There are a number of issues that can cause your air conditioner to stop working. Luckily, they’re not all expensive fixes. The problem could just be a loose wire caused a power failure, a power surge that tripped a breaker, or even a clogged air filter that’s impeding the air flow to the system.
Some of the variables that contribute to an A/C system’s problems in South-West Florida:
Florida Environment – Systems in hot, humid climates like Florida will experience more failures due to the higher heat, humidity, rain and moisture which are constantly present. This can cause units to rust, corrode and work harder which reduces their life span. Our experience shows that A/C systems in Florida tend to have about a 10 year life span. If you compare that to systems located in northern areas that can run for over 20 years, it becomes apparent that our harsh Florida environment takes a serious toll on units.
Heat – In Florida where it can be very hot for almost 9 months out of the year, your A/C system can run during a lot of that time to keep you cool. If you equate the running of your A/C to a car, you would potentially put 100,000 miles on your A/C system each year. Certainly, the more you use a mechanical piece of equipment like your A/C, the higher potential for failures.
Local Environment – The location of your A/C system relative to sprinklers, lawn cuttings, direct sun light, trees and leaves, unobstructed wind, etc., can all affect your A/C system. Dust, dirt and debris will inevitably get into the outside system and cause the coils to get clogged and potentially cause rust and corrosion. Some lawn sprinklers may use city water which is not purified like water from your tap. As a result, this hard water may be more damaging over time to your A/C system. Also, proximity to salt water can cause A/C units to deteriorate quicker.
Production – The majority of mass produced products have what manufacturers call an “acceptable failure rate”. Even if 1% of what is produced fails, this means that out of a 1000 units built, 10 units potentially will have failures due to a faulty part or some problem from the manufacturing process.
So, what can you do? These are tried and true preventative steps you can take:
Annual Maintenance – Is it necessary to service your A/C every year? Absolutely YES! A/C systems require service at least once a year. This is the top thing a homeowner can do to keep their system running properly. An air conditioner, just like a car, needs regular maintenance and service to run efficiently. You should do this in the spring to ensure that your unit will run with the most efficiency during the hottest summer months. Some systems benefit from a twice a year cleaning routine based on usage (full time resident) and local environmental factors (like living near the water). Remember, when dust, grime and mineral deposits build up on coils, the air conditioner can’t expel enough heat from the system and it’s forced to run constantly trying to cool your space. The increased pressure and temperature can cause the compressor to overheat and fail. Getting the system regularly cleaned will help to protect your system from early failures and keep it running at top performance.
Air Filters – Change or clean your air filter monthly. All of the air that circulates through your HVAC system, it is very important to keep your air filters clean and change them regularly. Failure to change your air filters regularly can:
* Reduce airflow inside the HVAC system, potentially cause premature system failures like making the fans work harder and wearing them out sooner. *
* Cause the filters to not remove air contaminants as effectively which will release them back into your indoor air for you and your family to breath. *
* Make your A/C system work much harder which will increase your energy usage and cause higher monthly electrical bills. *
* Cause contaminates to build up within your duct system. *
Call for Service Timely – If your system is not running up to par, or you hear unusual noises from the unit, it is best to call for service at the first sign of trouble. Procrastinating may allow a simple repair to turn into a more expensive one, not to mention potential down time waiting for a repair to be completed.
Warranty Compliance – Some manufacturers require homeowners to have their A/C systems maintained at least once a year to retain their warranty. This is especially true if you have a labor warranty on your system. Failure to have annual maintenance may void your warranty and will require the homeowner to pay for repairs that they normally would not have to.
We hope the information provided here will help you to avoid problems with your A/C system. While there are things that can happen which are beyond our control, you should take the necessary steps to regularly maintain your A/C system.