Why is My AC Overheating?

my A/C has a refrigerant leak

The compressor is one of the most important (and expensive) components of your air conditioner. This crucial component can sustain irreparable damage in case it overheats, and the cause isn’t identified and fixed quickly. This article discusses some of the reasons given by a leading Sacramento heating and air conditioning company, Fox Family Heating and Air, to explain why your AC compressor is overheating.

Electrical Issues

Any defect in the electrical supply can cause the compressor to overheat. For example, a spike in the power supply to your Sacramento home will trigger overheating in the sensitive electrical components of the compressor. Loose connections and compromised insulation can also cause overheating in the compressor. Air conditioner repair professionals in Sacramento can fix this problem before it causes your AC to stall.

Blocked Suction Lines

The compressor of the AC may overheat in case something has constricted the refrigerant line from the indoor unit. This constriction will prevent the refrigerant from flowing at the right pressure and volume as it gets into the compressor. The compressor is therefore likely to overheat as it tries to compensate for that low pressure by sucking harder on the refrigerant.

Dirty Condenser Fins.

The fins on the condenser help to dissipate the heat carried by the refrigerant when it leaves the compressor. This heat may not be lost fully in case those fins are caked by dirt. Consequently, the refrigerant will go back to the evaporator when it isn’t as cool as it should be. The net result is that the refrigerant will be further heated by the warm air in your home and that excessively hot refrigerant will cause the compressor to overheat. Technicians at Fox Family Heating and Air warn that such a problem can cause the compressor to fail and require replacement.

Poorly Sized Refrigerant Lines

The compressor can also overheat in case the refrigerant lines are either too small or too wide. This improper sizing may cause the compressor to overheat as it works overtime to compensate and keep the refrigerant at the required pressure. Get an experienced air conditioner replacement (Sacramento) technician to inspect the AC in case it recently underwent repairs, and you suspect that the wrong refrigerant line was used.

Incorrect Cycling

Oversized or undersized AC units can also cause the compressor to overheat. For example, an undersized AC will stay on for very long to keep the temperature in your Sacramento home at the desired level. This strains all the components, especially the compressor. Overheating becomes inevitable in such situations.

Conversely, an oversized unit will start and stop more times than is usual for a correctly sized unit. These short cycle times also cause overheating because the compressor strains a lot as it is starting up. Contact a Sacramento air conditioning company for help in replacing that oversized or undersized AC.

Insufficient Refrigerant

A refrigerant leak can leave your AC with less refrigerant than is required. Inadequate recharging after air conditioner repairs can also leave the system low on refrigerant. Low refrigerant levels cause the compressor to overheat because the AC will work harder to cool your home. This situation needs to be corrected urgently before it causes a total breakdown of the compressor.

Contaminants

The compressor of your air conditioner is also likely to overheat in case contaminants, such as particulates and other gases, find their way into the refrigerant. Those contaminants are harmful because they prevent the compressor from compressing the refrigerant as it usually does. Insufficient compression strains the compressor and causes it to overheat.

Old Age

The AC may overheat due to age-related wear and tear. The increasing inefficiency of the aging air conditioner makes the compressor to overheat as it tries to keep up with the demands placed upon it during the cooling season of the year. This is particularly common in ACs which have been in use for more than ten years. Such units should be replaced instead of trying to pay attention to the compressor alone.

Although the causes of overheating in an air conditioner compressor seem unrelated, only one measure can keep most of them at bay. Proper maintenance can prevent many of the reasons why compressors overheat. Negotiate an AC service contract with the experts at Fox Family Heating & Air so that your air conditioner is kept working at its best for its entire service life.

What happens during an AC Tune-Up

What happens during an AC Tune-Up

What Happens During an AC Tune-Up? It’s important for homeowners to know what a technician will do when he or she comes to perform an AC tune-up in Sacramento. This helps the homeowner to confirm that proper maintenance work has been done. Read on and discover some of the things you should expect when your air conditioner is tuned-up.

Tune-Up Activities on the Indoor Unit

Electrical Component Inspection and Adjustment.  Your Fox Family technician will check all the electrical components on the indoor unit before adjusting anything that needs it. For instance, loose electrical connections will be tightened during this service call.

Thermostat Inspection and Adjustment.  AC tune-ups also involve assessing the thermostat to confirm that it is working well. This important instrument will be recalibrated in case the performance test reveals that the thermostat was no longer taking accurate readings of the temperature within your home.

Refrigerant Checks. The AC tune-up will also include checking whether any refrigerant leak exists. The technician will check the level of the refrigerant and adjust it if any anomaly is discovered.

Electrical Consumption and Performance Measurements. Fox Family Heating and Air technicians also perform tests to confirm that all electrical components consume power within their design specifications and that they are still working well. For example, the motors will be tested to ascertain how much power they are drawing. Appropriate air conditioner repairs  will be done on defective components.

Air Filter Inspection and Cleaning. Attention is also paid to the air filter to make sure that it is still capable of doing its work.  Your technician will clean the filter in case you have a reusable one. He or she may replace the old filter in case you use disposable ones.

Outdoor Unit Tune-Up Items

Coil Inspection and Cleaning. The outdoor unit has condenser coils which help to dissipate the heat absorbed by the refrigerant as warm air from your home flows over the evaporator coils in the indoor unit. The service technician from Fox Family Heating and Air will inspect these coils and clean them so that nothing stops heat exchange from taking place effectively.

Fan Blade Checks and Adjustment. The indoor unit of your AC has fan blades which help to push the air from your home over the evaporator coils so that heat can be extracted from that air. The alignment and structural integrity will be checked and any needed adjustments will be made.

Code Violations. The service technician will check whether the outdoor unit is installed in accordance with the applicable codes of your area. For example, some jurisdictions put restrictions on how much clearance should be maintained between the outdoor unit and any nearby structure, such as the exterior wall of your home. Any debris found around the unit will also be removed so that air circulation isn’t impeded.

Lubrication of Moving Parts. Air conditioner tune-ups are incomplete if lubrication hasn’t been given attention. The moving parts can wear out quickly if they aren’t well lubricated at all times. The lubrication will, therefore, be topped up to avert this premature wear of the components.

Drain Line Inspection and Cleaning. The process of conditioning the air in your home leads to the collection of water in the drain pan. This water is taken out of the home through the drain line. Technicians from Fox Family Heating and Air will inspect the drain line for clogs, mold or other forms of damage. The drain line will then be cleaned in case it is found to be free from damage.  

The discussion above may not have provided a comprehensive list of all the tune-up activities which may be done when a licensed technician comes to your home. Ask your Fox Family technician to give you a copy of the checklist used during the tune-up. You will also be given a report after the service call. Use that report to plan how to address any developing issues that were identified.

What Causes a Leaking Air Conditioner?

Sacramento HVAC - Why is my air Conditioner leaking

What Causes a Leaking Air Conditioner? It is necessary for homeowners to understand why their air conditioning systems may leak water either within or outside the home. Read on and discover some of the common reasons given by a Sacramento heating and air conditioning company to explain why ACs may leak water.

Clogged Air Filters

Professionals at Fox Family Heating and Air explain that a clogged or dirty air filter is one of the most prevalent causes of water leaks in air conditioning systems. The clog/dirt affects the flow of air through the AC system. Consequently, the evaporator coil will freeze up and start leaking water as the ice melts slowly. Replace the air filter regularly in order to avoid these water leaks from causing serious damage to your AC.

Insufficient Refrigerant

Low refrigerant levels can also trigger water leaks in the air conditioner. Air conditioning repair (Sacramento) is needed when you notice that the home is no longer as cool as you would want it. Leaking refrigerant reduces airflow within the system. The net result is that the evaporator coil will freeze as discussed earlier. Don’t attempt to fix a refrigerant leak on your own because you may cause worse problems, such as failing to identify all leaks prior to recharging the system.

Damaged Drain Pans

Condensate is usually directed to the drain pan before being discharged outside the home. However, the drain pan may start leaking and allow water to drip onto the floor or ceiling. The best remedy to this problem is to install a new drain pan. Temporary fixes, such as using epoxy compound, may allow the corrosion/damage to worsen and result in worse leaks.

Clogged Drain Line

The drain pan has a drain line through which water flows out of the house. Over time, dirt and debris may accumulate and cause a blockage in that drain line. The condensate will then back up and leak into the home. You can use a shop vacuum to suck the clog out of that line. Alternatively, hire a professional from Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar so that the lines can be cleared and flushed.

Malfunctioning Condensate Pump

Sacramento homes whose AC units are installed in the basement require a condensate pump to force the condensate up the gradient to the exterior of the home. A defect in this pump can trigger water leaks from the AC since the water will be unable to leave the condensate pan. Fix or replace that pump in order to put an end to this type of leak.

Improper Installation

Some air conditioners develop water leaks simply because the person who installed the unit didn’t position the condensate trap correctly. This is particularly possible for installations that don’t require a condensate pump. The incorrect position will prevent gravity from pushing the water down the drain tubes. Ask a professional from a Sacramento heating and air conditioning company to come and check the condensate system so that the poor installation can be corrected.

Low Ambient Temperatures

It is also possible for your air conditioner to leak water when it doesn’t have any defects. This can happen towards the end of the cooling season as the temperature outside drops. The coils will freeze and leak water when you still want the AC to cool the home while it is very cool outside. Turn your AC off in such a case or adjust the thermostat settings so that you prevent the coils from sustaining irreparable damage.

A leaking air conditioner can cause serious damage not just to the AC but to your home as well. Contact Fox Family Heating and Air in Sacramento for a thorough inspection so that a final solution to the leak can be found.

Is an AC tune-up worth it? Yes!

AC tune-up

People who have just bought their first home or have recently installed a new AC may be asking themselves “is an AC tune-up worth it?”  Is it really necessary to have the air conditioning system tuned-up annually?  This article discusses some of the key benefits that Sacramento homeowners will enjoy when they hire a Sacramento heating and air conditioning company like Fox Family Heating and Air Conditioning to tune-up the AC.

Improved Energy Efficiency

Dirt, dust, and other debris gradually accumulates on the different components of the AC, such as the evaporator coils. Those accumulations affect the efficiency of the system in different ways. For example, the dust can prevent the exchange of heat from the evaporator coils. This impediment causes the system to use more energy as it struggles to maintain the desired temperature in your home. Regular tune-ups will prevent this inefficiency.

Warranty Protection

Manufacturers of air conditioning systems offer buyers warranties that have conditions. One of the common requires that the air conditioner be maintained regularly (at least annually) by certified professionals. Any warranty claim made without proof that an AC tune-up was performed at the required intervals can result in a rejection of that claim.  Air conditioning repair technicians in Sacramento can perform the required maintenance so the AC manufacturer honors any warranty claim.

System Longevity

It is also worthwhile to have your AC tune-up completed because that maintenance helps to enable the system to last for as long as the manufacturer intended it to. For example, Fox Family Heating and Air technicians check the lubrication of the moving parts of the HVAC equipment. Proper lubrication protects the components from premature wear due to excessive friction. Tune-ups are therefore a good investment since they save you from having to buy a new AC sooner than expected.

Eco-Friendliness

Air conditioning tune-ups have the added benefit of making your HVAC systems environmentally friendly. How does this happen? An AC tune-up can detect problems, such as refrigerant leaks before they worsen and discharge greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Secondly, barriers to efficiency are removed so that the system uses the least amount of energy needed to keep the home within the desired temperature range. You will be contributing towards protecting the environment when you take care of your AC tune-up.

Reduced Repair Costs

Sacramento air conditioning repair professionals perform tune-ups as a way of averting frequent system failures. The tune-ups forestall bigger problems by catching them early. For instance, the technician may check how much energy the motor is consuming as it works. This tune-up activity helps to fix any defects before those defects cause a malfunction that may be costly to repair.

Improved Air Quality

The air that you and your family members breathe while inside your home depends on how well the air conditioner is doing its work. For example, a defective filter can allow contaminants to keep recirculating within the home. Similarly, a clogged condensate line can result in higher humidity levels in the home. This can allow mold and other biological matter to thrive and compromise the health of the home’s occupants. Fox Family Heating and Air Conditioning can provide AC system tune-ups to improve the quality of the air in your home.

Peace of Mind

Having an air conditioning system tune-up performed will ease any fears or concerns about your AC.  Get a clean bill of health with a professional tune-up, with any anomalies found and fixed. Rest assured that the AC will not suddenly fail, unless an unforeseen calamity, such as a flood, damages the equipment.

The cost of having the annual ac tune-up done pales in comparison to the higher costs and inconveniences that you may expose yourself to when you neglect to have the tune-ups done. Hire an experienced heating and air conditioning repair or maintenance company in Sacramento. Contact Fox Family Heating and Air Conditioning to keep your home’s AC at its best throughout the year. Our maintenance club is an affordable solution many clients find to be a great value while enjoying comfort and peace of mind.