As we approach the hottest time of the year, let’s take a moment and touch base on your air conditioner’s longevity. Like most, you expect the A/C unit to make it through the scorching summer heat. However, there is always the possibility it may not survive the season.
As a mechanical device, air conditioners have many moving parts. These components get subjected to electrical surges, severe weather conditions, and temperature changes. Often, the signs were there all along but missed or went unnoticed. To help you spot a potential breakdown, here are five signs to look for with your cooling appliance.
Blowing Hot Air
When the air conditioner is only blowing warm air, there are several possibilities for this mechanical failure. For instance, the refrigerant could be low or perhaps the compressor isn’t working properly. Either way, it’s necessary that you consult with your local HVAC contractor for an official diagnosis and air conditioner repair.
Blocked Outdoor Condenser Unit
Around a home, there are different types of landscaping that can disrupt the operation of an air conditioner. For example, when the condenser coil becomes covered in leaves, grass clippings, or dirt. The A/C unit has to work harder because the heat transfer becomes hindered.
When this happens, your home or office cannot cool down efficiently due to the overgrowth of shrubs or other plant life near the air conditioner. As a good rule of thumb, always keep 3ft of space clear around your condenser and schedule a yearly cooling tune-up to have your unit cleaned and inspected.
Leaking Refrigerant Lines
Refrigerant is the fluid all air conditioners need to produce cool air inside your home. When there are low refrigerant levels, it causes the compressor to struggle when maintaining an even indoor temperature. Refrigerant leaks are not uncommon, especially after years of use and exposure to outdoor elements.
When having your system inspected for a refrigerant leak, make sure you use a licensed HVAC professional.
Clogged Air Filter
The most common reason your air conditioner might not survive the summer is because you haven’t changed your air filter. When a filter gets clogged, it restricts the air that can pass through it. Not only does this impact the overall comfort of your home, but it also creates excessive wear and tear on your system, and will increase your energy expenses.
We always recommend that you change your home’s air filter every 3-4 months, and more often if you have pets that shed or someone living in your home suffers from allergies or asthma.
Most air conditioner manufacturer’s estimate a life expectancy of 12-15 years on a well-maintained system. As with any major appliance or mechanical system, with age comes increased wear and tear. Parts will fail, and repairs are inevitable. The key to getting the most out of any HVAC system is proactive maintenance. During a yearly system inspection a NATE certified technician will do a complete system evaluation making sure it’s performing at its very best, while also pinpointing areas of concern. Staying on top of system maintenance and repairs, will help maximize its performance, efficiency and lifespan.
If you have any questions or concerns about your air conditioner surviving the summer, contact Jackson Comfort Services and speak with our cooling system experts!