Imagine trying to cool down a hot cup of coffee in a warm room—it takes longer and requires more effort, right? That’s similar to how your air conditioner works during the summer. As temperatures rise, your AC must work harder because the air it’s cooling is significantly hotter. This increased load can strain your system, making it less efficient and more prone to breakdowns.

That’s why early AC Maintenance is crucial before the summer heat intensifies. Preparing your AC system early ensures it can handle the high temperatures efficiently, keeping your home comfortable while saving on energy costs. Let’s explore how you can prepare your cooling system to face the summer without breaking a sweat!

Understanding Your AC System

While your air conditioner may seem like a complex piece of equipment, having a basic understanding of how it works can help you better care for it. At its core, your AC system has two main components:

  • Indoor Unit (Air Handler)
    This is the indoor portion, usually installed with your furnace. It contains the evaporator coil and blower fan. The evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air blowing across it, while the fan circulates that cooled air throughout your home’s ductwork.
  • Outdoor Unit (Condenser)
    Located outside your home, this unit houses the compressor, condenser coil, and another fan. The compressor circulates refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor coils. As the refrigerant releases its absorbed heat outside, the condenser coil and fan expel that hot air away from your home.

This cycle of absorbing indoor heat and releasing it outdoors is how your AC creates that refreshing cooling effect. However, it relies on supporting components like refrigerant lines, drain lines, expansion valves, and thermostats to operate properly.

While relatively simple in concept, your AC is an integrated system with many working parts. When one component fails or underperforms, it impacts the entire cooling process — especially in DFW’s hot summer conditions.

Common Air Conditioner Issues During Summers

As temperatures soar during the long, hot summers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, your home’s air conditioner has to work overtime to keep your family cool and comfortable. The constant demand for cooling puts a lot of strain on air conditioning systems, making certain issues more likely to occur. Here are some of the most common problems homeowners face with their air conditioners during the hot DFW summers:

  • Refrigerant Leaks: With your AC running around the clock, small leaks in the refrigerant lines can develop over time. Refrigerant is the lifeblood of your system, so even a minor leak can severely impact its ability to cool your home effectively. Signs of a potential leak include warm air blowing from the vents or ice buildup
  • Drainage Problems: The high humidity means your AC has to remove a lot of moisture from the air. This condensation has to go somewhere, and a clogged condensate drain line can cause water leaks and water damage inside your home. You may notice puddles of water around your indoor unit if the drain is blocked.
  • Overworked and Overheating Systems: All that constant operation puts immense stress on your AC components like the compressor. This strain can cause overheating, tripped circuit breakers, and even compressor burnout in severe cases. Strange noises or the outside unit abruptly shutting off could indicate overheating problems.
  • Dirty Condenser Coils: The condenser coils on the outdoor unit are exposed to the elements, allowing dirt, leaves, and other debris to accumulate over time. When the coils get too clogged, they can’t effectively dissipate heat, drastically reducing your system’s efficiency.
  • Faulty Fans: Proper airflow is critical for your AC to work correctly. If the indoor blower fan or outdoor fan starts to malfunction due to worn belts, motor issues, or lack of lubrication, it can severely restrict air movement and cooling power.
  • Thermostat Issues: You may think your AC isn’t cooling well, but the real culprit could be thermostat issues. Incorrect thermostat settings, poor thermostat location, or a failing thermostat can all make your system run inefficiently or not run at all when it should.
  • Capacitor and Contactor Wear: The excessive use, heat, and humidity of DFW summers can accelerate wear and tear on crucial AC components like capacitors and contactors. When these components fail, the entire system may shut down until they are repaired or replaced.

Being on the lookout for these common AC problems can help you catch them early before they turn into bigger, costlier repair nightmares. With the intense heat and humidity putting immense strain on your cooling system, it’s essential to stay on top of maintenance and address any issues promptly.

7 Essential Air Conditioner Tips for the Summer

As summer temperatures start to rise, your air conditioning unit will be working overtime to keep your home cool and comfortable. Proper maintenance and preparation are crucial to ensuring your AC runs efficiently all season long, helping you save money on energy bills while avoiding costly repairs or breakdowns. Follow these essential tips to get your air conditioner ready for the summer heat:

  • 1. Clean and Change Air Filters:
    To keep your air conditioner running smoothly, replace or clean your air filters every 30-60 days during heavy use. This simple step improves airflow and efficiency, easing the load on your AC.
  • 2. Inspect and Clean the Condenser Coils:
    Ensure the power to the unit is shut off at the breaker panel before starting any work. Remove any leaves, dirt, or debris from the condenser coils outside your house. A gentle spray with a garden hose can effectively clean the coils, once you have confirmed the power is off, helping your unit expel heat more efficiently.
  • 3. Check the Coolant Lines:
    Examine the refrigerant pipes that run between the evaporator and the condenser. If the foam insulation is damaged, it’s advisable to have a professional replace or repair it to keep your system running efficiently. Handling refrigerant lines improperly can lead to hazardous leaks and decreased system efficiency.
  • 4. Test the Thermostat:
    Ensure your thermostat is in good working order to avoid overworking your AC. Consider upgrading to a smart thermostat for better control and potential reductions in your energy bills. Additionally, verify that the thermostat is accurately calibrated to reflect actual temperatures, ensuring efficient operation.
  • 5. Clear the Area Around the AC Unit:
    Improve airflow and efficiency by keeping at least 2 feet of clearance around your AC unit free from any plants or debris. Be cautious of using lawn mowers near the unit to prevent debris from entering the condenser, and check for overhanging branches that could pose a risk.
  • 6. Schedule Professional Maintenance:
    Before the summer begins, have a professional HVAC technician check your system. This check should include verifying voltage connections, inspecting the condensate drain, checking ductwork, verifying refrigerant levels, and ensuring the system’s cycling and temperature settings are correct, to ensure your unit is in top condition.
  • 7. Consider System Upgrades if Necessary:
    If your AC is outdated or frequently requires repairs, consider upgrading to a more efficient model. Discuss the potential return on investment (ROI) and long-term energy savings with a professional to make an informed decision.

Beat the Heat and Schedule Your AC Maintenance

Don’t let the brutal Texas summer get the best of your air conditioner — be proactive about identifying and resolving these frequent culprits. A little prevention can go a long way in ensuring your home remains a cool oasis when temperatures peak.

This season, take advantage of our special bundle package and save $300 on your AC maintenance visits. This special offer includes a thorough acid wash for your outdoor unit, in-place coil cleaning with a high-quality solution, and a detailed cleaning of your indoor blower wheel.

Ready to ensure your AC is summer-proof? Call Bacon today at (972) 703-2497 or schedule your comprehensive AC maintenance directly. Beat the heat with confidence—let us handle the hard work for you!

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