVAC system starts acting erratically, such as turning on and off by itself or not responding to the thermostat, it could be a sign of control board failure.
The control board has capacitors that store electrical charges and regulate the flow of electricity. If the capacitors fail, it can cause the control board to malfunction.
Most modern HVAC systems have error codes that can help diagnose problems. If the control board fails, it may display an error code on the system’s control panel. If you see an error code, it’s best to call an HVAC professional to diagnose and repair the problem.
If you smell a burning odor coming from the HVAC system, it could be a sign of control board failure. The burning smell could be caused by overheating of the control board’s electrical components.
Troubleshooting HVAC Control Board Problems
If you suspect that your HVAC control board is failing, you can try some troubleshooting steps before calling in a professional. Here are some steps you can take:
Check the Power
The first thing to check is the power supply to the HVAC system. Make sure the circuit breaker is on, and there’s no power outage in your area.
Check the Thermostat
The thermostat communicates with the control board to turn the HVAC system on and off. If the thermostat is not working correctly, it can cause the HVAC system to malfunction. Check the thermostat’s batteries and settings to ensure they’re working correctly.
Inspect the Control Board
Inspect the control board for any signs of damage, such as burned or corroded components. If you see any signs of damage, it’s best to call an HVAC professional to replace the control board.
When to Call an HVAC Professional
If you’re not comfortable troubleshooting the HVAC system yourself or if you’ve tried the troubleshooting steps, and the problem persists, it’s time to call in an HVAC professional. Here are some situations when you should call an HVAC professional:
No Power Supply
If there’s no power supply to the HVAC system, it could be a sign of a more significant problem than just control board failure. It’s best to call an HVAC professional to diagnose the problem.
If the HVAC system is making strange noises, such as rattling, grinding, or banging, it could be a sign of a mechanical problem. An HVAC professional can diagnose and repair the problem.
If the HVAC system is low on refrigerant or has a refrigerant leak, it can cause the system to malfunction. An HVAC professional can diagnose and repair the problem.
If you’re not comfortable working with electrical components or don’t have the necessary tools, it’s best to call an HVAC professional. DIY repairs can be dangerous and can cause further damage to the HVAC system.
Q: Can a control board be repaired, or does it need to be replaced?
A: In some cases, the control board can be repaired, but in most cases, it needs to be replaced. It’s best to consult an HVAC professional to diagnose the problem and recommend the best solution.
Q: How long does an HVAC control board last?
A: The lifespan of an HVAC control board depends on several factors, such as the quality of the components, maintenance, and usage. On average, a control board can last between 5 to 10 years.
Q: How much does it cost to replace an HVAC control board?
A: The cost of replacing an HVAC control board varies depending on the system’s make and model and the HVAC professional’s labor charges. On average, the cost can range from $300 to $600.
Q: Can a power surge damage other HVAC components besides the control board?
A: Yes, a power surge can damage other electrical components of the HVAC system, such as the compressor or blower motor. It’s best to call an HVAC professional to diagnose and repair the damage.
Q: What should I do if I smell a burning odor coming from the HVAC system?
A: If you smell a burning odor coming from the HVAC system, turn off the system immediately and call an HVAC professional. Continuing to operate the system can cause further damage and potentially start a fire.
Q: Can a dirty air filter cause control board failure?
A: A dirty air filter can cause the HVAC system to work harder and longer, which can cause components to overheat and fail, including the control board. It’s essential to change the air filter regularly to prevent damage to the HVAC system.
An HVAC control board is a crucial component of your HVAC system. It controls the system’s operations and communicates with other components to maintain comfortable temperatures in your home. If you suspect that your control board is failing, it’s essential to take action to diagnose and repair the problem promptly. Some troubleshooting steps you can take include checking the power supply and inspecting the control board for damage. However, it’s best to call an HVAC professional to diagnose and repair the problem. Remember to change your air filter regularly to prevent damage to the HVAC system and prolong its lifespan.
If you’re experiencing problems with your HVAC system, contact an HVAC Contractor in South Brunswick, NJ to diagnose and repair the problem. Don’t wait until the problem worsens, and the repair becomes more expensive. Regular maintenance and timely AC repairs can prolong your HVAC system’s lifespan and ensure your comfort throughout the year.