What AC Issues Should You Monitor As Summer Approaches?

Summer is the most important time to have a functional air conditioning system, but it can also be the hardest season on your home's HVAC equipment. High summer temperatures will cause your system to work at maximum capacity to keep your home cool, but summer weather can be more than just a problem for your comfort.

Since your condenser unit lives outside all year, it must face everything from snowy winter nights to hot summer days. As the weather turns progressively warmer, here are three things you should monitor to ensure your home's air conditioning system doesn't leave you unexpectedly uncomfortable.

1. Physical Condenser Fan Damage

If you haven't looked closely at your outdoor (condenser) unit, now may be a good time to become more familiar with this critical part of your home's HVAC system. Your condenser unit contains some essential parts of your air conditioning system, such as the expensive and complex compressor. The condenser also houses the coils that reject your home's heat and a large fan to keep everything cool.

A condenser fan failure can cause numerous problems, including reducing your system's efficiency or even causing your compressor to overheat and shut down. Stormy summer weather can drive branches or debris into your condenser fan, potentially causing damage. As summer drags on, monitor for these problems and contact an HVAC technician if you spot any unusual behavior or sounds from your fan.

2. Excessive Humidity or Moisture

While keeping you cool and comfortable might seem like your air conditioner's most important job, removing humidity is arguably even more crucial. Modern home builders create incredibly tight structural envelopes to increase efficiency and minimize HVAC costs. Unfortunately, energy-efficient techniques such as using more insulation can trap more humidity in your home.

Your air conditioner helps to control your home's humidity, which can minimize the risk of serious problems such as mold growth. If your air conditioner isn't keeping up with humidity levels deep into summer, you might have a refrigerant leak or another problem causing your evaporator coils to freeze. A service technician can help investigate so you can avoid costly mold or moisture damage.

3. Unusually Long Run Times

Most people don't pay attention to how their air conditioner operates, so spotting changes in its behavior can be tricky. When working correctly, your air conditioner should run in cycles. These cycles can vary in length, but you may see several cycles per hour. Generally, your system should run for as long as it takes to reach your thermostat setpoint and then start again as temperatures rise.

Removing large amounts of heat from the air is hard work, so you shouldn't be surprised if these cycles take longer on hot days. However, unusually long run times are not normal. Likewise, your system should eventually reach your thermostat set point. If your air conditioner runs continuously without cooling your home, you should stop using the system and contact a professional. 

For more info about residential air conditioning servicing, contact a local company.