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Prevent These 12 Common HVAC Headaches This Summer

During the hottest days of the summer, you rely on your HVAC system to keep your home comfortable and safe from the worst of the heat. That being said, your AC unit may run into trouble as day-to-day use rises as the heat does. Here are 12 typical HVAC issues in the summer months to help you avoid or address them as needed.  

1. Weak Airflow 

Airflow may get weaker if you have a clog in your system’s air filter, leaky ductwork or an obstructed condensing unit. Regularly scheduled maintenance such as changing the air filter, leaving all air registers clear and clearing vegetation from around the outdoor unit should boost airflow. Ongoing problems might mean there are significant issues like ductwork problems or a malfunctioning compressor, which all require professional service. 

2. Leaking Refrigerant 

The refrigerant supply is the main element in air conditioning. Leaking refrigerant reduces the system’s available supply and diminishes cooling efficiency, causing your unit to work harder even as the comfort level drops. Refrigerant leaks are more frequent in old units but can occur in any system strained by high usage. The signs of a leak include uncooled air blowing from your vents, sizzling or bubbling sounds, and unexpectedly high energy bills. Only professional technicians can resolve the problem because working with refrigerant requires EPA certification. 

3. Too Much Humidity  

High indoor humidity makes the air feel muggy and encourages mold spores. Air conditioning and dehumidifies the air at the same time, but this may not always be enough in especially warm climates. Setting up a dehumidifier should resolve the problem unless the cooling has small but growing issue that can encourage humidity levels to go up.  

4. Poorly Configured Thermostat  

Wonky thermostat settings can lead to comfort problems and a spike in energy costs. If you run into trouble reaching the right temperature, go check on your thermostat. If a family member keeps adjusting the settings higher or lower, it’s more difficult to balance convenient comfort and energy efficiency. 

5. No Power Is Making It to the Air Conditioning 

If your AC struggles to start, check for a flipped breaker or blown fuse at first. If this isn’t the case, there could be a problem with the unit’s capacitors or contactors, which start the unit. Call a professional to arrange a repair visit. 

6. Constantly Tripped Breakers 

Continuing with circuit breakers, you shouldn’t have to repeatedly reset them. The HVAC system is supposed to be on a dedicated circuit that is appropriately sized to work with this high-power equipment. Regular circuit breaker trips can be a safety risk, indicating an electrical malfunction that needs urgent attention. 

7. Obstructed Condensate Drain  

The condensate drain removes the excess moisture generated by the cooling process. An obstruction in this drain can cause water damage or mold growth. It’s a good idea to consistently review and unclog this drain if you need to stop water damage. 

8. A Freezing Air Conditioner 

A frozen air conditioner often is caused by bad airflow or a leak in the coolant supply, both of which can stop the unit from efficiently exchanging hot and cold air. A frozen coil disrupts the cooling process and may cause long-term damage. Routine maintenance is crucial if you want to prevent freezing and preserve efficient operation. 

9. Clogged Condenser Coils 

The condenser coils on the outdoor unit of the system are constantly exposed to the elements, so internal components may get dirty over time. Cobwebs, dirt and dust, grass clippings and other outdoor debris start to cover the unit, hurting its ability to get rid of heat and increasing daily wear and tear. Wash these coils every now and then with a gentler spray from your garden hose to help maintain system efficiency. 

10. Strange Smells 

If you smell strange smells coming from somewhere in your AC unit, investigate further to find out where they’re coming from. A burning smell points to electrical damage or the motor overheating, while a stale smell usually points back to mold growth somewhere in the system. Unusual smells often do best with professional attention to avoid any health problems and performance issues. 

11. Unusual Noises 

A barrage of loud noises coming from the air conditioning is a telltale sign something isn’t right. Screeching could point to a belt that needs replacing, while clanging or banging sounds may be coming from loose components. Don’t ignore these or similarly unfamiliar noises, as they could leave you with more significant problems, constant repairs or premature system failure if not fixed immediately. 

12. The Cooling Cycle Starts and Stops Too Often 

Short cycling is when the air conditioning switches off and on too many times. This is pointing to an oversized air conditioner, a clog in the air filter or electrical damage. Short cycling weakens efficiency and can reduce your unit’s life span, so instead trust a technician to identify the cause and recommend a solution. 

We Are Devoted to Your Comfort

At Freedom Heating & Cooling nothing comes before your comfort and satisfaction. Our ACE-certified technicians strive for quick, but long-lasting solutions to whatever comfort problem you’re facing, with service backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not totally happy with our work, we’ll make it right. So, if your air conditioner starts short cycling or making funny noises, contact us for Expert service that always exceeds expectations.