A functional HVAC system, especially during summer, makes your space feel more comfortable while ensuring good health.
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During summer’s humidity and heat, your air conditioning unit overworks, increasing the likelihood of sudden breakdowns. Regular HVAC maintenance and tune-ups help ensure your cooling system remains in top condition throughout summer, increasing comfort, enhancing air quality, and improving energy efficiency.
However, being aware of the AC unit issues you might face in summer enables you to spot and get them fixed quickly before escalating and prepare your HVAC to reduce the risk of these issues arising. This article outlines eight HVAC problems you are likely to experience this summer.
1. Compressor failure
As the weather gets hotter, you’ll need your air conditioning unit more, and summer heat can be brutal. Your HVAC is most likely to fail in summer due to compressor failure, which is usually a result of excess heat. The summer heat puts more pressure on the system, leading to air conditioning compressor failure. Whenever AC compressors overheat, insulation deteriorates, and electrical parts melt.
Since hot air holds much more water, this issue worsens during summer as more water may enter the HVAC system. Consider checking your air dryers and drains regularly to lessen moisture because they work harder in the heat. You may also experience compressor failure because lubricants become thinner with rising temperatures, and oils degrade rapidly with increasing heat.
To maintain these liquids, inspect the circulation system and oil levels more regularly and check the oil for contaminants. The cracking of belts, couplings, and seals can also make your compressor fail, and taking control of your HVAC’s maintenance can help solve this issue. With a timely air conditioner service, you can prevent AC compressor issues for a smooth summer experience.
2. Refrigerant leaks
Refrigerant leaks cause your AC unit to cool your space inefficiently. The HVAC unit might struggle to produce sufficient air conditioning, ensuring your home doesn’t reach the desired set temperature, causing it to work harder, and increasing your home’s monthly energy consumption and bills. Ignoring refrigerant leaks means you’ll have to constantly recharge your unit, increasing summer cooling costs.
Signs of AC refrigerant leaks may include poor cooling, humid indoor air, longer cooling cycles, high utility bills, hissing or bubbling sounds, and ice on the evaporator coils. Additionally, the leaks are hazardous to the environment and harmful to your health as they may cause refrigerant poisoning. This severe health issue may result in difficulty breathing, vomiting and nausea, headaches, coughing, and eye and skin irritation. A professional AC expert can help solve this issue.
3. Capacitor failure
Summer heat threatens your air conditioner’s capacitor integrity, disrupting the system’s operations. Capacitor failure causes your AC to experience difficulties starting. If your air conditioning unit doesn’t blow cold air, energy bills are increasing, you hear humming noises, the HVAC unit is old, or the system shuts down on its own, won’t turn on, or doesn’t turn on immediately, the capacitor could be bad. When your AC capacitor fails, your HVAC system will require professional attention, so call an experienced HVAC expert to troubleshoot and fix the problem.
4. Clogged air filters
Air filters capture dirt, debris, and airborne particles each time you turn on your AC. Considering your HVAC system constantly runs during summer, the air filters will likely get clogged quicker. Clogged air filters cause efficiency concerns, an unhealthy indoor environment, and AC system breakdowns. When air filters are clogged, the AC system works extra hard to reimburse the airflow blockage, overheating the blower motor and causing system failure.
This increases energy bills and lets unfiltered air circulate in your space. Since clogged air filters cause airflow concerns, you may experience cold and hot spots in your home, making it hard to achieve the desired indoor temperatures. If clogged air filters restrict airflow, the evaporator coils may not get sufficient heat, causing them to freeze and shut down your unit. Consider changing your air filters regularly to avoid blockage and enhance your home’s comfort during summer.
5. Unusual noises
Different AC noises mean various problems. However, different issues may cause similar noises. This is why it’s crucial to understand the various unusual AC noises and what they could mean. Rattling or banging AC noise could mean dust particles are stuck in the condenser, loose screws, or a broken compressor or fan motor. Squealing and screeching may be due to damaged fan motor bearings, broken or worn-out belts, or increased pressure in the condenser unit.
Pulsating noise could mean a loose fan coil or blade, refrigerant lines touching the AC walls, or the AC plastic base pulsating. A hissing sound might signify a leaking refrigerant, compressor valve leaks, or increased compressor pressure. Understanding all the AC noises and their meanings makes it easier to identify the underlying HVAC issue to get it checked and fixed immediately.
6. Increased humidity
Increased humidity negatively impacts your home and health. When your AC isn’t functioning optimally, you may experience unwanted moisture. The ideal indoor home humidity should range between 30% and 50% in summer. Excess moisture may result in mold growth, muggy conditions, wooden floors, musical instruments, and furniture damage, and discomfort when sleeping. While you can use a dehumidifier to solve this issue, it’s a temporary solution. Call in a professional to diagnose and resolve your AC woes.
7. Dirty AC coils
During summer lawn maintenance, it’s easy to get your AC system covered in lawn clippings such as dead grass, reducing its efficiency. When the debris on the system is ignored, it can overheat and cause a breakdown. While you may clean the outer coils with a mild pressure hose, some of the unit components may require taking off for adequate cleaning. Even over the summer, regular air conditioner maintenance will keep AC coils clean for efficient functioning.
8. Outdoor fan malfunctioning
Your air conditioning unit might be experiencing problems due to an issue with the outdoor unit. When debris or other items enter your outdoor unit’s fan, it might get damaged, preventing your HVAC from functioning as intended. Consider protecting and shielding your outdoor fan from things that could harm it.
The summer heat may take a toll on your AC unit. Familiarize yourself with these HVAC problems you’re likely to experience in summer and prepare accordingly.