Avoid These 12 Frequent HVAC Headaches This Summer

Child standing in front of floor fan blowing wind

During the heat of the summer, you count on your HVAC system to keep your home cool and safe from the worst of the heat. But even then, the AC unit may encounter issues as day-to-day use goes up as the heat does. Here are 12 frequent HVAC problems in the summer to help you prevent or repair them as needed.  

1. Low Airflow 

Airflow may drop if you have a clog in your system’s air filter, faulty ductwork or a blocked condensing unit. Regular maintenance such as swapping out the air filter, leaving all air registers open and trimming back any weeds from around the outdoor unit will often enhance airflow. Ongoing problems may indicate more significant problems like ductwork problems or a failure of the compressor, which all do best with professional attention. 

2. Refrigerant Leak 

The refrigerant supply is the key ingredient in air conditioning. Leaking decreases the system’s available supply and diminishes cooling efficiency, causing your unit to work much more vigorously even as the comfort level falls away. Refrigerant leaks are more common in old units but may pop up in any system stressed by much higher usage. Some signs of a coolant leak include uncooled air blowing from your vents, whistling or gurgling sounds, and surprisingly high energy bills. Only HVAC professioals can resolve the problem since handling refrigerant requires EPA certification. 

3. High Humidity  

High indoor humidity makes the air feel damp and promotes mold or mildew. Air conditioning and dehumidifies the air together, but this may not be sufficient in especially humid climates. Installing a dehumidifier will often help fix the problem unless the AC system has small but growing issue that encourages humidity levels to rise.  

4. Incorrectly Adjusted Thermostat  

Wonky thermostat settings can lead to performance issues and higher energy bills. If you run into trouble reaching the right temperature, start with your thermostat. If a member of the family keeps adjusting the settings back and forth, it’s harder to balance convenient comfort and energy efficiency. 

5. No Electricity to the AC Unit 

If an AC won’t start, inspect for a tripped breaker or blown fuse at first. If this is not the issue, it may be a problem with the unit’s capacitors or contactors, which are needed to start up the unit. Contact a professional to arrange a repair appointment. 

6. Frequently Tripped Breakers 

Continuing with circuit breakers, you shouldn’t have to constantly reset them. The HVAC system should always be on a dedicated circuit sized to handle this type of equipment. Regular circuit breaker resets can be a safety risk, as it’s an electrical issue that needs prompt attention. 

7. Obstructed Condensate Drain  

The condensate drain gets rid of condensed moisture created by the cooling process. A blockage in the drain lines can result in water damage or mold problems. Try to keep a regular schedule when you check and unclog this drain if necessary to prevent problems like clogs or water damage. 

8. Frozen Air Conditioner 

A frozen air conditioner often comes from low airflow or a leak in the coolant supply, either of which could halt the unit from efficiently transferring hot and cold air. A solid layer of ice on the coil interrupts the cooling process and might also cause permanent damage. Regular maintenance is smart if you want to avoid freezing and protect efficient performance. 

9. Unclean Condenser Coils 

The condenser coils on the outdoor cabinet are continuously left to the elements, so internal components may get dirty over time. Spider webs, dirt and dust, grass clippings and other built-up debris coat the unit, restricting its ability to get rid of heat and increasing daily wear and tear. Clean these coils regularly with a gentler spray from your garden hose to help maintain system efficiency. 

10. Strange Smells 

If you can’t stand the gross smells coming out of your AC unit, look into things further to determine where the smell is coming from. A burning smell can come from electrical fires or a component overheating, while a stale odor means mold growth within the system. Odd smells often do best with quick attention to prevent health problems and performance issues. 

11. Strange Noises 

Unusual noises coming from the air conditioning often means something isn’t right. Screeching is associated with a belt in need of replacement, while clanging or knocking sounds may mean unsecure components. Don’t ignore these kinds of noises, as they could be signs of more significant problems, costly repairs or complete system failure if not fixed promptly. 

12. The Cooling Cycle Starts and Stops Too Often 

Short cycling is when your air conditioner cycles through its cooling process more frequently than usual. This can be pointing to an overpowered air conditioner, clogged air filter or electrical issues. Sudden short cycling hurts efficiency and can even reduce your unit’s life span, so call local professionals to troubleshoot the cause and suggest a solution. 

We Are Committed to Your Comfort

At Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing nothing should be more important than your comfort and peace of mind. Our ACE-certified technicians provide prompt, yet long-lasting solutions to all your comfort problems, with service backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not totally happy with the results, we’ll make it right. So, whenever your AC unit starts short cycling or making funny noises, contact us for Expert service that always exceeds expectations.