It’s the middle of summer here in the St. Louis area, and this is the time of year that air conditioners have the biggest chance of breaking down. Although many things can go wrong with your cooling system, there are a few issues that we encounter more often than others. Today we’re going to talk about some of the most common reasons behind air conditioner breakdowns and what you can do to avoid one this summer!

5 common reasons behind an air conditioner breakdown

  1. Lack of proper maintenance. Keeping your air conditioner well-maintained is crucial if you want to avoid problems with your system during summer. This starts with getting your annual tune-up, which should be done annually. During a tune-up, we’ll inspect your entire system and perform maintenance tasks that will prevent common problems like dirty coils and clogged condensate drain lines that can force your system to break down.
  2. Running your A/C with a dirty filter. When it comes to maintenance tasks that you should perform on your own, changing your air conditioner’s filter is the number one priority. Even if you have a brand new air conditioner, your system can break down if it runs too often with a dirty filter. Make sure to change or clean your filter once per month.
  3. Refrigerant leak. Refrigerant is like the blood that pumps through your air conditioner. If your system develops a leak and loses refrigerant, it can create a domino effect of problems that can result in a system breakdown. Please note that your air conditioner does not lose refrigerant when it is operating normally; the only time that you will need to have refrigerant added to your system is if you have a refrigerant leak or your system was undercharged, to begin with. We’ll look for refrigerant leaks during a tune-up, but they can develop during the summer as well. Uncontrollable issues like this make it important to contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning as soon as you suspect anything’s wrong with your air conditioner this summer!
  4. Heavy usage. There is no getting around it; your air conditioner will have to work extremely hard on certain days this summer. That added stress can lead to problems like overheating, tripped circuit breakers, blown capacitors, compressor failures, and more. Check out this post for some great tips on how to ease the load on your air conditioner and minimize the likelihood of encountering these types of problems.
  5. Old system. Air conditioners last for several years, and you can lose track of how long you’ve had your current system. That is… until things start to break down. Summertime will put your air conditioner to the test, and if your system is too old it might not be up to the challenge. Installing a brand new air conditioner will not only prevent breakdowns this summer but also minimize your cooling costs and make your home more comfortable.

If you have any questions about what can cause an air conditioner breakdown, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Charles, MO, air conditioning contractor. We service the St. Louis area, including towns like Clayton, Cottleville, and Creve Coeur, MO.

photo credit: George Morris via photopin cc

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