Causes of Summertime AC Failure
Summertime is a season of sunshine and high temperatures. The warmth can make outdoor activities enjoyable, but most homeowners look forward to returning to a home cooled by an air conditioner after spending time in the sun. Nothing can kill the fun of a summer day like a malfunctioning AC system.
Be aware of some common causes of summertime AC failure so that you can watch for warning signs that your air conditioner may be on the brink of breaking down. This will allow you to invest in the repairs needed to prevent AC failure and keep your home’s interior comfortable this summer.
- Refrigerant Leaks
No AC system can run properly without adequate refrigerant. Many homeowners don’t fully understand the role of refrigerant within a residential cooling system. The refrigerant is a combination of liquids that travel between the indoor and outdoor components of your air conditioner.An evaporator coil changes the refrigerant from a liquid into a gas, allowing the refrigerant to draw out any warm air from your home. The air-laden coolant vapor then travels to the condenser coil, where it converts back into a liquid and releases the heat it has absorbed.
An air conditioner will face a significant workload during the summer months. This increase in demand for cool air causes the refrigerant to cycle through your AC system faster and at a higher pressure than normal. Extended exposure to high-pressure refrigerant can cause the plastic tubes transporting the heat-absorbing liquids to crack or burst.
You should check for pooling refrigerant near your outdoor condenser coil and monitor indoor air temperature for signs of a refrigerant leak. Contact an HVAC specialist immediately to address refrigerant leaks, as liquid refrigerants could be toxic.
- Iced Coils
The evaporator plays a central role in the cooling of your home. An air conditioning system doesn’t produce cold air as most people believe, it actually removes heat from the existing air so that it feels colder.The evaporator coil works in coordination with the refrigerant to remove heat. You want the evaporator coil to be cold, but not cold enough to ice over. Unfortunately, many homeowners see ice on their evaporator coils during the summer months. This is often the result of obstructed airflow within the AC system.
When insufficient air moves through the system, the refrigerant in the evaporator coil becomes too cold. This is what leads to ice buildup. You must contact an HVAC specialist immediately if you spot ice forming on your evaporator coil. Failing to address this problem could result in the blower fan overheating, resulting in serious and costly damage to the AC system as a whole.
An HVAC technician can thaw the evaporator coil, install a new air filter, and clean the blower assembly to improve airflow and prevent ice formation on the evaporator coil in the future.
- Faulty Motor Capacitor
Once the evaporator coil has drawn out the heat from the air, the air must circulate through your home. The motor capacitor is responsible for accomplishing this task. A motor capacitor helps to charge and send the spark that starts up the motor on your air conditioner.The increased workload associated with warm summer weather can cause the capacitor to malfunction. You may hear a humming noise during each cooling cycle or notice an increase in your cooling costs when the capacitor begins to fail.
A reputable HVAC repair specialist can replace the capacitor before it fails completely, leaving you without access to cool air during the summer when you need it most.
Contact Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar for help keeping your AC system running efficiently this summer.