With summer temperatures expected to soar in Minnesota, a functioning air conditioning unit can keep your home comfortable and play a crucial role in protecting you and your family from heat-related health complications. In the extreme heat and humidity of a Minnesota summer, your AC unit works overtime, making HVAC breakdowns more likely. Thankfully, Bloomington Heating & Air is here to outline some common HVAC problems in the summer, along with some simple solutions to help keep your home cool throughout the season.
If you notice warm air blowing from your HVAC unit, it can indicate a leak in the unit's refrigerant lines. As your HVAC unit gets older, these lines can develop tiny pinhole leaks, and with the increased workload placed on the unit during the summer, these leaks can become more pronounced. As more refrigerant leaks, the system wastes energy trying to cool the air. We recommend calling in an HVAC professional to fix this issue. We advise against using products that advertise "leak seal," as these can do more damage than good and lead to more expensive AC repairs down the line.
If your home feels more humid than normal, your HVAC unit might need some extra help reducing your home's humidity level. Today's good quality and efficient air conditioners can control humidity enough to avoid this problem. Still, if you are experiencing uncomfortable humidity levels indoors, we recommend investing in a dehumidifier, but these devices are only temporary solutions. For a long-term solution, the AC unit will have to be replaced with a new unit.
You may be familiar with cold spots in winter, but you might not know that you can also experience hot spots during summer, which means that your system isn't adequately cooling the whole house. An AC unit that blows out warm air can be caused by many factors, including an improperly set thermostat, refrigerant leaks, frozen parts, blown breakers, and broken compressors.
Be extremely careful when it comes to using a weed whacker near your air conditioner because the trimmer can damage the unit's fins on the outside and can clip its electrical wiring. The capacitor is an electrical component of the HVAC unit that can frequently fail in the summertime. The increase in work and the extreme heat can cause the capacitor to get overheated.
The Unit Constantly Turns Off & On
To save on energy, an AC unit will normally turn on and off, but it could indicate an issue with the unit if this is constantly happening. This can be caused by dirty condenser coils, evaporator coils, or air filters. The AC unit might also be too small for your home, or it could have faulty or loose wiring.
The AC Won't Turn On
The most common cause of an AC unit that won't start is a tripped breaker or a blown fuse in your electrical panel. In the chance that your AC motor dies, a problem with the breaker is likely the culprit. Capacitors provide energy to the motor and fans, but worn-out capacitors can prevent your AC from starting. Contactors are used to transfer energy from the capacitors to the motors in the air conditioner, but if these are corroded, the motors won't turn on.
Dirty AC Coils
Summer lawn care can make it easy for your unit to get covered in dead grass and other lawn clippings, but as these pile up on the system, the efficiency of your system is reduced. If the debris on the system isn't cleaned off, the system can overheat and break down. You can use a hose with mild pressure to clean the outside coils, but some units are more difficult to clean as they may require taking panels off to adequately clean. The unit can also be cleaned during routine maintenance and throughout summer, depending on how frequently the AC runs.
A faulty belt or a broken motor bearing might be to blame for any screeching or squealing noises coming from your HVAC unit. Thumping, rattling, or banging noises from the HVAC unit could mean there is a problem with the blower or motor, and in this case, we recommend switching off the unit and having a professional take a look at it. Before calling a heating and cooling company, check to see if any debris is stuck between the blades or housing, as this can create a smacking noise.
If AC units are left unresolved, they can lead to compressor failure, which is not an easy nor cheap fix. Low charge, poor airflow, and electrical issues can cause the compressor to overheat and break down. Regularly scheduled maintenance on the HVAC system in fall and spring can prevent this problem from occurring. Don't hesitate to contact a licensed HVAC technician if you notice your HVAC unit isn't working properly.
As an AC unit does its job, it creates condensation. This condensation is removed via the condensation drain, but if this is clogged, it can create water back up and leaks that can damage the system and create a musty smell throughout the home. These leaks can lead to mold growth as well as damage your walls, ceilings, and floors.
Airflow to the air conditioning unit is vital to ensure that it is running as efficiently as possible. The unit may be working harder than necessary if the ductwork is clogged or the filter hasn't been changed in a while. During the summer, we recommend that air filters be changed once a month.
Unfortunately, motor failure is common during the summer months and is one of the more expensive repairs on an HVAC system. A failed capacitor can cause excess strain on a motor as it tries to start before overheating and shutting off repeatedly. Make sure to keep your equipment clean and maintained to extend your HVAC unit's lifespan and keep it running through the summer.