Here Are Some Possible Explanations
It gets very hot here in the Coachella Valley, and we’re not the only ones who feel the heat. Our air conditioners work hard to battle those high temperatures, and sometimes it can be too much for them to handle. When that happens, your system can overheat and completely stop cooling your home. Today we’re going to talk about what it means when your air conditioner is overheating and some of the most common explanations for why it happens!
What does it mean when your air conditioner is overheating?
Essentially what overheating boils down to is that your air conditioner is putting in too much work. This is typically because of an issue with one or more of your system’s components. When your air conditioner has to work harder than usual, it consumes a lot more energy than it usually does. This overflow of electricity can cause the circuit breaker for your air conditioner to trip, which will shut down your system’s energy supply as a safety precaution.
There are a number of air conditioner components that can overheat, but the most common of them tend to be fan motors, compressors and capacitors.
Common causes of overheating air conditioners
- Dirty air filter. When your air filter is clogged with dirt, it’s very difficult for your air handler to push air through the filter. As a result, your air handler will have to work harder and longer (and consume more energy) to keep air flowing through your system. This added stress can cause the air handler’s motor to overheat and shut the system down.
- Dirty fan blades. Over time, dirt can build up on the blades of the fan inside your air handler. This buildup will weigh down the fan blades and force your air handler’s motor to work harder to keep the fan spinning. Eventually, this will cause the motor to overheat.
- Low refrigerant levels. When your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, it is not able to cool your home down as quickly or effectively because it needs an adequate amount of refrigerant to carry heat out of your home. This means your air conditioner will have to work harder and longer to keep your home cool, which can cause a number of its components to overheat.
- Dirty or frozen cooling coils. Dirty and frozen coils are two issues that prevent your air conditioner from being able to absorb enough heat from your home’s air. Since your air conditioner won’t be able to lower your home’s air temperature as much as usual, it will undergo longer cooling cycles that can cause various components to overheat.
- An aging system in hot weather. As your air conditioner reaches the end of its operating life, it will begin to degrade in performance. If your system is too old, it simply won’t be able provide enough cooling for your home. This can be very problematic when it’s extra hot outside, because you’ll be putting a great amount of stress on system components that are already underperforming and your air conditioner can easily overheat.
How can you prevent your air conditioner from overheating?
As with many air conditioner problems, the easiest way to prevent your air conditioner from overheating is to change your air filter every month and schedule a tune-up for your system before every cooling season. Keeping a fresh filter will avoid problems related to dirt buildup in your system, and during a tune-up we’ll check for all of the problems listed above and more.
If you have any questions about your air conditioner overheating, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Hydes, your Coachella Valley air conditioning contractor.What are the Risks of Running an Old Air Conditioner? » « What Thermostat Settings Should You Use When Your House is Empty?