Your AC will usually shut down when it overheats to prevent damage to the equipment. If your AC doesn't run as long as it usually does, that could be a sign it's overheating and shutting off to protect itself. This problem can be caused by a number of things, and it's important to have repairs done before your equipment is damaged or before the problem drives up your power bill. Here are three things that can cause your equipment to overheat and the AC repairs that might be needed.
1. The AC Equipment Is Dirty
Dust and dirt are bad for an air conditioner. A dirty filter blocks airflow, and this causes your AC to struggle and overheat. Dirty coils make it hard for the refrigerant to cool your home, and your AC may have to run longer to meet the thermostat setting, which can cause your AC to overheat.
Dirty fan blades are a problem too because if the fan isn't clean and running at full capacity, airflow through the equipment is reduced, and that can cause the parts to overheat. The solution for these problems is to keep your AC clean by changing the filter regularly and having an AC service clean the air handler and condenser at least once a year.
If you skip the yearly cleaning, you might need to have emergency work done by a repair technician if your AC shuts down and won't start back up.
2. The Coils Are Covered In Ice
The coils in your air conditioner contain the refrigerant that cools your home. If the coils are dirty or if the refrigerant is leaking, ice can start building up on the coils. This can cause your AC to struggle to operate and overheat. When the ice is thick enough, your AC may shut down and not run at all.
The first step in dealing with this problem is to turn off your AC so the ice melts. Then, the AC repair technician will determine the cause of the problem. It might be something as simple as a clogged filter, or it could be a more serious refrigerant leak that needs to be repaired so the refrigerant can be replaced.
3. The Weather Is Hotter Than Usual
If your AC condenser is in full sun all day and the temperatures are hotter than usual, your air conditioner may struggle to operate properly due to the intense heat. Parts in the condenser may overheat and cause your AC to operate erratically or shut down.
If your AC is old, it may be time to think about replacing it when it can't keep up with hot summer weather. You might also want to provide shade for the condenser that doesn't block airflow so the parts stay a little cooler. The condenser may also need repairs if parts in it are worn out and not working properly.
An AC repair technician might clean the condenser thoroughly and replace, repair, or service parts that need it to help your air conditioner make it through a hot spell during the summer.