Your air conditioner is invaluable in the summer, especially if you experience extreme heat so you want to take precautions to protect it so it can continue to keep you cool and comfortable. Keep reading to learn more about what causes your AC to get stressed and what you can do to protect it.
How Your AC Gets Stressed
- Dirt & debris: this is one of the leading causes of mechanical stress on an AC. As debris enters your AC’s air intake, it can settle on the condenser coils, evaporator, and other interior components, bogging down the electric motor and slowing the heat transfer process. To compensate, your AC will work harder.
- Overheated electrical components: if your AC is being overworked, stress and friction will generate heat inside, leading to issues with the capacitors and circuit board. Parts may also become loose and break.
- Leaking refrigerant: as air conditioners become older, they tend to leak refrigerant which changes the temperature and pressure inside the coil and puts extra strain on the compressor motor.
- Tight compressor: speaking of the compressor, the above issue is compounded if there’s a “tight” compressor. This means there’s physical pressure on the coil which can cause the compressor motor to burn out.
Tips to Protect Your AC in Summer
To make sure your AC unit works at peak performance this summer, follow these tips.
- Change the filter regularly: over time, the filter in your AC can become clogged with debris, restricting the unit’s airflow.
- Schedule a tune-up: get your HVAC system serviced in spring, right before summer arrives so that it’s ready for the heat. Your HVAC technician will inspect your system, identify any issues, and take care of essential tasks so that it operates efficiently and safely.
- Avoid using your stove/oven: using appliances that generate heat is a bad idea when it’s extremely hot outside. Not only will that heat linger in your home, but it also causes your AC to work harder to cool it.
- Keep your home dark: keeping the sunlight and heat out of your home will create less work for your air conditioner.
- Turn the thermostat down at night: keeping your home cool at night can help your system run better the next day.
- Let your sprinkler gently hit your AC: this light sprinkle can help the pressure on the compressor, helping it run more efficiently.
Signs of a Stressed AC
Once the temperature outside reaches about 92 degrees, your air conditioner will only operate at 50% efficiency. Keep an eye out for any of these warning signs that may indicate that your AC is “stressed.”
- A sudden rise in cooling costs
- Reduced cooling power
- Hissing, clicking, or grinding sounds from your AC unit
- The compressor cycles on and off too quickly
Experts in Air Conditioners
Whether your air conditioner is no longer working efficiently or you just want to take preventive measures, Vanport Mechanical can help. We proudly serve the entire Portland OR and Vancouver WA metropolitan area, and we offer 24-hour emergency HVAC services.
How Do I Protect My AC in Extreme Heat? in Vancouver WA
Serving The Greater Vancouver WA and Clark County WA Areas