Common Problems With PTAC Units and How to Fix Them

PTAC Units and How to Fix Them

This month’s column discusses some common problems with PTAC units and their components. The common misconceptions about PTACs and heat pumps that have been revealed this year include:

  1. Assuming that the thermostat setting will dehumidify the room.
  2. The belief that the moisture sensor is a humidity detector.
  3. The assumption that a temperature probe alone will prevent air leaks in a home or business space.

Heat Pump Fans

This is another common misunderstanding about heat pump fans. Many homeowners incorrectly believe that a fan that has been placed in the path of the airflow will draw humidity away from the room and lessen the need for dehumidifiers. Again, this is not true. Heat pump fans simply move air around the inside of the heating and cooling system and do not affect the condition of the air in any way.

Condensation Buildup in Attics

A common problem with PTACs is condensation buildup in attics. It is not unusual for a house to have only one window or exterior opening, but condensation can form quickly in small spaces if there is a gap between the opening and the exterior of the house. If you suspect your house may be suffering from condensation buildup, it is important to get it inspected by a professional. Your local HVAC company can recommend a specialist in your area that can inspect your home and take a detailed look at the ventilation, heating, and cooling system. They may suggest a simple cleaning of windows and doors or recommend an entire roof replacement.

Common Problems With PTAC Units and How to Fix Them

Air Filters

This is one of the most common problems with PTACs. If the filter on your PTAC unit is not functioning properly, it will be apparent because the unit will not turn on. It is important to replace the filters on your PTAC unit regularly to keep it working properly. The filters are generally installed on the inside surface of the device. If the filters become clogged with dirt and debris, the device will not turn on.

Dirty Air Filter

Another one of the common problems with PTACs is dirty air filters. The filter inside your PTAC unit can collect a lot of dirt and debris over the years, which can make it clog up and prevent it from working properly. If the filter in your unit is clogged, it may cause your unit to run very cold or not work at all, which can cause significant discomfort to you and your family. There are a few different ways that the dirty air filter inside your PTAC may cause your unit to stop working, so you must replace the filter on your own.

Leaky Heating Coil

One of the most common problems with PTACs occurs when moisture seeps into the heating coil around your unit’s thermostat. As the moisture forms on the coils, it will continue to slowly leak out into the room until the problem is resolved. This problem can cause your heating unit to become very hot, which may cause your condensation to form on the interior of your condensing system.

Return Air Cooler

Another one of the common problems with PTAC units occurs when moisture escapes from the return air collector to the exterior wall of your home. Sometimes this moisture will be very small, and it can simply bead up on the exterior wall and then just fall off as it evaporates. Other times, however, the moisture can form a puddle on the exterior wall and then pool and form a pool of water, which will continue to drip into the return air cooler. The condensation that occurs this way will cause your cooling system to run continuously, even when you do not need it to, causing a drain on your energy bill. If you have a large puddle on the exterior wall of your house, or if you see small beads of water on the exterior wall, you should call a professional to have your return air conditioning unit serviced to ensure that everything is working properly.