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How to Avoid Breaking Your Air Conditioner in the Middle of Summer

When Tampa, Florida temperatures rise in the middle of summer, the last thing you want to do is make a call to have your air conditioner serviced. It’s important that your AC works efficiently when you are most in need of cooling.

Here’s How to Avoid Breaking Your Air Conditioner in the Middle of Summer:

Annual Tune-Up

If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to schedule your annual tune-up. A yearly inspection by an HVAC service professional will help to ensure your air conditioner is running efficiently. Additionally, a tune-up will give you a clear picture of the current condition of your HVAC system parts and help you budget for repair/replacement. Over time wear and tear will occur. It’s always beneficial to repair or replace wearing AC parts before they fail and cause a chain reaction within your unit.

In addition to a professional annual tune-up, you can avoid breaking your air conditioner by proactively performing preventative maintenance such as replacing air filters and removing dirt and debris build-up around the AC system.

Check your drain

Without preventative maintenance, Florida’s humid weather can cause your air conditioner condensate drain too quickly back-up. The most common symptoms are leaking water around the air handler or lack of cooling if the unit is equipped with a safety shutoff.   Condensate is formed as the hot, humid air is directed over the evaporator coil and the air is cooled. This water collects in the pan and is routed outside through the drain line. Over time this line becomes clogged from lack of maintenance. This is most likely to occur when the humidity increases rapidly.

Additionally, if you have a clogged filter, the evaporator coil could freeze.  The additional water that results from thawing could overload the pan and drain line and possibly overflow.

Adjust Thermostat with Temperature Changes

“When the ambient temperature becomes too cold or too hot, the thermostat will trigger the heat exchanger or the evaporator coil-condensing unit combo to begin circulating warmed or cooled air as needed.” (source)

It may seem like an easy solution to set your thermostat temperature and leave it.  However several things should be considered. A good quality thermostat will provide safety features, such as “short-cycling” protection, which prevents the unit from turning on and off too frequently, and cycle-per-hour limits.  Short cycling can occur for several reasons. One such occurrence is when the ambient temperature drops, such as when a storm approaches, or in the evening, and the setpoint is near the temperature outdoors. When this occurs it may not take long for the temperature inside to satisfy, turn the unit off, and without proper protection, can cause the unit to “short-cycle” or turn on and off too frequently.  The constant turning on and off of your air conditioner will wear down parts and increase your utility bills.

Utilizing a programmable thermostat will reduce your electrical expenses and protect the lifespan of your AC parts.  Most new thermostats can be programmed to your schedule and save you energy throughout the day. The even more advanced self-learn your behavior and require no schedule programming.  All of these thermostats utilize a self-learning algorithm to ensure the temperature of your home is at the desired temperature at the time you program it to be, thus saving you energy during the day, at no noticeable sacrifice in comfort.

Ball Building Services is available to help you prevent your residential or commercial air conditioner from breaking down and leaving you hot in the middle of summer. Give us a call to schedule your annual tune-up or to repair a part of your HVAC system. Our licensed technicians are committed to always providing honest service. We provide HVAC services throughout the Greater Tampa Bay area and Central Florida.  

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