Four Risks To Your Air Conditioner's Functionality And Efficiency During Summer
In order to keep your air conditioner running properly during the times you need it most, taking preventative measures can help. By knowing what signs of trouble to look out for and what issues you are most likely to have, you can minimize any possible downtime and avoid delays during periods of high demand.
Failing Fuses and Capacitors
Fuses are easily replaceable parts that prevent your air conditioner from working properly if they fail. After fuses, failing capacitors can often cause the same problem. These parts are responsible for providing electricity to your condenser to give it power to start the motor and also to protect it from electrical surges. One sign that these parts might be failing or faulty is if you hear a humming noise from your condenser but the fan blades aren't moving. This usually means your condenser is still getting power, just not enough to work properly, which often means there's an issue with one of these electrical components.
Since these parts tend to fail more often than other components, such as the motor, and are often in high demand during summer due to failures, consider keeping spares on hand; if these parts fail and your technician has none in stock, you'll be able to avoid any delays in the heat.
Debris in Condenser
Your condenser unit should be kept clean and free of debris to prevent any physical damage to expensive components. Plants growing around the outside or even in the inside, sticks, rocks, and other debris can get knocked around when the condenser turns on, which can dent fan blades or knock them out of alignment. When you have your annual inspection and maintenance, your technician will often make sure your condenser is clean, but since summer is an especially important time to make sure your air conditioner stays running, check on it regularly to make sure everything looks fine. Scrape away any nearby plant growth, don't lean anything against the condenser, and wash away buildups of dirt or dust with a hose.
Broken or Worn Ducts
Failing ducts are responsible for a noticeable loss in efficiency even if your air conditioner is otherwise working fine. Even absent serious problems with your ducts, you may already be losing a significant percentage of cool air before it reaches your house, which causes your air conditioner to run longer and puts more strain on your system.
If you've noticed your energy bill rising more than it should, call for a duct inspection. If necessary, your ducts can be repaired and resealed and insulation can be replaced. If you have easy access to your attic, you can usually give your ducts a cursory look to see if there are any obvious signs of trouble.
Electrical issues aren't as noticeable during cooler months when your air conditioning isn't used as often. During summer, however, issues with your air conditioner's circuit can become much more problematic. One symptom of a problem with your air conditioner's circuit is a breaker that trips on a regular basis. If this is happening, call for help immediately and avoid using your air conditioner until the problem is fixed. Issues with a circuit like this can sometimes cause serious damage, such as electrical fires, if not addressed quickly.
This is not as common as problems with individual components, like fuses and capacitors, but they can still be a problem especially on older systems. If you've addressed other potential causes but this still continues to happen, it's a good idea to have your system inspected professionally as soon as possible.