Top 6 Causes of Air Conditioner Breakdowns During Summer

Posted on: April 5, 2021

Why does my AC stop working when it's hot outside Have you ever called in an emergency AC service in Moreno Valley or another warm Riverside city because your home suffers from chronic air conditioner problems during summertime? If so, you’re aware of how frustrating it is to have untimely and consistent air conditioner breakdowns during hot days. Luckily, most of these heating system malfunctions are completely preventable.

We previously gave you some advice on how to properly start up your AC after the winter months and how to check the performance of your AC during spring. Now, we’ll help you stay comfortable this summer by sharing six common causes of AC breakdowns and how to handle them. Keep reading to learn more.

Why does my AC stop working when it’s hot outside?

There are many reasons why your AC may overheat or otherwise stop working when the weather is very warm. Understanding these reasons and how to detect them can help you identify and remedy issues with minimal hassle. 

Here are 6 reasons why ACs sometimes fail during the cooling season:

1. Fan issues

Most AC units contain two fans: one to blow indoor air over the evaporator coil, and another to expel warm air by blowing it over the condenser coils. If one of these fans fails or starts malfunctioning, you’ll have insufficient airflow inside your AC. This can lead to all kinds of problems, up to and including compressor failure.

2. Frozen evaporator coils

Some problems can cause your AC to develop an ice buildup even in the middle of August. When this occurs, the air conditioner will start blowing warm air, or not blow any air at all. 

This can be caused by:

  • Clogged filters
  • Low refrigerant
  • Not enough airflow
  • Too many closed vents and ducts
  • Faulty thermostat
  • Slow fans

3. Refrigerant leaks

Refrigerant is fluid your AC uses to extract heat and humidity from your indoor air. If the refrigerant lines start leaking, the AC simply won’t have enough refrigerant to efficiently cool the space. This will reduce your comfort level and wear down your AC quicker. If you suspect this problem, call in an HVAC service immediately. 

4. Blocked drains

Your AC constantly removes moisture from the indoor air. This moisture makes its way down a drain line, into a pan, and then finally down a drain. If this line becomes clogged or the pan starts overflowing, the accumulated moisture will start backing up into the system. 

Not only can this damage your AC, it can also cause water damage to your ceilings, walls, and furniture. 

5. Clogged condenser coils

Located inside the exterior unit of your AC, the condenser coils are responsible for expelling the warm air out of your property. Dust, grime, and debris buildup can cause these coils to become clogged over time, especially if the air conditioner is located in an area with high pollution levels. 

Dirty condenser coils impede heat transfer and force your air conditioner to work harder, therefore increasing wear and energy consumption. If the problem gets extreme enough, it can cause your AC to overheat. 

6. It’s outdated

No device lasts forever, and air conditioners are no exception. On average, you can expect a well-maintained AC to last at least 10-15 years. However, regular use will eventually cause it to start malfunctioning in some way. Once this starts, it’s usually better to replace the old AC with a newer, more efficient model that will last for another decade or more!

Why does my AC break every summer?

Similar to cars, air conditioners are mechanical devices with multiple moving parts which are constantly exposed to harsh weather, temperature fluctuations, electrical surges, dust, dirt, moisture buildups, and other adverse conditions. 

Despite this, many homeowners have a tendency to forget about the upkeep of their air conditioning, only calling HVAC technicians after their air conditioners have stopped working. This often leads to expensive repairs or premature AC replacements. 

Regular AC servicing will prevent component failure, maximize efficiency, and keep your AC running properly for years. 

What do you do if your AC goes out in the summer?

AC breakdowns are a relatively common occurrence in the summer, so it’s no cause for panic. If the air conditioner unit is still working, but no air is coming out or it’s blowing warm air, switch it off. Throw open the windows to create a draft and turn on the ceiling fans. 

Once that’s done, check the following:

  • Breaker box. Old ACs can sometimes trip the circuit breaker. Flip it back up and see if the AC works. If your air conditioner keeps tripping the circuit breaker, stop using it immediately and get in touch with certified HVAC technicians.
  • Thermostat. Is your thermostat set to “heat” instead of “cool”? If it is, set it back to “cool” and try the AC out. Check the thermostat batteries as well, and replace them if necessary. Finally, make sure the thermostat isn’t faulty.
  • Filters. Are the filters in your indoor AC unit or your air ducts covered with a layer of dust and dirt? If so, replace them or wash them (if you have reusable filters) before putting them back in. 

If none of the above solves your problem, your best option is to contact a reputable HVAC service. Refrain from attempting any repairs yourself unless you have a background as an AC contractor.

Where can I find a highly-rated AC service in Moreno Valley?

Why does my AC break every summer You’ve just spent a hot summer day at the Lake Perris State Recreational Area with your family. After all that time in the sun, you can’t wait to kick back in an air conditioned room. You arrive home, only to realize its interior is uncomfortably warm because your AC has suddenly given out. Scenarios like this are an unfortunate pain for you and everyone in the house.

Here at Action Air, our team wants to make sure your heating, cooling, and solar systems for your home are always operating at peak efficiency. 

We’re a long-standing AC, heating, and solar contractor that boasts multiple awards and an A+ Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. Contact us today, and have your AC serviced by the finest HVAC technicians in Moreno Valley and surrounding SouthRiverside areas.