A heat wave is when an air conditioner should be at its most reliable, but if yours keeps shutting off early, it likely needs some maintenance. Some components are easy to investigate and troubleshoot, and a trained technician can quickly assist you with the rest.
Check Easily Replaceable Parts
Sometimes the failure of single parts can cause your whole system to stop working, so it's worth it to get the easy work out of the way first by troubleshooting these parts.
First, check your air filter. If it's very dirty, replace it immediately. A clogged filter puts strain on your system and can cause it to shut off early, especially during heat waves.
Second, check your thermostat if it uses batteries. If the batteries are almost dead, this could be disrupting your air conditioner's run cycle.
Finally, check the fuses. Old and failing fuses can make your air conditioner shut off or fail to turn on, and can be quickly tested or replaced with new ones.
Have Refrigerant Levels Checked
If your refrigerant is leaking or losing its effectiveness, you may notice several signs. If the air coming from your vents doesn't feel as cool as it used to, that's one possible sign. It may also feel more humid indoors despite the air conditioner running, and it may take your air conditioner much longer to get your house to your preferred temperature.
If this sounds like what's happening in your home, contact an HVAC repair specialist to check your refrigerant levels. With older air conditioners especially, you may just need your refrigerant topped off and a leak repaired.
Clean the Condensate Drain
When moisture is pulled from the air during the cooling process it drains outside your house. If this moisture can't drain and instead backs up into your air conditioning unit, the air conditioner may shut itself off as a safety precaution to prevent flooding and water damage.
To make sure this isn't the problem, inspect the condensate drain and clean it out, or ask a professional to clean it, if necessary. Generally, you will notice water dripping from the drain as your air conditioner runs; if you don't, and if the surrounding area looks dry, this could mean the drain is clogged somewhere.
Clean the Condenser Unit
An air conditioner works by transferring heat outside your home by way of the condenser coils. If these coils are too dirty, the heat cannot escape the way it should, and this can result in your air conditioner shutting down early.
HVAC specialists will often clean your air conditioning unit as part of typical maintenance, but if it's been a little while since maintenance was last performed, your air conditioner may be overdue. If you already have a technician inspecting something else, such as the refrigerant or condensate drain, ask them to check your coils to make sure everything is clean and has proper airflow.
For more information about air conditioning repair, contact a local company.