As much as cooling systems run in south Florida, it’s not surprising that they occasionally break down and need air conditioning repair West Palm Beach. Although there are exceptions, the lack of homeowner and professional maintenance sets the stage for premature equipment failure.
One of the most common problems associated with air conditioner problems lies with the volume of air flowing through the air handler. When it’s too low, the evaporator coil inside the air handler can freeze, which sets the system up for preventable problems. The evaporator coil contains the system’s chilled refrigerant.
Since less air contacts the coil’s surface, the refrigerant isn’t able to extract enough heat from the air blowing over and through the coil, keeping the refrigerant colder than the manufacturer intended.
The water vapor in your homes air will have time to freeze on the coil, which can cover it with frost. As this frost or ice builds, even less air contacts the coil and the system can’t cool your home. The refrigerant will flow back to the compressor, located in the outdoor condenser, as a liquid instead of a gas, which can irretrievably harm it. The compressor is the most expensive part to replace in a central cooling system.
Low air flow is primarily caused by a:
- Dirty air filter. Over time the filter traps particulates in the air on the filter. When the filter is covered with dust, less air enters the air handler.
- Dirty evaporator coil. Another cause of a preventable air conditioning repair West Palm Beach is a dirty evaporator coil. Over time dust can build on this coil that acts as insulation. When too much dirt covers the coil, the air can’t reach the coil’s surface, prompting a frozen coil.
- Moldy evaporator coil. Mold may also cover the coil that also slows the heat exchange process. Since South Florida summers experience high humidity levels, it’s important to have a licensed HVAC pro clean the coil periodically to prevent mold or biological growths.
Besides low airflow, more common air conditioner repairs include:
- Low refrigerant. Low refrigerant can cause the evaporator coil to freeze as well. A dirty condenser coil or evaporator coil are vulnerable to corrosion, which may cause pinhole leaks in the refrigerant line. The only way to know your system has the recommended level inside it is to have it checked by an HVAC technician. He or she will trace the line for leaks and repair it before adding new refrigerant.
- Electrical component failure. Just as dirt causes problems with airflow, it can wreak havoc with the electrical components in the A/C. Dirty electrical components slow the movement of power, build heat, and fail prematurely.
- Motor failure. Each central air-conditioning system has two motors that may need lubrication and cleaning to keep them running smoothly. The motor inside the air handler runs a fan that blows the air over the coil and sends it through the ductwork. The second motor sits inside the outdoor condenser and pulls air through the outside coils to dissipate the heat the refrigerant collects from your home.
- Oversized systems. A cooling system that runs for short periods may be too large for the home. Instead of running for periods that last 10 minutes or longer, it runs briefly more frequently. Air conditioners and heat pumps use the most energy when they first start, which also puts a lot of stress on the system’s components, wearing them faster.
Routine maintenance can help you avoid air conditioning repair West Palm Beach. Not only does it save energy and money, it also keeps your system running dependably throughout the summer when you most need it.