With temperatures soaring lately, it’s hard to believe that it’s actually autumn. But air conditioners are designed to handle the heat, right?
Well, yes. But every air conditioner has its limits. In fact, even the newest and most efficient cooling system will struggle to cool a home lower than 80°F on a 100°F day. This will often lead folks to think something is wrong with their air conditioner when in fact it’s just working hard to do its job.
That said, this is the time of year that something is most likely to go wrong with your cooling system. Read on as we uncover some of the most common repair calls we get near the end of summer.
There’s a fairly common misconception among homeowners that refrigerant loss is normal–that refrigerant is like a fuel that depletes, much like gasoline does from a car.
Unfortunately, this can be a bit of a harmful myth for your air conditioner. Refrigerant is actually not a fuel, but is absolutely necessary for the functionality of your air conditioner. Ideally, your system has enough refrigerant to last its entire lifespan.
But if you have an aging system, particularly one which has gone through a lot of work this past summer, then you may experience refrigerant loss by way of refrigerant leaks. And unfortunately, refrigerant leaks can cause quite a few problems, not excluding a complete system breakdown.
These types of leaks are most often signaled by a loss of cooling, and perhaps even a hissing or bubbling sound. If you detect either of these symptoms, please don’t hesitate to give our team a call!
Loud noises in AC systems most often occur due to worn down lubricant, worn down components, or even loose components. Your air conditioner, especially if it’s on the older side, may be suffering from frayed wiring, a worn fan belt, a loose motor mount, or any other number of small issues that can turn into much bigger problems if not addressed quickly.
Problems like faulty wiring can lead to uneven voltage disbursement, while worn fan belts and loose motor mounts can bang around and potentially damage more within your cooling system.
Perhaps you hear your compressor struggling to start up, or “hard-starting” once it does. Your air conditioner’s compressor operates under a very high level of pressure in order to aid in the refrigerant process that allows your air conditioner to actually cool.
The compressor has its own motor, and after running reliably all summer, it’s possible for it to get worn out. This is especially true if your air conditioner is in the 10-15-year-old age range.
Additionally, there are two valves at either end of the compressor that can become loose or can malfunction. If this happens the compressor can be compromised.
The compressor is the most expensive part of your air conditioner, and if it fails, it is usually more cost-effective to replace the whole entire system than to replace just the compressor. But if you address compressor problems early, it might never get to that point.
Similar to a refrigerant leak, compressor problems can lead to a loss of cooling or loss of airflow. If you discover this or if you hear your compressor making noises it never has before, it’s never a bad idea to give the pros a call to inspect.