Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer for most regions of the US. However, this isn’t the case in the Southwest. Phoenix residents understand there are at least six more weeks of hot weather ahead before the temperatures start to slide into fall. At this point in late August/early September, air conditioners have been operating full tilt for months. Like an automobile running at an extremely high rpm on a long trip through the sweltering desert, the motors and moving parts of AC systems are being pushed to the limit. Not surprisingly, depending on how old your air conditioner is, some components may falter, and you may experience service issues with your AC before the end of the season. This is the time of year when air conditioners are really put to the test.
Customers Always Ask – What Are the Most Common Reasons for Air Conditioner Breakdowns?
No one wants to deal with an AC breakdown in the heat of the summer. Air conditioners are highly complex, multi-component systems operating under extreme conditions with very little protection from the elements. Rooftop AC units bake in the sun all day long in temperatures easily exceeding 140 degrees, unless there’s a monsoon which brings wind-whipped dust storms and driving rain. With so many fans, motors, capacitors, condensers, compressors, electrical parts, intricate wiring, and pressurized lines, it’s easy for AC systems to get out of synch. Most HVAC service technicians will tell you that they wish there was a simple answer. However, the most common reasons for air conditioner breakdowns are simple to wear and tear due to extreme conditions, ignoring early warning signs and irregular service.
What Parts Are Most Likely to Breakdown?
Of course, every air conditioner is unique with its own set of challenges and issues. Over the years, we’ve noticed certain patterns in terms of components wearing out. Here’s a list of the some of the parts most likely to need replacement:
Critical to the smooth operation of your AC unit, air filters remove dust, dirt, dander and other particulate pollutants from the air that circulates in your home. Air filters require regular replacement. Ideally, AC air filters should be swapped out once a month. Even more, if you have pets or if one of your family members suffers from a respiratory condition. Replacing air filters is not a difficult task to perform.
Electrical problems, such as replacing capacitors, contactors, motors, and fans, as well as electrical wiring issues, are responsible for over 80 percent of all service calls. Capacitors and contractors are some of the most heavily used parts in your AC unit. Constant wear and tear on electrical parts, along with extreme heat, which dries out and degrades the plastic insulation around wires means problems are bound to come up over time. As always, when it comes to electric issues, it’s best to let experienced professionals handle the electric repairs.
Here’s the dirt on evaporator coils. Over time, they get covered with dust and grime which reduces their effectiveness. Cleaning the evaporator coils on a regular basis is the solution to the problem. Rust and corrosion can cause tiny pinholes in the sealed system which will allow refrigerant to escape into the air. Low refrigerant causes your AC unit to work harder and ultimately can cause harm. Pinhole leaks are not easily detected by homeowners, although if you hear a slight hissing sound, that might be an indication of a leak. Our specialists will check for refrigerant leaks during a late summer service inspection.
Blower Motor / Fan Motor
The fans in your AC system keeps the air moving and run constantly throughout Arizona’s extended summer. Depending on the age of your air conditioner, it’s only a matter of time before an AC fan may require adjustment, lubrication or sometimes, the fan motors simply burn out. If that happens, give us a call immediately.
Is It Time for a Late Summer Service Call?
If you forgot to schedule a HVAC service or if you’ve noticed issues with your air conditioner in the extreme heat of August, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re always happy to check your entire system and restore your air conditioner to top form. Why not give us a call today?