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Why Your AC May Overheat and Stop Working

compressor-in-ac-unitYour air conditioning system works hard on hot days—that’s what it’s there for, after all! But even an air conditioning system can get too hot, causing its motors to trip the circuit breaker to the system. You can reset the breaker, but it’s likely to happen again and again and again. Not an inconvenience you want during the summer!

An air conditioner is designed to handle extremely hot days, but malfunctions can cause it to overheat and trip a breaker. We’re going to list the most common malfunctions that create this problem and what you can do to help prevent them.

Clogged air filter

An air filter that’s almost completely blocked because of dust, lint, and other debris caught in it creates many problems for an AC. One is to place additional strain on the blower fan that draws air through the return vents and then past the evaporator coil. If this continues, the motor will eventually trip the circuit breaker.

Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix and prevent. Change the air filter, and do it on a regular basis. Simple panel filters should be changed once a month, and pleated filters every three months.

Leaking refrigerant

Refrigerant escaping through pinhole leaks along the copper lines will not only lower the AC’s ability to cool a home, it can cause catastrophic damage to the compressor. Luckily, a drop in refrigerant charge usually sends off warning signs before compressor failure, and overheating is one of them. The lower amount of refrigerant pushes the AC to run longer, and this can trigger a tripped circuit breaker.

There’s not much you can do to prevent leaks aside from remembering to arrange for annual spring maintenance from HVAC technicians to check the AC and look for where leaks might be occurring. To fix the problem, the techs will seal the leaks and restore the correct charge of refrigerant.

Grimy and dirty condenser coils

The coils in the outside unit of a split system AC are the condenser coils. This is where hot refrigerant condenses and releases its heat to the outside. What happens if the coils can’t release enough heat? Once more, you’ve got an AC that will run longer than necessary and lead to overheating. Dirt and other grime along the condenser coils insulate them and make it harder for condensation to take place and heat to be released.

We recommend keeping the area around the outdoor unit clear of debris for about a foot to help prevent dust, dirt, and mulch getting onto the coil. If the coil is dirty, you can’t solve the problem by blasting water from a hose into the cabinet (and you might bend the coil fins!). Call for AC repairs, and the professionals will use special chemical cleaners to restore the coils.

No matter the problem with your AC, you can depend on our HVAC technicians for the air conditioning service in Bossier City, LA, necessary to have your cool home interior restored.

Call the Doctor of Home Comfort today to fix your air conditioning: Hall’s Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration.

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