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5 common summer AC problems

At this point in the season, your air conditioner has likely been supplying your home with regular cooling for several months to battle the rising heat and humidity outside. Because it’s a necessity to keep indoor temperatures in a comfortable range during the summer months, especially as the high temperatures drag on into early fall. But with so much riding on the performance of your home’s A/C, it’s important to take the time to make sure it’s still running as efficiently and effectively as possible.

It’s easy to overlook common A/C problems that pop up during the summer months as you become busy with other activities or spend more time away from your home. It’s important to stay on top of these common A/C issues as they’re spotted, though, as taking care of them now is easier — and cheaper — than dealing with them as they get worse.

So as you enjoy the cool breezes flowing through your home, keep an eye out for these 5 common summer air conditioner problems in your home, and address them as quickly as you can.

Filters Reducing Air Flow

The filters are some of the most important pieces of the air conditioner, and one of the easiest chores to overlook. Capturing dust and debris before it can flow into the furnace, a clean filter ensures that the A/C system is able to run without overheating or clogging.

When filters are older or haven’t been cleaned in some time, they fill up with the dust and debris they’ve been capturing. This reduces the amount of air that can flow through the filter, causing the A/C to run harder than necessary to pull in enough air to cycle through your home. Additionally, filters can only hold so much dust and dirt. After a certain point, the filer will no longer be able to hold back those particles and those air pollutants will find their way into the A/C — and into the rest of your home.

Staying on top of checking and cleaning the air filters helps ensure that the air flowing out of the A/C and throughout your house will stay as clean as possible.

The Outdoor A/C Condenser Is Blocked or Clogged

Another area that is prone to becoming blocked or clogged is your outdoor air conditioner condenser, especially if it hasn’t been inspected in some time or if large thunderstorms have moved through your area recently. Debris, tree limbs, leaves, and sticks can easily become trapped in the outer condenser coils, and occasionally, within the fan. This will block the condenser from running properly and cause your home to heat up.

Make sure the fan is free of debris, branches, and trash, and able to get up to speed and running smoothly. It’s also a good idea to look at the vents inside your home as well, and see that they’re free of any dust and hair build-up, so that air flow throughout the home runs smoothly.
One cleaning tip to avoid — don’t spray down the unit with a hose. This can lead to debris caught around the outside of the unit getting pushed further into the unit, causing potential damage to the internal coils.

A/C Shutting Off Before the House Is Cool

As you soak in the cool breezes around your home, you may start to notice spots or rooms that are warmer than others, or you may notice your air conditioning shutting off before the house reaches your desired temperature. This can be caused by a number of issues — including dirty air filters, as we mentioned above — but another spot to check if this issue is a common occurrence is the thermostat. Your home’s thermostat may be sending incorrect signals to the air conditioner, causing the system to misread the temperature settings. This can be caused by a dying battery, or faulty or frayed wiring.

Having an up-to-date thermostat, specifically a programmable model, helps the entire HVAC system run more efficiently. Newer models are designed to sync with apps on smartphones and tablets, and can actually learn homeowner heating and cooling patterns over time. This allows the thermostat to adjust the temperature automatically to keep a system running without overworking it, as well as keeping each room in the home at the homeowner’s ideal comfortable temperature.

Hunt for Air Leaks

Most homeowners don’t take a close look at their duct work. But this is another area to check if your home has hot spots or inconsistent cooling. If the fasteners or seals on the ducts are loose, they can be leaking cool air rather than directing it where it’s supposed to flow. This will cause those pockets of warmth where you’d otherwise expect a nice breeze through every room.

Check around the home’s windows, doors, and screens to ensure all seals are functioning properly and no leaks are detected. Ductwork should also be looked over, as air leaks from the ducts mean air is being blown unevenly throughout the home, and air leakages from all over can lead to higher heating and cooling costs. If any problem spots are uncovered, contact a professional to have your home’s ductwork professionally sealed.

Noises Coming From the System or Ducts

Rattling, banging, screeching, or squealing coming from your home’s A/C are not noises you want to ignore. Each type of noise can be associated with a different issue, but if it’s loud enough to notice, there’s one thing that’s certain: there is a problem that needs to be fixed.

Screeching and squealing are usually caused by a belt or bearing that needs to be lubricated correctly or replaced. Rattling, banging, thudding, and bumping are usually signs that something has become dislodged in either the condenser or the ductwork, or that something is wrong with the blower motor. 

No matter what, it’s best to turn off the air conditioning and call for a professional to come diagnose the issue and fix it before any additional damage can be done.

Taking care of the common A/C problems now means avoiding any major costly repairs in the future. This is also why it’s so important to have an annual A/C inspection — to catch any minor issues before they balloon into major, costly problems. If you’re looking for licensed professionals to tackle your inspection, or if you have any A/C or HVAC questions that need answers, reach out to Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling. The experts at Duane Blanton have over 30 years of experience and knowledge, ready to give you answers and provide solutions for all your HVAC inquiries. Give the experts at Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling a call today, at (815) 781-2567, or schedule conveniently from your couch, when it’s convenient for you, using their online scheduling portal

Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling is proud to be a Bryant Authorized Dealer, offering top-quality heating and cooling options to fit the specific needs of Duane Blanton customers. The quality, comfort, and efficiency of Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems’ products naturally aligns with Duane Blanton’s drive to provide an exceptional customer service experience. Ask a Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling expert today about the advantages of upgrading to a new Bryant Heating & Cooling system for your home!

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