That's more than just an annoyance; it could be a warning sign that important components are starting to fail or need cleaning.
Some expensive items in your AC unit, like the compressor and fan or blower motors, rely on other components to do their job efficiently. As an example, when capacitors begin to fail, they stop regulating current, causing motors to use more electricity and run hot. As a result, you will use more electricity and the overheated component will probably fail prematurely. Dirty indoor and outdoor coils, fans and blowers can severely impact AC system performance and efficiency and cause expensive components to fail prematurely.
Your air conditioner is constantly at risk because the compressor unit is outdoors, battling the elements. In addition to the usual wear-and-tear of your system, these other elements can impact the performance of your air conditioner:
Outdoor Enemies of your AC system:
- Dirt & debris: If you leave a white, plastic lawn chair out in your yard for ten years, would it still be white? No! Months and months of dirt, grime, foliage, debris, and other gunk would leave that lawn chair looking brownish-grey and dingy! Your air conditioner has an outdoor component that is exposed to the same elements!
- Ants and other pests: Can you imagine if the hood of your car were just open all the time, for birds to peck, bugs to infest, and rodents to curiously investigate? Your air conditioner’s outdoor condenser endures this kind of abuse by being outdoors. The netted exterior is a breeding ground for insects, birds, and other pests.
- Bushes, trees & fences: It can be tempting to plant a bramble bush, hedgerow or build a pretty fence around your not-so-gorgeous AC unit but resist the temptation! An onslaught of plant matter can really do damage to your air conditioner and put its performance and efficiency at risk. It’s best to leave a several-foot radius around the unit completely clear of interference. Airflow is necessary to keep your A/C unit healthy.
If none of these issues are plaguing your system, and your AC is struggling to keep your home cool, you may have internal issues that are causing your system to overheat, which is a problem that can cause even bigger problems if kept unchecked.
Excess heat from failing components is what kills motors.
Your AC system has multiple motors:
- Fan motor on the condenser outside
- Compressor motor in the condenser outside
- Blower motor in the furnace, air handler or heat pump inside
With excess heat and labor in the system, any or all of these motors can labor themselves to death. If you don’t realize components are failing or you ignore the symptoms, small, easy-to-fix issues can snowball into bigger issues with bigger price tags. It is important to promptly diagnose small signs of distress in your AC such as slowness to kick on, failure to kick on when prompted, strange odors, or failure to cool properly. Keeping an eye on these red flags can help you stay ahead of a big meltdown.
What can you do if you notice your AC struggling or not cooling your home well? Call McCullough Heating & Air Conditioning to come out to investigate what is causing your AC to struggle. Contact us today and we will send an expert technician to your home to solve your problems, fast!