Summer is the time of year when air conditioners are most likely to develop problems, as they are placed under an increased amount of strain compared to the rest of the year. Some of these problems are inconvenient, while others are a serious threat to the health of the system. As you rely on your air conditioner to stay cool on a daily basis, you should be especially vigilant for these serious issues. Let’s have a look at some of these problems, and the symptoms they produce.
Your air conditioner is able to cool your home by evaporating and condensing a fluid called refrigerant. Well, there is no one fluid known as “refrigerant,” but it’s a catch-all term for a variety of fluids that all do more or less the same thing. The air conditioner evaporates refrigerant to absorb thermal energy in the ducts. The refrigerant gas is then condensed back into liquid in the unit outside in order to vent the collected thermal energy outside of the home. This is how your air conditioner keeps you cool during hot days.
The key thing to know about this is that air conditioners don’t consume refrigerant. They simply recycle it back and forth between being a gas and liquid. The initial amount of refrigerant that your air conditioner receives upon installation should be enough to last for its entire lifespan. That’s what makes refrigerant leaks such a serious problem. A refrigerant leak will drain the air conditioner over time, lowering its cooling ability along with the level of refrigerant.
As the refrigerant level drops, the air conditioner will become less and less able to keep the home cool while it’s operating. Finally, the system will be so deprived of refrigerant that it will break down entirely. If you’re not careful, this can cause collateral damage that can be so expensive to repair that it’s more cost effective to replace it. It’s best to call for repairs as soon as you notice a drop in output, especially if you notice fluid dripping from the system.
Short cycling is when your air conditioner turns on and off every couple of minutes. There are a number of reasons why this might be happening, none of them good. Short circuits between your air conditioner and the thermostat can cause this kind of issue, as can a damaged compressor. Regardless of the cause of the issue, though, what matters is the effect.
Short cycling causes a ton of issues for an air conditioner. It severely cuts down on the amount of cool air the air conditioner can distribute, though that is the least of the issues short cycling creates. The major problem is that short cycling significantly increases the amount of wear and tear that the system accumulates. Prolonged short cycling causes various parts of the air conditioner to wear out and fail, creating a spike in repair costs. If the short cycling is not dealt with sooner, rather than later, it can shorten the overall lifespan of the air conditioner considerably.
Douglas Cooling & Heating offers air conditioner replacement services throughout Hoover, AL. If you need air conditioner services, contact us today for an appointment.