Overheating isn't something that many homeowners think about when it comes to their air conditioning systems. After all, how can something that cools your home get too hot to function properly? Nevertheless, A/C units can overheat for a variety of reasons, usually due to the unit working much harder than usual or a lack of ventilation due to dust and debris buildup.
To preserve its internal components, your A/C system will shut down if it overheats. To keep this from happening, here are a few things you can do to help your A/C system stay cool.
Replace Your Air Filter On-Schedule
Once your air filter becomes completely clogged with dust and debris, the resulting airflow blockage forces your A/C system's blower motor to work harder than before to move what little air enters the unit. As a result, the motor and other components inside your A/C system can overheat and shut down.
The easiest way to avoid this is to replace your air filter on a regular basis. Most experts recommend seasonal air filter replacement under normal circumstances and monthly replacement for those fighting allergies and poor indoor air quality.
Check and Clean the Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil, located inside your A/C unit, can become a magnet for dust and debris over time. Mold and algae can also form directly on the coil due to the dark and damp conditions inside the unit. Just like a clogged air filter, a clogged evaporator coil can hinder airflow and cause your A/C system to overheat.
You should have a professional check and clean the evaporator coil as a part of your system's annual maintenance. Your HVAC contractor should also check for any signs of damage to the evaporator coil, as the fragile fins lining the coil can bend and block airflow.
Remove Obstructions from Outdoor Vents
If you have a split A/C system, make sure the outdoor cabinet isn't surrounded by yard debris or dirt. Any blockage can prevent fresh air from being drawn into the outdoor cabinet. This airflow is crucial for venting excess heat from the A/C unit.
Don't forget that your outdoor cabinet needs at least two feet of space from shrubs, bushes, and tall grasses. Trim back any foliage that encroaches upon this boundary.
Have a Professional Check Refrigerant Levels
Low refrigerant levels can also make your air conditioner work overtime. The A/C system compensates for inadequate refrigerant levels by working harder and longer to cool your home, putting it in danger of overheating.
Refrigerant is dangerous and toxic to check on your own, so you'll need the help of an HVAC contractor like those at Weather Control Air Conditioning, Inc. Not only will your HVAC contractor check your A/C system's refrigerant levels, but they will also check for leaks that could cause you to lose refrigerant over time. Afterwards, your contractor will recharge the A/C system using the appropriate refrigerant.