When one thing in an air conditioner breaks, it tends to have a domino effect on the rest of the system. It starts with a dirty air filter, and before you know it, you’re stuck in the heat waiting for repairs to the entire system.
Scheduled maintenance is designed to keep your system working at the highest standards. If you haven’t been keeping up on maintenance, your system might not be able to handle the summer heat.
Below are four common problems that, when left unchecked, will cause your AC unit to break down.
Dirty Air Filter
The air filter is responsible for keeping dirt and dust out of your AC. When the air filter becomes clogged, airflow is severely reduced. All the dirt it could be collecting is now working its way inside your system, wreaking havoc on fans, coils, and other sensitive components. Over time, those dirtied components can break down and will need to be replaced.
A dirty air filter will also contribute to general efficiency issues. Since the AC won’t be able to transfer air properly, it will have to work harder to compensate. An overworked AC combined with the summer weather will cause it to overheat.
There are two major fans in your AC, and they both work toward distributing hot and cool air properly. If one of them stops working, you’re going to have a problem. One way they might stop working is through excess dirt on the fan blades. The extra weight on the fan will put extra strain on the motor, causing it to burn out early.
The fan in your outdoor unit is responsible for blowing hot air outside the home. If this fan stops working, it can cause the unit to overheat.
The indoor fan is what blows the cold air into your home. A broken indoor fan will prevent the cool air from dispersing throughout the home, which can contribute to frozen coils.
Accompanied by the fans are a set of outdoor and indoor coils: the condenser coil and evaporator coil, respectively. Their job is to transfer hot and cold air, which the fans will then blow outdoors or into the home.
When the coils become dirty, the air becomes trapped inside. A dirty condenser coil will trap the heat, eventually causing your unit to overheat. When the evaporator coil becomes dirty, it will begin to freeze, and ice will form. Both instances will force your AC to work harder than it has to.
Every AC is charged with a set amount of refrigerant. If installed correctly the first time, your AC won’t ever need more.
Once you start to lose refrigerant through a leak, the perfectly tuned system will start to suffer. Your AC will work harder to meet the demands of your thermostat while unable to. Not only can leaking refrigerant cause damage to your system, you’ll find that your monthly energy bill has increased.
It’s a common misconception that refrigerant will eventually be “used up,” but a good HVAC contractor in Birmingham, AL will never perform a recharge without fixing the leaks, first.