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Your Air Conditioner Might Overheat: 4 Reasons Why

thermometer-going-red“Wait, my air conditioner can overheat?” You might not immediately think of the air conditioner as an appliance that might overheat, but this is a danger for any mechanical device that uses motors. When your AC overheats, it will cause its circuit breaker to trip, the same as other electrical appliances in your house that are connected to the electrical system.

If you find that your AC is constantly tripping the breakers, please don’t keep trying to run it. Call our technicians to check on your system and find out what’s happening that is causing it to overheat and what we can do to fix it. We’re the Howell, MI, HVAC pros who can get the job done right!

There are several common causes for an air conditioning system overheating:

ONE: A clogged, dirty air filter

Leaving the HVAC system air filter in place for months at a time is a leading cause of many AC problems. If the filter is dirty it will place extra strain on the blower fan, and this can cause the fan motor to overheat.

Thankfully, this is a problem that’s easy to avoid—just replace the filter for a clean one every one to three months. However, we still recommend calling us if a clogged filter causes the AC to overheat, since you may have the wrong type of filter in place. We can also check if the motor has been damaged.

TWO: Refrigerant leaks

Losing refrigerant from an air conditioning system puts the entire system in jeopardy. The refrigerant is responsible for moving heat from out of your house and releasing it outside. When the refrigerant levels drop, the air conditioner will no longer be able to release enough heat, and this will lead to the system overheating.

The big danger here is that it will eventually cause the compressor motor to overheat and burn out. When that happens, the compressor needs to be replaced. Because this is an expensive repair, it’s often more cost-effective to replace the entire AC. Only professionals can fix refrigerant leaks, since they have to replace the exact amount of chemical refrigerant that was lost.

THREE: Dirty condenser coils

The outdoor coils of your air conditioner are called the condenser coils because they are where gaseous refrigerant condenses to release its heat. If the coils are dirty, the dirt creates an insulating layer that makes it more difficult for the coils to release heat.

The AC will start to run longer than it should as it attempts to cool the house, and this will eventually lead to the system overheating. You need professionals to inspect the coils and clean them—this isn’t something you can do by blasting water into the cabinet.

FOUR: Corroded condenser coils

The trouble with the coils may be worse than a layer of dirt (yet another reason to call for professionals). The coils may be corroded and no longer efficient, and in this case the coils will need a full replacement.

First Choice Heating & Cooling serves Fenton, Linden, Holly, and the Surrounding Areas. If your home had a voice … it would call First Choice!

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