A central air conditioning system is the system in your home that cools hot air, and this helps you keep your house cool and free of humidity in the hot summer months. Unfortunately, AC systems can experience problems that prevent them from cooling the homes they are in, and one common problem involves overheating of the system. Here are several things to know about this common issue.

What Happens When an AC System Overheats?

Just like other types of systems, AC systems can overheat. If a system overheats, it will most likely keep turning on and off repeatedly without ever cooling your home. Additionally, when an AC system overheats, it may even cause the circuit to trip. If this happens, you will have to keep checking the breaker and turning it back on if you want the system to work. The problem is that if an AC system is overheating, it will keep overheating, simply because systems do not overheat unless there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

An AC system that overheats is most likely overheating in one specific part – the compressor. The compressor is the part you will find outside your home, and it is an important part of the system. The compressor helps eliminate hot air as the system cools the air, but it cannot do this properly if it keeps getting too hot.

What Causes AC Systems to Overheat?

If your system keeps turning on and off, it could likely be due to overheating, and there are several common things that can cause a system to overheat. The first cause is a dirty air filter. Every AC system has an air filter, and this filter is there to remove pollutants and debris from the air before it reaches the system. Once the air reaches the system, heat is extracted from it and cool air is distributed into the home.

When an air filter is dirty, it will become clogged. This will reduce the airflow to the system, and this will interfere with its ability to cool the air. Additionally, this restriction in airflow will lead to the compressor overheating. The compressor needs a positive flow of air to do its job; and without it, the compressor will overheat and shut off.  

A second cause of overheating is low coolant in the system. Without enough coolant, the system cannot cool the air, but it also cannot cool the system. If the system cannot stay cool enough in this process, it will overheat and shut off. As soon as it cools off enough to run again, it will turn back on; however, the process will soon be interrupted once again when the system gets too hot.

A third cause of overheating in AC systems is dirty condenser coils. These coils are also a vital part of your AC system, and the main role they serve is transferring coolant throughout the system. This transfer is what makes it possible for the system to extract heat from the air so that it can cool it. If these coils are clogged, the clogs will interfere with the ability to move the coolant, and this will lead to overheating.

How Can an Air Conditioning Contractor Fix the Problem?

To fix the problem, an AC contractor will first diagnose the cause of the overheating. Once he or she diagnoses the problem, they can fix it by addressing the cause. Having problems with your AC system in the summer can make life miserable, especially if you hate the heat, but you can get this problem fixed by contacting a local air conditioning contractor at companies like Air Care Systems.