Common AC Problems in Summer

Common AC Problems in Charlotte, NC

When you think about the summertime heat, it’s likely that you think about your air conditioning system. While most of the time, all you’ll have to do is set the thermostat and enjoy the comfort that your air conditioner provides, there are some rare occurrences where you may have some trouble. By understanding what some of the most common summertime AC issues are, you can feel more comfortable dealing with the problem if it happens to your system.

Capacitor Malfunction

While many of us rely on our air conditioners when the temperatures get extremely high, that hot weather can wreak havoc on our units. One essential component of your AC system is the run capacitor. When temperatures get too high, it’s more likely for your run capacitor to fail.

When this device fails, it’s unable to start up the motors that run the fans for your system cycling. Most of our air conditioners have a built-in internal safety mechanism that will shut off the entire system if the run capacitor is unable to start the fan motor. Contacting an air conditioning technician is a necessity to get this problem handled.

Low Refrigerant Charge

One key component of any cooling system is refrigerant. This is a substance that’s found inside the evaporator and condenser coils. It’s responsible for removing heat from the air inside of your residence and transferring it to the air outside. While the refrigerant is to be in a completely air-tight system, it’s not uncommon to develop small leaks over time.

When your AC unit develops many small leaks or just a large leak, it will allow the refrigerant to seep out. When too much of the refrigerant leaks out, your system will be unable to remove the required heat from inside of your home. Refrigerant is a substance that only an air conditioning professional should be handling, as it can be quite dangerous if not used correctly.

Dirty Air Filters

As your air conditioner continues to run more often as the summertime heats up, the air filter inside of the system will start to get dirtier. As the filter becomes filled up with unwanted airborne allergens like pet dander and pollen, it makes your air conditioning fan work harder to push air through the filter. If your filter isn’t changed as it gets clogged, it can result in a variety of different issues with your system, such as frozen evaporator coils.

While you’ll find that many online blogs recommend you change your air conditioner filter every three months, that’s not always an effective strategy. There are many different factors that determine the longevity of the filter. Some of these include the type of filter, whether there are pets in your home, and the number of people in your household. It’s recommended that you pull your filter out every two weeks to see if it needs to be replaced. If you can still see through your filter, it’s good for another couple of weeks. However, if you can no longer see through the filter, it needs to be replaced.

Clogged Drain

Many people don’t realize that as their air conditioner removes the heat from the air, it also dehumidifies it. As this excess humidity is removed from the air, it makes its way down the drainpipe and into the drain. On a typical day, your air conditioning system can remove gallons of moisture from the air. Unfortunately, sometimes this moisture carries particles of dirt and debris with it. Over time, this dirt and debris can turn into sludge.

This sludge can clog the drain of your cooling system. When this happens, the water won’t be able to drain and will back up inside of your unit. When water backs up, it can create extensive damage inside of your air conditioner. Typically, you can handle this problem by yourself by removing the excess water and using a solution to clear out the clogged drain and drainpipe. If you’re dealing with hard water buildup, it’s advisable to use a 50/50 bleach and water solution to clear out the drain and drainpipe.

Dirty AC Coils

As your air conditioning unit continues to run, its internal components will become dirty. This is a natural result of dirt and dust in the air of your home traveling through your air conditioning system. Over time, this buildup of airborne components can accumulate on the surface of all of your AC coils and reduce their efficiency. As your coils become less efficient, your entire unit must work harder to cool the air in your house. Eventually, your coils will get so dirty that your air conditioner will be unable to keep up with your demands.

It’s a good idea to clean off your evaporator coil and condenser coil every month throughout the summer. To clean these coils, you’ll want to use a specialized foaming cleanser that removes any stuck-on debris. Any air conditioning technician can clean your coils for you to help avoid any sort of system overheating due to dirty coils.

Motor Failures

One of the most expensive repair issues that homeowners face during the summer months is motor failure. There are various motors inside of your AC unit that help to run the fans and other equipment. In most cases, motor failure is due to other problems with your system that were never addressed.

For example, a failed capacitor can put excessive strain on the motor of your cooling system and cause it to overheat. A low refrigerant charge can cause your air conditioner to continually cycle, which overuses your entire system. Unfortunately, when one of your motors fails, you’ll need to replace it. This typically requires calling an air conditioning professional who has the expertise to handle this task.

Leaky Ductwork

Your air conditioning system is connected to a series of ductwork that goes throughout the walls of your house. Over time, this ductwork can develop holes that allow the air inside of them to seep out. If you notice that your AC unit isn’t producing the same amount of air that you’re used to, it could be that you have excessive leakage in your ductwork.

Since most of your ductwork isn’t exposed, you’ll typically need to call in a cooling technician to evaluate your ductwork. Having your ductwork sealed by a professional can help to keep air from leaking out of the ducting so that all of your cool air makes it to the rooms inside of your home. It’s advisable to get your ducts sealed every five years.

Poor Air Quality

If you’ve recently noticed that your allergies tend to flare up when you’re indoors or one of your loved ones has developed an upper respiratory illness, it could be due to your air conditioning system. The constant circulation of air throughout the ductwork in your home allows the air to carry all sorts of harmful airborne particles.

While the air conditioner filter is there to help remove some of those particles, sometimes you may need a little more. If you haven’t done so already, you may need to upgrade to a HEPA filter. If that’s what you’re using and you’re still having issues, you may want to have an air purifier installed in your system to help remove additional impurities from your indoor air.

Trustworthy AC Company

Integrity Heating & Cooling provides trustworthy air conditioner repair throughout the Charlotte area. If you need help with common AC issues, our experts can help. We also provide heating, ducting, indoor air quality, and generator services. Give our office a call today to schedule your next appointment.