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First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

Watch Out for an Overheating Air Conditioner This Summer!

flushed-man-before-fanYour home’s air conditioning system is designed to run during warm days, hot days, hotter days, the hottest days. There’s not much point to an AC otherwise! You don’t run it during cool weather, after all. But even though your AC was built with the heat in mind, it can still overheat during the summer. Just as when a car engine overheats, this will leave you with a busted system that won’t work.

Why Does an AC Overheat?

There are a number of reasons for an air conditioner overworking to the point that it will overheat and shut down. The majority of these can be prevented ahead of time with regular maintenance. (You did remember to schedule maintenance for your AC this spring, didn’t you? If not, it’s still not too late. Call our offices and sign up.) But even the most rigorous professional inspections and tune-ups can’t fend off all potential overheating issues. Here are the more common causes for an overheated AC in summer:

  • Failed capacitors: The component in an air conditioner that’s most susceptible to intense outdoor heat is the capacitor. The outdoor cabinet of an AC houses a number of capacitors that send electrical charges to the fan motor and the compressor motor. The heat can cause these capacitors to begin to lose their ability to hold an electrical charge, and eventually they’ll stop running the motors. If you hear clicking from the outdoor compressor, it may be failing capacitors.
  • Clogged air filter: The air filter in the HVAC cabinet becomes dirty over time as it traps dust and lint. If it becomes clogged because it hasn’t been regularly changed every 1 to 3 months, it will place more strain on the blower motors—and eventually the strain will cause the motor to overheat and trip a circuit breaker.
  • Loss of refrigerant: The refrigerant in your AC must remain at the same level in order for the system to work. Refrigerant won’t naturally dissipate, but leaks along the copper lines can cause it to escape. If this happens, the compressor will overheat and burnout—and in most cases this means the entire air conditioner must be replaced. You can catch leaks early if you hear hissing from the cabinets, see ice on the indoor coils, or notice a loss of cooling capacity.
  • Dirty condenser coils: If the outdoor coils (the condenser coils) collect too much outside dirt, mulch, leaves, and general grime, they won’t be able to effectively release heat from the AC because this layer of dirt is an insulator. The same way your body feels too hot in humid weather because it can’t release enough heat, your AC will be too hot, leading to the system overheating.

With the exception of the clogged air filter, which you can change on your own, the other overheating problems must have professionals to fix them. For the air conditioning repair in Brighton, MI that will stop the AC from failing or get it back to work, simply call us.

Stop your AC from overheating this summer by turning to First Choice Heating & Cooling. “If Your Home Had a Voice, It Would Call First Choice!”

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