Child standing in front of floor fan blowing wind

Prevent These 12 Typical HVAC Headaches This Summer

During the heat of the summer, you rely on your HVAC system to keep your home cool and safe from the worst of the heat. At the same time, your home’s air conditioning may run into trouble as day-to-day use increases as the thermometer does. Here are 12 common HVAC headaches in the summer months to help you avoid or fix them as needed.  

1. Reduced Airflow 

Airflow may drop if you have a clogged air filter, faulty ductwork or a clogged condensing unit. Preventive maintenance such as replacing the air filter, keeping all air registers free from obstruction and trimming back vegetation from around the outdoor unit will often boost airflow. Persistent problems may indicate more significant problems such as ductwork problems or a malfunctioning compressor, which will all require professional service. 

2. Leaking Refrigerant 

The supply of refrigerant is the main element in air conditioning. Leaking reduces the system’s total supply and decreases cooling efficiency, causing your unit to work harder and longer even as the cooling effectiveness plummets. Refrigerant leaks are more frequent in older units but can occur in any system stressed by high usage. Some signs of a coolant leak include hot air blowing from your vents, whistling or gurgling sounds, and surprisingly high utility costs. Only professionals can fix the problem because handling refrigerant requires EPA certification. 

3. Too Much Humidity  

Excessive indoor humidity makes the air feel damp and fosters mold or mildew. chills and dehumidifies the air simultaneously, but this may not always be adequate in particularly humid climates. Setting up a dehumidifier should resolve the problem unless the air conditioning has small but growing issue that encourages humidity levels to rise.  

4. Improperly Adjusted Thermostat  

Having the wrong thermostat settings can cause comfort problems and higher energy bills. If you run into trouble reaching the right temperature, check your thermostat. If a member of the family keeps turning the settings up or down, it’s harder to balance convenient comfort and energy efficiency. 

5. No Power to the Air Conditioner 

If an AC won’t start, check for a flipped breaker or blown fuse first. If this isn’t the case, there could be a problem with the unit’s capacitors or contactors, which start the unit. Reach out to a professional to set up a repair appointment. 

6. Regularly Tripped Breakers 

Continuing with circuit breakers, you shouldn’t have to continually reset them. The HVAC system should be on a dedicated circuit that is appropriately sized to handle this type of equipment. Frequent circuit breaker trips is a safety hazard, as it’s an electrical issue that needs urgent attention. 

7. Clogged Condensate Drain  

The condensate drain gets rid of moisture created by your AC system’s cooling cycles. A blockage in this drain can result in water damage or mold growth. It’s a good idea to consistently check and unclog this drain if necessary to prevent clogs. 

8. Ice and Freezing Problems with Your Air Conditioner 

A frozen air conditioner often is caused by poor airflow or a refrigerant leak, either of which may stop your HVAC from effectively exchanging hot and cold air. A large amount of ice on the coil messes with the cooling process and could even cause permanent damage. Consistent maintenance is smart if you want to prevent freezing and guarantee efficient performance. 

9. Dirty Condenser Coils 

The condenser coils on the outdoor unit of the system are always left to the elements, so dirt and debris may collect over time. Cobwebs, dirt and dust, grass clippings and other built-up debris cover up the unit, hurting its ability to safely exhaust heat and raising daily wear and tear. Clean these coils occasionally with a gentle spray from the hose to help preserve system efficiency. 

10. Unusual Smells 

If you notice weird smells coming from your AC unit, examine further to determine where they’re coming from. A scorched smell might indicate electrical issues or an overheating motor, while a moldy odor suggests mold growth somewhere. Strange smells often need quick attention to limit the risk of health problems and performance issues. 

11. Odd Noises 

A barrage of loud noises coming from your heating and cooling often means something isn’t right. Screeching is associated with a belt in need of replacement, while clanking or knocking sounds may mean loose or broken components. Don’t ignore these or similarly unfamiliar noises, as they could be signs of bigger problems, more expensive repairs or premature system failure if not addressed quickly. 

12. The Cooling Cycle Starts and Stops Too Often 

Short cycling is when your air conditioner switches off and on too many times. This is a sign of an oversized air conditioner, a clog in the air filter or electrical issues. Sudden short cycling reduces efficiency and can even reduce your unit’s life span, so hire local technicians to determine the cause and recommend a solution. 

We Are Dedicated to Your Comfort

At McLoughlin Plumbing Heating & Cooling nothing comes before your comfort and peace of mind. Our ACE-certified technicians strive for quick, yet long-lasting solutions to any comfort concern, fsupported by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not totally happy with the results, we’ll make it right. So, the next time your AC unit starts short cycling or making weird noises, contact us for Expert service that always exceeds expectations.