Managing Your HVAC System

3 AC Repairs You Can't Put Off Until Next Summer

Did the last summer push your home's air conditioning system to its limit? Older systems can often struggle through tough summers, although this is typically a sign of a failing component rather than just age. Particularly powerful heat waves might leave you sweating and hoping your system holds out for just a few more months until the cool fall temperatures arrive.

Unfortunately, seeing the first few leaves changing doesn't always mean you've crossed the finish line. While you might not need your air conditioner anymore, there are still several problems that you won't want to defer until next summer. If you were crossing your fingers about any of these three AC issues last summer, you might want to deal with them now instead of waiting for the heat to return.

1. Freezing Evaporator Coils 

Evaporator coils freeze when the temperature around the coil becomes low enough for ice to form. As more water condenses from the surrounding air, the ice can form a substantial layer of insulation around the coils. Paradoxically, this effect makes it harder for your air conditioner to cool the air since the coils can no longer effectively transmit heat to the refrigerant.

If your coils frequently froze last summer, you might have a refrigerant leak or restriction. Refrigerant can continue to escape even while the system isn't in use so the problem can worsen over the winter. Even if your system generally worked well last summer, you may find that it can no longer keep your home cool when next summer rolls around.

2. Tripping Circuit Breakers

Your air conditioner can trip its circuit breaker for many reasons, ranging from damaged wiring to a faulty or overworked blower or compressor motor. Regardless of the cause, it's never normal for your circuit breaker to trip while your air conditioner runs or when it tries to start. Even if the problem only appears infrequently, it's a sure sign that something is wrong.

Addressing this problem rather than waiting for next summer is important for several reasons. Most critically, there may be a safety issue with your air conditioner's wiring. It's also possible that the problem lies with a shared HVAC component, such as your house blower. In these cases, deferring repairs may affect your system before summer arrives.

3. Foul Odors

Foul odors are typically the result of excessive moisture somewhere in your system, commonly at the evaporator coil or in your ductwork. While you might think you can clean any mold and move on, remember that your air conditioner should remove moisture. Aside from the difficulty in cleaning ductwork and coils, its presence in the first place indicates an underlying issue with the system.

Unfortunately, leaving your system alone for the winter won't fix the mold problem. Depending on the source of the moisture, it may even get worse over the cold months. A better approach is to have an HVAC contractor address the current problem and determine why your system isn't removing humidity, so you won't have a smelly and unhealthy problem waiting for your next summer.

Contact anAC system repair service to learn more.